Tag Archives: awards

Team Duct Tape Wins Think Award at USF Polytechnic RoboBattle

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!

Team Duct Tape Wins Inspire Award!

Team Duct Tape competed in our first qualifying competition at Hillsborough High School Face Off! Break Down! — in Tampa on Saturday and won the Inspire Award.

The Inspire Award

The Inspire Award, which guarantees the team a spot in the state tournament, is awarded to a team that:

“…is an inspiration to other teams, acting with gracious professionalism both on and off the playing field. This team understands how to communicate their experiences and knowledge to other teams, sponsors, and the judges. “

Teams judged to earn this award:

  • Must demonstrate respect and Gracious Professionalism both for team members and fellow teams
  • Engineering Notebook must be submitted, and must impress the judges
  • Must work beyond their robot to help spread awareness of the team within the community
  • Display good communication and team work skills within the team as well as with their alliances
  • Communicate clearly about their robot design to the judges
  • Present themselves well in the judges interview
  • Their robot effectively competes in the game challenge and impresses the judges
  • Team and Robot consistently performs well during matches
  • Must be a strong contender for all other judged awards

We’re fully cognizant of the fact that we did not earn this award alone. Team Duct Tape earned the Inspire Award because team members felt inspired by the guidance, support and encouragement of mentors, sponsors, friends and family and we’re very grateful to all of them!

Our Mentors and Supporters

Mentor Paul Markun’s educational and technical guidance, and his moral support have been, and continue to be,deeply appreciated. If ever there was a friend of Team Duct Tape, it’s Paul Markun and Tampa Technik.

The Florida West Coast Section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers has also been instrumental in Team Duct Tape’s success. Their financial support helped make our team “look” possible, helping pay for our team shirts, and it is making it possible for us to continue to compete by enabling us to purchase needed parts to keep our robot robust and efficient. We’re really looking forward to working with FWCS-ASME mentors between now and our next competition.

RDesign created a wonderful logo for us, that we combined with team member designs for a crisp, eye-catching image that captures the fun-loving aspects of Team Duct Tape and helps bring our team a unified, recognizable look. And Learning is for Everyone picked up the balance of the t-shirt costs and continues to provide educational and community outreach support for the team.

Our Families

Family members have been one of the strongest aspects of this team’s success, financially helping establish the team, morally and physically supporting the team by making sure team members make it to meetings and field trips, and indulging our long working meetings with patience, good humor and a hefty supply of snacks. An enormous thank you to all of Team Duct Tape’s supportive and encouraging families!

Face Off! Break Down!

Face Off Break Down was the first FTC Qualifying event using the new platform and Field Management System to be held anywhere in the world! We were your FMS guinea pigs.

But other than a few FMS glitches — many due to teams not being prepared before the start of a match (visit FIRST FTC for info on how to be ready!) — and getting way behind schedule, the event was enormous fun! Hillsborough High School math teacher Marian Manganello and team Hydra pulled together a terrific event!

The new FTC robots are robust and can really take some punishment — and the game does get punishing! Four robots flailing various puck gathering appendages around in a two minute heats makes for some real entertainment, and sometimes the matches became more of a contact sport than expected.

Team Duct Tape held its own though — bringing in the highest scoring match of the event: 118 points, and winning not only the Inspire Award but, along with Team #3073, the Robot Ravens, earning the Winning Alliance Award. We’re excited about going to the Florida State Championship with such a great team and look forward to a Team RoboDuck alliance again soon!