Ramp Riot posed numerous challenges to both our FRC and FTC teams. Although we were not put under the best circumstances, the event was a learning experience and helped the growth of both teams. The FTC team Crimson was uncertain about the penalty rules, but they managed to set themselves apart by being the most effective push bot. Their robot did not have linear slides, so they played mainly defense. The FTC team Aubergine had a port problem and the controller for the robot was messed up, however, they were able to fix it. The other FTC teams also had problems and worked very hard to overcome them. These circumstances were less than ideal, but they proved to be a learning experience that the teams can move past. For the FRC team, there were instances in which one of the robot’s hooks broke, as well as the limelight sensor that turned on in the middle of the match which messed up its shooting trajectory. In addition, one of the controller’s switches was switched on the wrong side, and one of the wires was unplugged. The Robolancers FRC team worked hard during their matches, and in the end, they won the Gardener Award because of the team’s contribution to the community. Even though there were issues in the FRC and FTC teams at Ramp Riot, this is a great opportunity for learning, and in the future, they can exceed the standards they set.
This past weekend, March 18-20, the RoboLancers participated in the Springside Chestnut Hill District Event, our first on-season FRC event in three years. The team has changed a lot since our pre-pandemic days, but we came into the event with our usual loud cheer and determined performance.
For Mr. Johnson, finally going to an on-season FRC event after three long years felt, “so good.” He had missed the excitement of full events, but was not ready for the feeling of the Monday after events. That sentiment seems to be reflected in the tired faces of the RoboLancers who came on both Saturday and Sunday.
This post–pandemic return was also very exciting for the seniors of the RoboLancers. Phong, a senior, said it was great to be actually competing this time instead of just watching. Three years ago, he was a member of an FTC team cheering from the stands, but this year, he was in the middle of the action as a part of the drive team.
Our drive team and robot had a great performance at SCH. There were definitely bumps in the road, but overall, we performed better than expected. At least, that’s the opinion of drive team member Daniel. We were the first-pick alliance partner for the 6th alliance during the Playoffs. Similarly, our Chairman’s presentation also went well.
SCH was the first FRC event for a number of RoboLancers. Jason, a first-year RoboLancer and current member of Cobalt, compared this event to the FTC events he had competed in. He said that SCH was a lot more hype, had a lot more people, and was a lot more fun. He enjoyed that each team had their own chants, and that the event on the whole was like FTC events on a bigger and larger scale.
One RoboLancer, Tom, volunteered at the event. He described volunteering as being pretty okay. He appreciated that volunteering gave him an opportunity to step away from the stands for some time to recharge before the next RoboLancers’ match. He was determined to stay lively and energetic while cheering our drive team on.
We did not win any of the team awards, but our Vice-President, Maja, was one of two Dean’s List semi-finalists at the event. Maja said that winning the award felt very good, but it was also overwhelming.
Now, the RoboLancers are gearing up for our next event at Bensalem on April 1-3. Our drive team will be busy practicing to make our performance more consistent.
The entire day was filled with awesome moments, but certain ones stick out. Cheering in the stands, playing outside with other teams after lunch, and the excitement of the first match. These are moments that will turn into cherished memories.
On February 5, our three RoboLancers FTC teams competed in this season’s Philadelphia Qualifier. RoboLancer participants and volunteers of the event have described the day as, “unexpected” or even “wack.” After the Qualification Matches, Crimson was ranked first, Gold was ranked fifth, and Cobalt was ranked seventh. Crimson chose Gold as their Alliance partner, and Gold accepted. Then, through a series of alliance formations, Cobalt became an alliance captain and chose 8730 RoboGriffins as their alliance partner. The Crimson-Gold alliance were eliminated in the semi-finals while the Cobalt-RoboGriffins alliance did not make it past the finals.
Crimson and Gold’s robots began to experience technical difficulties near the end of the event while Cobalt’s performance became better at the end.
Crimson won the Design Award, Cobalt won the Innovate Award, and Gold was the runner up for the Think Award.
None of the teams are going to States, but that does not mean that their work is over. All three teams will be competing in RoboLancers hosted “RoboRumble/RoboJawn” in May. In the time until then, each of the teams will continue to improve their robots.
I asked members of all three FTC teams how they felt about the Qualifier. Lily, Captain of Gold, said that she felt “dis-appointed” because they put a lot of effort this season but did not win any awards. This disappointment was echoed by her teammates, Yona and Fion. They felt like they should have planned better instead of shoving everything back to the last moment. Moving forward, Gold will use better foresight to continue improving their robot. Some of the goals are creating a better game plan for the drivers, making sure the intake meets the size requirements, and writing a better autonomous code.
Crimson member Austin felt disappointed and a bit mad, but his main takeaway is that losses happen and “it is what it is.” They will focus on improving by working on capping, adding sensors to the intake, and programming their camera to read barcodes.
Jason, a member of Cobalt, felt frustrated because they were close to making it to States but lost the final match. He’s disappointed, but wants to congratulate the winner, 16800 Trial and Terror. Moving forward, Cobalt will be working on color sensors for their intake box and perfecting the autonomous code. They want to make a magnetic capping feature, an idea that came from watching Fright Frenzy robot reveals and Isriah, one of their coaches.
Gold, Crimson, and Cobalt still have a lot to learn and a lot to work on before the end of their first year of FTC.
If you want to explore mechanics, engineering, programming, electronics, team management, or discover where your passion for robotics lies as a part of the largest association of Central High School, then the RoboLancers team is for you! As evidenced by the overwhelming success of this year’s RoboLancers induction, this 2021 season has kicked off as possibly the greatest robotics experience at Central High School! Doubtful? Why not ask the nearly 100 students of various backgrounds and grade levels who have found their spot in RoboLancers, fresh from Bootcamp!
The RoboLancers Boot Camp – now thankfully in person – gave all students interested in robotics a taste in the many subgroups of RoboLancers and their work within the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) seasons. But firstly, all students were taught proper safety procedures regarding using any equipment related to RoboLancers work and especially how to safely use the professional machinery in Central’s very own workplace. Afterward, new students were introduced to the three main aspects of RoboLancers: Mechanical, Programming, and Business.
Check out our boot camp resources: http://robolancers.com/resources/
Last year, members of Gold and Crimson decided that instead of moving to FRC, they wanted to do another year of FTC. They united to create Central High School’s first FTC team for returning Robolancers members, Team 16941, Wrench Toast. Wrench Toast’s team goal is to both create a custom-designed competitive robot by using CAD and machining most of their parts.
This year’s Robolancers’ FTC coach is Sabrina. She’s a former Robolancer, and currently a college student studying social studies and secondary education and at Temple University. Wrench Toast members describe her as funny, smart, caring, and all around amazing. She’s dedicated to helping this year’s FTC members to work together and reach their full potential.
Sabrina as a Game Announcer at the Philadelphia Qualifier
The season for the team started in September, and they immediately started designing and planning at Kickoff. Their robot has come a long way since that Saturday. Wrench Toast’s black-and-yellow robot is well-rounded and can complete many tasks. Impressively, it can stack up to 9 blocks. During autonomous, it can bring over one block and park. The highest score Wrench Toast got during the qualification matches was 101.
Black and Yellow
Wrench Toast’s first scheduled qualifier was on January 18th, the South Central Qualifier. Unfortunately, the bus never came, and the team, along with Crimson, Gold, and other Robolancers, were out in the freezing weather for around an hour. Despite this setback, Wrench Toast still went to the Blue and White Qualifier the next day.
Their next qualifier was on February 8, the Philadelphia Qualifier. Wrench Toast ended the qualifying matches ranked first, and chose to be in an alliance with Team 8730, the Robogriffins, and Team 12308, the Bodine Ambassadors, and they became the winning alliance. Wrench Toast also won the Collins Aerospace Innovate Award, and came second place for the Design Award.
A few weeks later, on February 29th, Wrench Toast boarded a bus (that came on time) to York, PA for States. They ranked 7th after the qualification matches, and were second pick in an alliance with Team 6045, TwoBar, and Team 2818, G-force. They ended the event as division semi-finalists. Excitingly, team captain, Maria was chosen as one of Pennsylvania’s Dean’s List Finalists, the first one from our school as far as we can remember.
Congratulations to Wrench Toast for an amazing season and robot, Maria for her advancement, and Sabrina for being a great and supportive coach. (May the FIRST be with you all)
Last Saturday, February 8th, our three FTC teams hosted and competed at the Philadelphia Qualifier. Along with our FTC members, our FRC and Business members were also seen in the gym volunteering.
Both Gold and Crimson qualified for the semifinals, and were in an alliance together. By a small margin, they didn’t advance to the finals to face off against Wrench Toast’s alliance. Wrench Toast were their alliance’s captain, and they won the final matches, allowing them to become one of the teams advancing to States.
Aside from the matches, our teams also had success in the Awards Department. Gold won the Design Award for their robot’s functional, efficient, and aesthetic design. Wrench Toast was nominated for the Control Award, and the Design Award, coming second place for both categories. They won the Collins Aerospace Innovate Award for their innovative and well documented robot design. Wrench Toast’s two Dean’s List nominees are now Semi-Finalists. Congratulations to Maria Calderon and Finn Brenner!
Week 5 was used primarily to start manufacturing the parts that have been designed in the previous weeks. The team put the different parts together piece by piece, making sure each part came out the way they were intended. Other than the parts, the team also constructed the robot’s chassis this week. Once some parts were completed, the team installed them into the chassis in order to get a head start into constructing the robot.
In the midst of week 3, the team continued to experiment on possible designs using CAD. During the week, they created various prototypes that could be used in the final design of the robot. Throughout week 4, members have been finalizing the designs to be used for the robot. Using CAD, the team has been perfecting all the different parts to be manufactured and assembled.
This week, the team has made substantial progress towards the robot’s design. At the beginning of the week, our members discussed possible designs and prototypes. Now at the end of the week, many members are using CAD to test the discussed prototypes, and some are continuing to discuss the robot’s overall design.
Glancing back at our season last year, we performed very well. Our robot was the best it ever had been, and carried the Robolancers through the competition. At Springside, our team put forth a good effort during the matches, but sadly did not make it as a finalist. Though, due to the extraordinary performance of our robot, we made to the finals of Bensalem. Unfortunately, the team did not get to advance to MAR, but still enjoyed the journey. Once the team was out, we were happily cheering on other teams while they competed.