TDT members have worked like the living dead (but with a lot more energy!) on their robot the last couple of days — — trying to complete a robot design everyone feels will be competitive and successful. TNT was an edifying experience that compelled team members to rework their initial design, after testing the practicality of their original idea on the actual playing field.
Prototypes have proven extremely useful in helping team members visualize different solutions. A recent Skype meeting gave students more brainstorming time than student schedules allowed, too, and gave team members an opportunity to collaborate on design ideas, which they then refined further at yesterday’s meeting. Team members also finalized team roles, enjoyed a sufficient amount of sugary sweet carbs, and began working on their team “look”
(which is not that of the undead!).
The multiple levels of build complexity in this season’s Hot Shot! game have proven more challenging than last season’s Face Off! build, with a lot more variables in the build and the game. Programmers face a dizzying array of controller needs, far beyond last year’s forward, back, left, right, up, down and dump. Fortunately, team members seem to have worked out a simple and elegant design that carves order out of the chaos of a field full of wiffle balls (hopefully!).
If the Engineering Notebook effectively documents TDTs journey, it’ll read the Lewis and Clark expedition!
If progress continues as it has the past couple of days, though, the end of the journey may be in sight. Hopefully team members will have a running robot by week’s end, and can work on their autonomous program and driving practice next week. If not, the journey continues till we arrive at Hillsborough High School’s RoboMania qualifying competition on November 14!
In the meantime, we’ll keep checking the FTC Forum Q&A for tips and insights, communicating and keeping the notebook updated via our Google sites group, and grabbing whatever time we can to keep moving forward.
We’ll be at the FIRST pavilion there, demonstrating last season’s FTC Face Off! competition and helping inform guests about FIRST and FTC.
The morning of June 9th, we’ll be giving a short presentation about our team and then will listen to the key note speech by FIRST Chairman John Abele, before heading over to Electronic Arts Tiburon studios to learn about game design and programming.
We’ll finish out our three day adventure with a final exhibition session back at the PTC conference that afternoon.
We’re really excited about the whole outing, and look forward to playing Face Off!, hanging out with the other teams, and sitting in on some of the workshops, panel discussions and presentations, too.
Congratulations to Inspire Award winner, Exploding Bacon and captain of the Winning Alliance, Team Hydra! We’re sorry we’re not going to Atlanta with you, but we’ll be cheering you all the way and keeping our fingers crossed for you in April!
We came that close, among the top three contenders for the Inspire Award, and fighting to the end for Final Alliance team captain Ro Ro Ro Ur Bot. Not a bad finish for rookie team!
The Florida FTC State Championship was fantastic – running smoothly and efficiently with our modified system of teams using their own computers loaded with the Field Management System programs. Most times, matches were running ahead of schedule, and the event, complete with award and volunteer recognitions — including a great big, deeply felt surprise THANK YOU! to our incredibly dedicated FTC Affiliate Partner Michael Coleman that netted him a well-deserved standing ovation — ended five minutes early!
Team sponsored “Side Show” games added to the fun between matches and during breaks, and the catered BBQ lunch was the icing on the Championship cake.
The state event was a whole new robot game, featuring the cream of the crop from previous qualifying competitions, with vigorous matches and hard-won points. We gave it our best shot, pulled out all the stops and competed to the very end, in a Final Alliance match that went three full rounds that brought the crowd to its feet.
But in the end, the Winning Alliance Award went to the Red team, captained by Hillsborough High School’s Team Hydra #2425, who was joined by Lightening, #348, and Rogue Robotics of Brevard 4-H, #2800.
Our Blue team alliance was captained by Ro Ro Ro Ur Bot, #617, strong competitors with whom we enjoyed an alliance at the Lakeland USF Polytechnic event, and where we were joined by team #3123, Spontaneous Combustion. The final round was won by just 8 points.
And it was all exciting, and fun and we can’t wait to do it again next season. It would have been great to win, but we’re proud of our effort and remarkable success. In just six months, we went from a rookie team of six students, several of whom had never met before, and two of whom had never participated in a robotics program before, to one of the top ranked teams in the state. We won an Inspire Award and captained the Winning Alliance at our very first competition, just three months after coming together, and won a Think Award and captained a second Winning Alliance Team at our second competition, just two months later.
During the Championship, we overcame almost every technical difficulty possible, including a broken servo during competition, battery cables that came unattached in the middle of a match, a second round of balky servos (that miraculously came back to life for one more match!) and a complete and utter shut down that we thought would put us out of the rest of the Championship. But thanks to the wonderful Gracious Professionalism of Exploding Bacon, who walked us through a reboot of our whole system, bringing us back to life, and equally generous and kind GP by other teams, we kept dragging ourselves up from the mat and even managed a high score of 138 — in the match where our battery cable came out and stopped us dead after one minute.
Team Duct Tape also experienced some glorious moments, like hearing friends and family cheer them on from the stands, waving signs and shouting “No Duct Tape, No Glory!” ; and giving their best interview ever, a smooth, informative and comfortable session that pleased them and the judges. Their Engineering notebook is a thing of beauty. And the duct tape look — the hats speak for themselves!
We had a blast, learned an enormous amount, and made some terrific friends we hope we’ll know for many years to come. Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive and helpful of Team Duct Tape, and stay tuned…
We’ll be going strong over the summer with lots of great activities, more edifying outings, and sharing resources and experiences.
So stock up on the duct tape, we’re still on a roll!!