Team Duct Tape enjoyed a full, exciting and verrrryyy looonngg day at the USF Polytechnic RoboBattle qualifying event yesterday, bringing home the Think and Winning Alliance Awards, shared with Ro Ro Ro Ur Bot (#617) and B.A.D. (Built and Dangerous #3045), and finalists for the Innovate and Inspire Awards as well. The Think Award is given to the team that judges feel “best reflects the “journey” the team took as they experienced the engineering design process during the build season.
Despite being down two team members due to illnesses, Team Duct Tape beautifully applied lessons learned:
- Giving a polished interview with judges,
- Presenting an organized Engineering notebook, neatly tabbed, with a table of contents,
- Using a checklist before each and every match, eliminating problematic oversights (like forgetting to turn the robot on!),
- Running successful autonomous programs,
- Employing a new improved bucket and benefiting from a new polycarbonate motor shield,
- Winning every match they played, including garnering the highest score of the day (115), and
- Exhibiting Gracious Professionalism with one another, alliance members and other teams.
Team Duct Tape’s alliance with Ro Ro Ro Ur Bot and B.A.D. resulted in the Winning Alliance team of Ro Ro Ro Ur BAD Duct Tape, a terrific match of strengths and team work that included working autonomous programs, crowd pleasing assists and great scoring rounds.
Team members appreciated the opportunity to practice at the RoboBattle what they’ve been learning with their engineering mentors from ASME and Tampa Technik, and the chance to make new friends and reconnect with teams they’d met at their first event in November. USF Polytechnic provided a beautiful and comfortable venue for the competition, with absolutely remarkable volunteer assistance including calling teams down for matches and helping with all manner of questions and needs; thoughtful, caring and interested judges, and preternaturally patient referees; great video coverage; and exhibiting their own deeply Gracious Professionalism in dealing with all manner of unexpected problems.
Having the new mandated templates in place smoothed connection times and helped immensely with debugging, but the competition still ran extraordinarily late. It ended after midnight – six hours after the scheduled finishing time — and after a long day of technical snafus on the competition field, with slow Bluetooth connections and controllers seizing up on teams, necessitating nearly a dozen rematches, and the loss of three teams who were unable to stay for the late night elimination matches because of long drives home.
Hopefully, FIRST can resolve FTC Field Management System issues soon, so overlong events don’t discourage students and families from being part of this unparalleled opportunity for learning about science, math and technology in such a fun, terrific, exciting and deeply enduring way.
Team Duct Tape sends sincere Thank You’s to USF Polytechnic staff and volunteers, to Florida FTC, and to everyone who made the long day such a fun and rewarding one!