“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” -Albert Einstein
This week leading up to the State Championship has been full of excitement and productive work. After our last competition, the ROBOT League Championship on Saturday January 11th, Team Duct Tape has had two beneficial meetings.
In between these two competitions we have pinpointed some issues or problem areas on our robot that we could address in the two week period. For example, our autonomous block flipper malfunctioned during the final matches of the last competition. We determined the reason the block flipper failed was because a gear was severely stripped. This was one of the things we were able to fix.
During each of our Saturday meetings, TDT has scheduled and managed driving and judging practice. It is good for the drive teams to have practice with the field and any modifications to the strategy that may have happened since past competitions. It is also important to practice what you are going to say to the judges before you see them. We are always striving to do our best even if it takes putting in the extra time. After adding scripts to include in the presentation and studying major points to discuss, Team Duct Tape has a good foundation for Judgment Day in Daytona Beach on January 31st.
We have even had everyone on our team work together and make a new competition handout, Team Duct Tape buttons! An organized system was used to complete about 100 buttons to give out at State. It was fast and easy to make the buttons when it was a whole group effort!
We learned that sometimes things don’t always work out the way they were planed but it is important to rethink the concept/idea and redesign.
After all, thank you to all our mentors, sponsors, friends, and parents who make Team Duct Tape possible! Because of all your support we are able to have fun and be successful. Now we are pumped up and ready for the Florida State Championship on February 1st, Tournament Day!!
Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun!
With outreach events stacked like rings on a peg, and the State Championship just around the corner, Team Duct Tape members are pulling out all the stops, and the duct tape, to get in the best shape for both opportunities.
We’re tweaking Sheldon (the bot), making some cool bling, getting in as much driving practice as possible, keeping the Engineering notebook updated and generally giving it the best we’ve got!
If, as General Patton said, “Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom,” then we’ve been pretty successful this season. But we’re going to keep working hard, and having fun in the process, in the hopes that the bounce continues!
It’s been quite a journey so far, as we’ve worked our way up from nearly dead last to the middle of the pack and finally, as of last week’s ROBOT League meet at Polk State College, the middle of the top! Now in 13th place, we need to hold on to a spot in the top 24, as we move into the League Championship this coming Saturday, to earn a place at the Florida FTC State Championship in March.
Team members have been working hard all season, though, and each rung up the ladder has been preceded by a journey along the learning curve, with improvements coming out of every meet.
Team members have been working overtime to build the best team they can, in addition to the best robot they can, because in the end, it’s not just about how well the robot does on the field, but about how effective the team as a whole is – with everything from technical know-how and documentation, to team marketing, communications with each other and with other teams, work with mentors, and outreach to our FIRST community and to our Tampa Bay community.
It’s that greater challenge of character and teamwork, on top of the technical and scientific challenges inherent in the game, that makes the FTC experience such an enriching one year after year.