This year has been MONUMENTAL for the team! There were so many “firsts” for this FIRST robotics team.
This year was the first time in the team’s history that they were able to attend two regional events. The team attended both the Pittsburgh regional as well as their usual Cleveland Buckeye Regional. The team did great at the Pittsburgh regional, showing their outstanding design work and teamwork as their robot, Hoff 9000, destroyed all the obstacles. In the end, the team placed 26 out of 52 teams! They used their knowledge they gained from Pittsburgh to then prep and plan for their main event – the Cleveland Buckeye Regional.
It was all hands on deck for Cleveland – the team had their eyes on the prize and they were ready to do better than they ever had before. Without a doubt, the team dominated! For the first time in the team’s history, we were able to walk on to the field and accept an invitation to compete in the quarter-finals! In an alliance with Team 303 (The T.E.S.T. Team) and team 217 (The ThunderChickens), they tore up the field. Though sadly the field wasn’t the only thing that was torn up. Due to some aggressive driving from an opposing team, Team 303 had a belt snap and was unable to join us in our tie breaker match. In our tie breaker match to get into the semi-finals, the ThunderChickens had communication issues – due slightly in-part to an opposing team’s aggressive driving. They lost control and the robot flipped, thus leaving us to fight for our own. Even with the bad luck we managed to have in the end, we had an amazing competition with amazing alliance partners and we’re all sure that we could have won if not for those technical issues. Overall, the team placed 11th out of 58 teams and competed in the 7th best alliance at the competition.
Later in the year, the team learned that they had qualified for and were invited to compete at the Ohio State Championships in Columbus. So we spent the next couple weeks following the 2016 season to plan and work on any changes or ideas we thought might make the robot better for states. In the end, we upgraded the drive system from belts to chains so that there would be no slippage during quick direction changes. We also added on a gyro and new autonomous code that incorporated said gyro. At states, the team finally had a chance to showoff everything they had learned that year, as well as the skills they had gained. After a long day of competition, the team came in at 4th – making them the 4th best team in the state of Ohio!
This year has definitely been the best the team has had so far, and we’re always looking to go bigger and better. Hopefully next year we’ll make it worlds even! For now, we’ll leave you with a video showing off this year’s robot – Hoff 9000.