FIRST World Championship 2023

From April 19th – 22nd, FRC 321 competed at the FIRST World Championship in Houston, Texas. The team was invited to compete as a result of them being awarded the FIRST Impact Award at the FIRST Mid-Atlantic District Championship alongside FRC 316. The RoboLancers were one of 26 teams from the district competing in Houston.

In addition to competing the team also visited Space Center Houston! Students explored space travel through history alongside many other FIRST teams in attendance that day.

At competition 321 got to share our love of Goooose through earrings, plushies, and hats galore!

Lucy got to play on the world stage in the Daly division!! We ranked 39 out of 78 in our division with a record of 5-4-1. Yona, Daniel, Zamil, and Cordell served as the drive team once more putting up a stellar performance as usual.

We competed for the FIRST Impact Award as well. Congratulations to Iris, Lily, and Maja who served as our presentation team as we were awarded the FIRST Impact Award and joined the FIRST Hall of Fame.

Other fun activities during the event included visiting the Innovation Fair and attending RoboProm!

FIRST Mid-Atlantic District Championship 2023


On April 5th the RoboLancers loaded in at Lehigh University for the FMA Championship occurring from April 5th-April 8th. Lucy and our drive team performed well, unfortunately, we were not chosen during alliance selection, but qualifying for the district championship was a fantastic accomplishment for us as no current team members have competed at the DCMP prior to this year. 321 placed thirty-seventh out of the sixty teams that attended. Many RoboLancers could also be seen sporting goooose-themed apparel throughout the event. Our best match was qualification match one hundred, with the blue alliance earning one hundred fifty-six points. Lily Sand, our awards coordinator, received the FIRST Dean’s List Finalist Award. Lily’s dedication to FIRST and her superb leadership are absolutely worthy of recognition. The RoboLancers have also procured another blue banner by winning the Regional FIRST Impact Award. We have advanced to compete at the FIRST World Championship in Houston from April 19 – 22 where we will compete with our robot and for the Impact Award.

FMA District Bensalem Event (Qualifying Event)

From March thirty-first to April second the Robolancers, team 321, attended and participated in the FMA District Bensalem Event (Qualifying Event). The Robolancers placed ninth out of the twenty-nine teams that attended the event. Our ranking score was 2.33. At Bensalem, the Robolancers played in twelve qualification matches out of the fifty-eight qualification matches held. Qualification match twenty-one was our best match with the Robolancers being a part of the blue alliance which scored one hundred forty-four points. 321 was selected as the first pick of the 4th alliance captained by FRC 484 with the second pick being FRC 9014. The alliance placed 3rd overall and was eliminated in semifinal 13 by the 2nd alliance. Congratulations to the Robolancers for winning three awards. We won the Imagery Award in honor of Jack Kamen celebrating “attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration of machine and team appearance.” Additionally, Lilliana Sand and Austin Lin both won the District Championship Dean’s List Semi-Finalist Award. This is a very important accomplishment for them, it shows that Lilliana Sand and Austin Lin have been recognized for their dedication and achievements in FIRST. 

FMA District Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Event (Qualifying Event)

The Robolancers, team number 321, participated in the FMA District Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Event (Qualifying Event) from March 17th to March 19, 2023. The first day was mainly load-in and practice matches. In the qualification matches the Robolancers played twelve out of the sixty-two matches. We won seven out of the twelve matches we played and lost five out of the matches we played. The most notable match the Robolancers played in, match thirty, the alliance we were a part of scored one hundred fifteen points in sum.

All in all, the Robolancers placed thirteenth out of the thirty-one teams that attended the event and captained the seventh alliance. The Robolancers won the District FIRST Impact Award through their hard work. The District FIRST Impact Award shows that the Robolancers have done a lot for the community to further the values of FIRST. This is the seventh blue banner the Robolancers have received. This is very important and IMPACT-ful! Congratulations to the Robolancers for all of their hard work.

Team photo (With Impact Award)!

RoboLancers Quarter 2

CAD team working with mentors to design our 2023 robot

The RoboLancers FTC teams have made changes to their robots and some even have a few victories under their belt. These teams will compete hard in POWERPLAY. There have been many events the teams have attended including, but not limited to, Workshops, Scrimmages, and Qualifiers. Most notably, Crimson placed second during its scrimmage with 17 total FTC teams. This was a great display of Crimson’s robot and its capabilities. Additionally, Crimson’s portfolio was considered by the judges potentially for a Connect Award. Kale’s programmers have finished their autonomous parking with custom sleeved cones and the mechanical side has made great progress with their robot. Gold has a camera on their robot, finished the coding along with it, and have made great progress on their robot’s mechanical aspects. The FRC team is working very hard during build season now that Kickoff has passed. They have their robot’s design done, and are continuing onto the building. The programmers are testing different sensors, making the grabber autonomous even during teleop, and the coding for autonomous is working. FRC is working hard and has made great strides. FRC mechanical is suffering from a supply shortage.

FRC Kickoff 2023

An overhead view of 4 students sitting in a circle with open laptops

On Saturday, January 7th 2022 came together for FRC kickoff. On the first day of kickoff FRC was waiting with anticipation for the countdown and were watching the Robolancers youtube channel. When the video of the game started people were already focused, analyzing it, and writing notes on their computers. People on twitch could  ask questions and the composers would answer them. When team 321 received the encryption code to read the game manual they were assigned into groups to read specific sections. At lunch the FRC team participated in fun activities including football and soccer, but there was pineapple pizza unfortunately. There was a robot possessing only wheels and no intake that demonstrated how the charge station worked. The team put key information into a google doc, then discussed game strategy and ideas afterwards. The consensus was to go for ranking points which determine your rank on the leader board. For the second day of kickoff the FRC team continued to discuss and plan their game strategy. Subgroups were made to break down the workload for the arm, claw, chassis, etc. The programmers also had subgroups for the limelight, sensors, etc. Overall, the teams worked hard and have planned their game strategy to hopefully win!

Hard at work studying the manual and talking strategy at Penn Engineering

Ramp Riot 2022

An overview of the full pits at ramp riot

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. 

Springside Chestnut Hill 2022

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.

Build Season Weekly Update (#5)

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.