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.
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!
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.
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!
On November 3, 2018, Robolancers team gold participated in the robotics Ramp Riot competition. Team Gold had a wonderful time, we befriended other teams as they were incredibly kind and courteous towards us, never showing contempt or scorn. In the meantime while we were actually competing I had acquired the luxury of scouting and was excited to meet other teams. The other teams were fantastic, their robots were incredibly impressive, some even had a working latching system, which was essential for maximum point-gain during the matches. In general we had a rather wonderful time, and when we weren’t participating in matches, we were working! In the many hours we were there, we worked hard to develop our latching system and intake system, and in time we successfully developed our first working latch prototype! However we couldn’t attach it at the competition. The experience of going to our first robotics event was incredibly satisfactory, even if we didn’t do that well in the competition as we procured eighth out of tenth place.
I’m a FTC Gold member, and although we didn’t win, I enjoyed my experience at States. The robots there were amazing and I don’t think any of us are ashamed that we lost to such smooth and practiced teams. It even encouraged us to build a new robot; inspired by many of those we saw at States. There was a sense of community, not just among the RoboLancers teams, but all Philadelphia teams, as Girls High, Palumbo, and Central all cheered each other on. This was the first time we saw the semifinals and finals from an outsider’s perspective, not as someone competing, and it made the experience a lot more fun. We are all so proud of the judges award we won, and I think everyone had a good time.
I was astonished by the number of robots there were and the amount of work other teams put into their robots. I felt very good at the robot’s ability to press the beacons. In fact, on the drive team I felt proud of the accomplishments we made as well as the failures that happened. Whenever failure came upon us, I would always look up to the the rest of the team cheering us on. It felt the best when in mid-game, our robot randomly lost a wheel. I was very worried, but when the robot was still working and the crowd was still cheering, I gained an aura of confidence.
I learned a lot while driving the robot. Even though our robot wasn’t as agile or able as some other robots, our robot was still a great accomplishment. Though our robot didn’t work as planned (able to shoot) we still contributed every game, including cheering on our allies as well as pressing beacons. Though some allied teams decided to disregard our need for help, we still tried to help as much as possible. In between every game, the team always tried to add better parts, fix any problems, and plan on any next changes.
Though our robot was placed last in the competition, I still have confidence that we will be considered one of the most able and agile after some changes. This competition was simply a test to see how our robot functions and any changes that must take place after the competition. Unfortunately, during the competition, our robot wasn’t able to shoot. We could press beacons as well as lift the cap ball, but was apparently not good enough. I strive for the qualities our robot may need. Once we meet those goals, we would contribute a lot more during the Tournaments. All in all, I am very proud of the robot.