On December 11th, 2014, the RoboLancers that were going to the competition met in 95, and received their team tshirts. The whole team left, but when they noticed the kid in the wheelchair was missing, everybody stopped and wondered where the kid was at. Furthermore, as the wheelchair kid got on the subway’s elevator, the whole team left without Mr. Johnson and the wheelchair kid as they watched the train doors close before them. That kid was me.
Things got better when we got there, though. As both Crimson and Gold traveled (nervously) to Temple University’s Engineering building to compete in our first FTC meet. The experience of the meet as a whole was amazing. Despite not being fully prepared, that did not discourage nor stop us from doing our best. Our first instinct when we got there was to put the finishing touches on the robot. Crimson went to one table and gold to another and we immediately went to work. Crimson immediately panicked because they have realize that we didn’t have a supply list and the manipulator didn’t turn out as expected.
As the competition went on, Crimson realized that their robot was back heavy, and had to reprogram the robot to make it effectively. As some people worked on the robots, others went to scout the competition From the interviews, we learned a bit about the teams that were there. Based on what we witnessed that day, we saw flaws and strengths within teams. This also made us realize our own flaws and strengths as well.
Our teleoperated code seemed to be defective when testing even though it worked before, when suddenly, Armond, programming Lead, came around and read through and noticed that the controller was defective and our code was actually”A-Ok”. The programmers there, Viwing and I, had a nervous breakdown when we thought our autonomous code did not work, but the answer to the problem was a quick fix. We just needed to activate the code by selecting it in the NXT Brick.
As we went into the matches, our batteries were always scarce and hardly available due to the high demand from Gold needing the batteries for their match when we were practicing it. In the end since there was only one battery, but they relied on us and we pulled through that match with a close win.
This is my first year being a part of the team and I’ve never been to any of the events for Robotics. It was my first time at Drive It! and my first time at any Robotics event so I didn’t really know what to expect. When I got there, our team was carrying in boxes and setting up the field. As a member of Marketing, I didn’t have a clue of what the others were doing. The Marketing team and I set up the food stand along with our sassy security guard.
Once our food stand was completely set up and our fabulous signs were taped up, the first chapter of our business began. Our first customers were our team’s members. All of them bought the same thing and that was the Mountain Dew Throwback. After risking frostbite to look for those Throwback cans that were in such high demand, a few more customers appeared. They were unfamiliar faces which indicated that some of the others teams had arrived. Luckily, they requested donuts and hot chocolate(which we didn’t even have at that moment). Other customers appeared after seeing people eat those delicious donuts that were purchased from our food stand. Our thanks goes to Dunkin Donuts for selling us the donuts. We made a lot of money because of them.
Of course, my attention was not only directed to the food stand but also the teams. Since I didn’t know any faces other than the faces of our team members, I directed most of my attention to our own members. The most notable one was Henry Dang. As I was tending to customers’ needs, I watched as he went from table to table. During that time, I was a bit confused and I was wondering why he was at another team’s table. I started to notice that other teams’ members were at our team’s table. That’s when I realized that the teams were helping each other’s robot. They were helping each other so that the team’s could drive their robots hence, ‘Drive It!” At that moment, I felt like I had just discovered the meaning of life. After a long day of rummaging through trash bins for soda cans that were buried under a ton of ice, my day had finally come to an end. On the bus, I wondered if that whole day was a complete waste of time. I opened my bag and picked up the completely forgotten, complimentary Twix bar I got for running the stand and concluded that Drive It! was totally worth it.
On September 18 the RoboLancers welcomed the new members of the team at our meeting. Before the meeting, some of our returning team members went around the school and promoted Robotics in hopes we would be able to recruit new members. They went into various classrooms and explained our group, the RoboLancers, to everyone.
The meeting was held in Central’s auditorium. Before the end of school, it was only filled with the returning members of the team, fixing the stage and getting ready for the presentation. But it soon changed as people quickly walked into the room, hoping that they would be able to sign up. There was excitement and eagerness on all of their faces.
The presentation was led by our coach, Mr. Johnson, and other members of the team. They went over what the RoboLancers were all about. They explained what the game for FTC was, the responsibilities of being on the team, and explained what Mechanical, Electrical, Programming, and Marketing were.
After the meeting everyone broke up into smaller groups and showed them where the RoboLancers worked. To break the ice, the groups played various games. When the new members were asked what subgroup they wanted to join, most had an idea of what they wanted to do. They then went into detail about the game, and brainstormed ideas for what the robot would be like.
The promotion for Robotics was a success for there were 112 new members who showed up at the meeting. There are 52 returning members with one or two returning as well. This brings the team to an all-time high of 164. Everyone has high hopes that the game for FTC will be successful.
On 3/1/14, 40 Robolancers, 20 Crimson, 20 Gold, went to Millersville University to participate in the FTC competition.
When we first arrived there, we set down everything and were calm. However, when we actually saw other people’s robots, we were amazed at how creative and amazing their designs were. One of the robots even shot out blocks, similar to a cannon. We couldn’t really compete with them, having rebuilt and changed our entire robot in about 2 weeks, but we did try anyway. We came 27th place out of 37 teams, which wasn’t too bad actually. Although our original idea was to have the robot spin the flag, and THEN hang, we ended up only spinning the flag due to a silly mistake that no one noticed until the competition was over.
One of the things that really amazed me and made me smile were the costumes other teams had. I thought our Rock ’em Sock ’em costumes were ridiculously creative, but then I saw dragon costumes, viking costumes, a gorilla costume, and even a giant banana costume as well.
I really loved the team spirit there. Moe (the team that has everything colored in an unbearably bright green) was the team that I thought really had the most team spirit. Not that we didn’t try to compete with them in team spirit, though. Throughout that entire competition, Gold was basically cheering “Red Alliance!” while Crimson always cheered for the opposite team.
Even though we didn’t win, it was still a lot of fun, and an enjoyable learning experience that we hope to pass onto future FTC members that may be interested in Robotics.
Read Here-RoboLancers Roundtable Volume VI – February 2014
Dear Sponsors, Donors, and Supporters:
This newsletter is dedicated to you because we want to share with you what you have so generously shared with us. By this newsletter, we want to bring to you a little bit of what it means to be a member of this amazing team. We want to fill you in on what we’re doing, provide some of our own personal stories, and share with you our many accomplishments.
As the competitions approach, we would like to cordially invite you to join us at these fun, educational events. Bring family and friends and join us at our two FRC regional qualifying events. The first event is at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (500 W.Willow Grove Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118) from March 14-15, 2014. The second event is at Lenape/Seneca High School (110 Carranza Road, Tabernacle, NJ 08088) from March 22-23, 2014. Don’t forget to wear crimson and gold, our team colors. We look forward to seeing you there!
In addition, both of our FTC teams will be advancing to the PA FTC Championship Tournament to be held at Millersville University (Millersville, PA 17551) on March 1, 2014. We also would like to invite you to come out and support us at that event as well.
In the meantime, please read more about how we have been preparing for the competitions by enjoying this edition of the RoboLancers’ Roundtable. We hope you enjoy reading about our learning, progress, and fun times, which without your support we would not be able to accomplish.
Philadelphia’s final FTC meet will be held at Central High School on Saturday, February 8th.
Read More Here