Sunday, January 15, 2017

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.


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