Sunday, January 15, 2017

2016 - 2017 FTC Albany Qualifier

Our teams, Bat Bots FTC 6966 and BondBots FTC 8527, competed at the Albany Qualifier on January 14th. Both teams had some difficulties today, but everyone had a great time.      
Bat Bots Queued for Judging

BondBots Ready to Get the Day Started
Bat Bots had some mechanical issues they were not able to completely fix during the day. BondBots had some trouble with their autonomous programming. They were able to press both beacons during autonomous at our practice field, but were not successful at the tournament. They were able to quickly add a program that could knock the cap ball off the center structure and park partially on the center structure, to work cooperatively with a partner that had been able to get the beacons.

The Bat Bots showed off their new costumes and met up with friends they made during last year's competitions.
Bat Bots in Costume

We were able to complete another "first" for our program at this tournament. Due to the alliance partners selected by the top three teams, BondBots was able to slide into the position of being the 4th Alliance Captain for the semi-finals. While Zack, the team representative at alliance selections, did not show any change in emotion, he did get a bit pale. The team had prepared their list of potential alliance partners "just in case", so he was prepared to make a selection.
All the Teams at Alliance Selections

Zack Making His Second Selection

We all got the chance to network with other teams and coaches, including two additional teams from our area. Adirondack P-Tech FTC 12266, from Peru, was competing in their very first FTC tournament and Team Beta FTC 8397, from West Chazy, was also there. We got to meet a lot of new friendly faces as well.
Bat Bots With Old Friends

The North Country Represented
Bat Bots FTC 6966, BondBots FTC 8527,
Team Beta FTC 8397, and ADK P-Tech FTC 12266

At the end of the day, BondBots won the Connect Award. We are looking forward to the Regional Championships in February.

A few more photos from the day.
BondBots Pit Area



BondBots talking to the Judges

Bat Bots Competing

Bat Bots Competing

BondBots Ready to Compete

2016-2017 FTC Red Hook Qualifier

Both of our FTC teams, Bat Bots FTC 6966 and BondBots FTC 8527, competed in the Red Hook Qualifier on December 11th.
The day begins with pit set up and check-in. Judging times are assigned and the teams make last minute repairs or head to the practice field.

The atmosphere on competition day is part chaos, part excitement, and a whole lot of nervous energy. This is the first competition for our new team members, so they have a lot to learn about competition day.

Bat Bots headed into judging first. They reported that it went well and they were able to answer the questions they were asked. BondBots headed into judging next. Overall it went well, but they came out with lots of ideas for improvement.

Next up, the teams headed to robot inspection. They both passed without difficulty, but did receive a bit of advice from the inspector. Whew!

Bat Bots had a few team members unable to attend, so they had to work with that limitation, but they handle it just fine.

 After a bit of dancing, yup - the YMCA before 8 am! - a few BondBots team members headed to the practice field, a couple stayed at the booth to greet other teams and spectators, and the rest headed out to start scouting.

After the Driver's Meeting and Opening Ceremonies, the qualifying matches began. Once the matches start, the day just flies by. Both teams competed well, with a few setbacks. Bat Bots had connectivity issues and BondBots struggled with the autonomous. The robot was able to navigate to the beacons in some matches, but weren't able to press the beacon button. There were not many teams attempting the beacons during autonomous, so that made the BondBots stand out a bit.

Both teams were able to quickly identify and correct problems that came up during the day. An important component to a successful competition day. While neither team was selected as an alliance partner, both teams ended the day with awards.

Bat Bots won the Think Award, and also placed 3rd for both the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award and the Connect Award.

BondBots won the 3rd Place Inspire Award, earning them advancement to the Regional Championship at Pace University in February. This was the first time one of our FTC teams received an Inspire Award or advanced to the Regional Championship, so it was very exciting for us. There may have been a few happy tears, but we won't say from who. BondBots also won the Motivate Award and placed 3rd for both the PTC Design Award and the Think Award.

The teams are always seeking ways to improve and ended the day with plans to make their robots and presentations better before the Albany qualifier in January. Another fun, exciting, and exhausting competition day is done. All that is left is the long drive home in the snow. See you in Albany.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Summer Fun

For two weeks this summer the robotics center was full of activity. Our FTC team members helped run the Summer Robotics Program, offering week long robotics activities.

The participants in Radical Robotics built and programmed robots using Lego Mindstorm NXTs and EV3s. They needed to program their robots to autonomously complete missions. At the end of the week they all got to show off their work to friends and family.
Learning the Basics

Working on the Missions

Learning to Program

Showing Friends and Family Their Results

The participants in the Advanced Robotics program built VEX robots to complete a challenge. They had to learn how to build and wire their robots.

During Science Week, participants designed, built, and tested popsicle stick bridges, built water bottle rockets, and made foosball games by customizing their own 3D printed foosball men.
Watching the 3D Printer at Work

Bridge Building

A Foosball Game with Custom 3D Printed Foosball Men

Lego Play participants had a blast building Lego models based on different themes throughout the week. It's lots of fun making new friends and playing with a large assortment of Lego bricks.
Creative Minds at Work