RoboJawn 2023 took place this past Saturday at West Philadelphia High School. All 6 of our RoboLancers FTC teams put forth a strong showing at the event!
RoboLancers Crimson and RoboLancers Aubergine were both alliance captains. RoboLancers Gold and the Binary Bots, from Project HOME, joined RoboLancers Aubergine on the 4th alliance. RoboLancers Crimson selected RoboLancers Pumpkin and the Technabots, from Girls High. RoboLancers Cobalt joined Bodine Ambassadors, from Bodine High School, and To Be Determined, from Lancaster PA. RoboLancers Aubergine and RoboLancers Gold were event finalists defeating Alliance 1 in the semifinals.
The judges highlighted multiple RoboLancers teams in the awards portion of the event. RoboLancers Aubergine received the 2023 RoboJawn Champions Award. RoboLancers Gold received the Engineering Award, RoboLancers Pumpkin received the Portfolio Award, RoboLancers Aubergine was the Control Award runner-up, and RoboLancers Crimson was the Presentation Award runner-up. All of the RoboLancers put forth a strong showing in the judging room. RoboLancers Alum Michael Curry 275 was also honored as the 2023 Philadelphia FTC Volunteer of the Year.
RoboLancers’ very own FTC team Pumpkin (team number 22247) has advanced to the FTC state championship and competed on March 4th, at Saucon Valley Middle School in Hellertown, PA. Pumpkin ranked in place twenty-nine out of the thirty-six FTC teams that came. They had two wins and three losses out of their five matches. Pumpkin, along with a different FTC team each match, scored 88 points in their first match (lost), 132 points in their second match (won), 94 points in their third match (lost), 124 points in their fourth match (won), and 119 points in their fifth match (lost). During the matches, Pumpkin faced a looming threat. Unfortunately, Pumpkin did not get to compete during the playoff matches. Additionally, Pumpkin sadly received no awards during this championship.
At the FTC qualifier at Abraham Lincoln High School on Saturday, February 4, 2023 all six of the robotics teams at Central High School attended the previously aforementioned FTC qualifying event. These teams include Gold (5320) who played 7th, Crimson (6676) who ranked 24th, Cobalt (16941) who ranked 33rd, Kale (22245) who ranked 18th, Aubergine (22246) who ranked 10th, and Pumpkin (22247) who ranked 5th. Each of these six teams competed in five placement matches. Only four alliances are able to compete in the semifinals with three teams per alliance. Most notably Pumpkin ranked fifth out of the thirty three teams that came and attended the event. This has allowed Pumpkin to qualify for the state championship. Crimson received the Motivate Award, Gold received the Finalist Alliance Award, Aubergine received the Think Award and Pumpkin received the Design Award and the 3rd Place Award. All of the teams worked hard and will continue to strive for greatness, the future is looking bright! Save the date for the state championship on March 4th (held at Saucon Valley Middle School in Hellertown, PA).
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.
On Friday, January 6th 2022 three of the six FTC teams, Crimson, Gold, and Aubergine, came together for a scrimmage. These teams worked together to get to where they are now. Seeing how the teams have changed their robots and worked on their flaws from the workshop last year, shows how they have overcome obstacles as a team to grow and become better. FTC team Gold had a few technological difficulties. According to Gold captain Anne-Louise Bouyer, “We had a lot of challenges. As a team we were doing pretty good from the start. However, when the robot broke towards the end, then, I believe that we lost our shot” (Anne-Louise Bouyer FTC Gold Captain). The main challenge Gold faced was when the brackets connecting the linear slides to the chassis snapped in half, however they have managed to connect everything back together and their robot is functioning better now. Gold placed thirteen out of the seventeen teams that came. Aubergine member Kiva Huxen believes that, “I think Aubergine did pretty well. For the first game we were working as a push bot, and I think the team is working better because overall the communication has improved” (Kiva Huxen Aubergine Member). Aubergine was a push bot at the start because the linear slides and motor were not working, so they needed to take out the bracket and sonic hub. Finally, Crimson placed second out of all seventeen teams and did the best out of three teams. According to Remi Iqbal, “Right before the winning alliance game, Kai tripped on the robot and broke the servos, which made the final game challenging. Crimson became an effective push bot despite these challenges” (Remi Iqbal Crimson Member). Overall, these three teams have grown and changed since the FTC Workshop last year, and are ready to keep doing better!
One of the more prevalent issues presented at Drive It was inspection. Some of the teams did not pass inspection the first time around, however, they redeemed themselves by altering their robots and passing inspection. During Drive It most of the teams started by preparing their robot for inspection and giving it some final touches. With Kale, their robot’s claw was sizable and protruding out, so they had to work together to reposition it to still be on the robot, but still within the size requirement of 18 by 18 by 18 inches. For Cobalt, their team did not perform as well as they hoped for. They actually passed inspection the first time through their hard work, however during their practice match they drove well, but their linear slide’s coding was not finished, and the claw could not still grip while it came back. They hope to work on better communication between both mechanical and programming members going forward, though there was not one side to blame as both parties worked hard. In my experience working as a volunteer for Drive It, I believe it to be a very rewarding experience as I can see how the events work behind the scenes, and I can make the event more fun for a lot of the other Robolancers and other robotics teams.
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.
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.
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)