On November 22nd and 23rd, all seven of Bellarmine’s teams competed at the Bellarmine Bay Area VEX Robotics tournament. Our teams played well during qualification and four of our teams made it to eliminations. 254A, as part of the 8th ranked alliance, faced the 1st ranked alliance in the quarterfinals and unfortunately lost. However, 254F, 254G, and 254E, as the 4th ranked alliance, decisively beat the 5th alliance in the quarterfinals and simultaneously scored 76 points, the most points in any of the matches of the event. The all-254 alliance then faced the top-seeded alliance in the semifinals, and lost the first match by only 3 points.
In the second and third matches of the semifinals, however, the all-Bellarmine alliance staged a comeback to win the next two matches against the 1st-ranked alliance, securing the semifinals and a place in the final round of eliminations. The all-254 alliance subsequently plowed through the finals, winning both matches against the 2nd-ranked alliance by margins of about 40 points each. This decisive tournament win added 254E and 254G to the list of Bellarmine teams headed to the California State Championships.
Additionally, our Bellarmine teams accounted for the top three Programming Skills scores and three of the top four Robot Skills scores. Notably, Team 254A placed first in both Skills Challenges. More importantly, 254B won the Excellence Award, the highest award given in VEX competition. The award recognizes teams for their overall excellence in their engineering process and robot design, for their performance in Skills Challenges and matches, and for outreach, teamwork, and sportsmanship. With this significant achievement 254B will also head to the California State Championship. In short, after just two tournaments, five Team 254 teams have qualified for the State Championship, of which two (A and F) have qualified through multiple tournament successes.
254B is led by Eric Van Lare and Jeffrey Kaufmann
254E is led by Louis Lin and Dorian Chan
254F is led by Nick Verducci and Nathan Rooke
254G is led by Eric Wang and Goutham Gnanasekeran
Congratulations to our teams, and we wish them luck at the State Championship in March!
On November 2nd, several members from our team, along with our 2013 robot Overkill, participated in the Bay Area Science Festival. Along with other FRC teams, Team 254 was able to demo our robot to excited youth and adults. We were able to demo our shooter and our unique climbing abilities. We explained the basics of the robot and the game to curious youth and the intricacies of the robot to curious adults. Overall, we had a blast and hope to participate again.
On October 19th, several members from our team had the opportunity to participate in the Take Flight for Kids event hosted by Valley Medical Center Foundation. Along with other FRC teams, Team 254 was able to present the 2013 robot, Overkill to the excited youth and adult that stopped by our booth. We explained the basics of the robot to curious youth and the intricacies of the robot to curious adults. Overall, we had a great time and had a lot of fun.
On August 7, several members from our team had the opportunity to participate in NASA’s Diversity Day. As a NASA house team, Team 254 was able to present three robots; Overkill, Skyfire, and Slipstream to NASA engineers and staff who stopped by our booth.
Mani Gnanasivam, James Holden, Andrew Torrance, Namit Mishra, Nick Gunady, Jack Lee, and Chris Sides attended.
After setting up the booth, the team members fielded questions from curious onlookers. Many NASA engineers were asked what program Team 254 used to design the robot, which programming languages were used, and other technical questions. All the team members answered questions asked by the dozens of people who stopped by the exhibit. After lunch, the members demonstrated Overkill’s frisbee and hanging abilities. Andrew Torrance explained multiple times to the crowd the the rules of last year’s game and Overkill’s scoring abilities. After presenting, we packed up and relaxed at the lab.
The maps below show the tournament facilities located on the campus of Bellarmine College Preparatory. The red boxes denote campus parking, and the red lines show the best way to the parking spots. Green boxes identify the pits and blue lines show the best walkways to the pits. This PDF is a much larger version of the image below.
- Tournament Location
- About the Game
- Changes from last year
- Information for Competitors
- Info for Novices
Bellarmine College Preparatory 960 W. Hedding St. San Jose, CA 95126
|Friday, November 22, 2013|
|6 pm – 8 pm||Check-In and Inspection (in Liccardo)|
|6 pm – 9 pm||Practice time for teams|
|Saturday, November 23, 2013|
|7:15 am||Pit Area and Registration Opens (in Liccardo)|
|7:15 am – 8:30 am||Inspection (in Liccardo)|
|7:30 am – 8:30 am||Practice Rounds (in Sobrato Theater)|
|8:30 am – 8:45 am||Driver’s Meeting (in Sobrato Theater)|
|8:30 am – 9:30 am||Sign up for judging interview (at Pit Admin table)|
|8:45 am||Welcome (in Sobrato Theater)|
|9:00 am – 12:30pm||Qualifying Rounds (in Sobrato Theater)|
|12:30 pm – 1:00 pm||Lunch Break (We will have Pizza Order Forms)|
|1:00 pm – 2:35 pm||Qualifying Rounds Continue (in Sobrato Theater)|
|2:45 pm||Alliance Selection Process (in Sobrato Theater)|
|3:00 pm – 5:30 pm||Playoffs (in Sobrato Theater)|
|~5:30 pm – 6:30 pm||Finals, Awards, Closing Ceremony (in Sobrato Theater)|
More information on the game is at the RobotEvents website. The current rankings for Robot Skills and Prorgramming skills are listed there also.
Pizza will be available for $15 a large pie from Tony & Albas. Please order your pizzas by midnight on Nov 20 using this form. Please pay for your pizza when you check-in.
The following items will be available for purchase in the Liccardo Center (8am –
- Vegetarian Egg Rolls &
- Variety of Donuts, Muffins,
- Fresh Fruit & Oatmeal
- Cheetos and Cheez-Its & Coffee and Tea
- Oreo Cookies & Variety of Juices
- Candy Bars & Bottled Water
- Clif Bars & Snapple Iced Tea
- Caesar Salad & Hot Chocolate
- Cinnamon Rolls
There are more teams competing, so if you can, please get inspected on Friday evening. We have extended the hours for the skills challenge field. It will open at 7:30 on Saturday morning and stay open through 4:30pm. We have 5 qualifications for the VEX US Open (Excellence, Design and the tournement champions). Those teams, along with the finalists, also qualify for the California state championships.
iDesign will be offering a $100 gift certificate, which will go to the team that receives the Judges award.
If you want to be considered for the Excellence or Design awards, you will need to sign up for an interview by 9:30am. Go to the Pit Manager to schedule (or change your appointment time if needed). The interview rooms are on the second floor of the Sobrato Theater building.
The skills challenge field is also on the 2nd floor of the Sobrato theater building. Teams are not limited to the number of attempts, however, any team with fewer than 3 attempts can move ahead of other teams waiting in line.
It is highly recommended for you to arrive Friday to go through the inspection and try a couple practice matches. Friday will be much more relaxed and our inspectors will be able to help you through the inspection process. Also, our field managers will be able to guide you through the competition process. Be sure to bring fully charge batteries, chargers, spare parts and tools in case anything breaks. Ensure your vexnet keys are working well.
Check the match schedule when it is published and make sure you are ready for each match. Try to have fully charged batteries for each match. Be sure the drivers and coach have safety glasses when they arrive at the field to compete.
On Saturday, October 19th, all 7 of Team 254’s VEX Teams competed at the Dougherty Valley High School Robotics Tournament in San Ramon. Subteams A through G competed well during qualification matches. One of the most memorable highlights was that in the first match of the tournament when four 254 teams ended up in the same match! Teams F and G beat Teams D and B in match that was both extremely unlikely and unfortunate to watch as it put 2 of our teams behind right from the beginning. Because the tournament was running late, they had to cut number of qualification matches from a scheduled 7 down to only 4. However, most of our teams still did well. Team F went undefeated and was ranked second. Teams D, A, and B finished in 19th, 20th, and 21st place, respectively.
During alliance selection Team 254F picked the Team 21, the Spur Flies and later Team 254A. Team 254G was picked by fourth ranked 8000A and later allied with Team 6088. Team 254D and 254E were picked by Team 1868X, the Space Cookies. Finally, Team 254B was chosen by Team 21C and allied with 9378A.
In the elimination matches, Team G’s alliance defeated Team B in the quarterfinals, and the alliance of Team D and E was eliminated by the number 1 ranked alliance, 9378R, 8000B, and 8000C. In the semifinals, Team F eliminated Team G. Team 254F and 254A went on to the finals to play against the number one ranked alliance. After 2 stressful and intense matches, Team F and Team A managed to capitalize on robot failures of the opposing alliance and secure a victory! By being the champions of the tournament, Teams F and A are now qualified for the California State Championship in March.
Shockwave, a promotional t-shirt shooting robot, was awarded the Abbott Invention Hall of Fame Award at the 2011 FIRST Silicon Valley Regional.
Team 254 is willing and able to bring our T-Shirt cannon to many events, including but not limited to:
- Sporting Events
- Spirit Rallies
- Community Events
The T-Shirt Cannon can be branded to meet the promotional requirements of any sponsor.
To Request to have the T-Shirt Cannon appear at your event, please contact our PR Director, Godwin Vincent.
Over the past three days, Team 254 has had the opportunity to visit two of its Gold level sponsors, BAE Systems and Ooyala, and demonstrate the fruits of its labor.
On June 5, a multicultural group of five students and one mentor celebrated diversity with BAE at the BAE Systems Diversity Fair. The students participating were Nagy Hakim, Scott Cardona, Richard Lin, Abhi Kumar, and Louis Lin. Mentor Dennis Jenks provided Team 254 with the amazing opportunity to come to the fair. People in the event included many BAE engineers and programmers, who added excitement because students had a chance to talk to others who work in the same fields of interest.
Students transported two robots, Overkill and Shockwave, to the event to exhibit the team’s work and extend appreciation for BAE’s consistent support throughout the years. Many of their employees came out to visit the team’s pit and talk about the robots’ designs and controls. After opening ceremonies, Shockwave fired a barrage of T-shirts into a crowd. Later, drivers and operators demonstrated Overkill’s driving and frisbee shooting capabilities.
At the conclusion of the fair, Dennis led the students on a private tour around BAE’s impressive facility. Four tour guides exhibited the workings of BAE, including military vehicles, machines, simulations, and controls.
Today, the team visited one of our Gold level sponsors, Ooyala. Our programming mentor Patrick Fairbank, who works at Ooyala, set the day up so the team could demo Overkill. The team visited their office, located in Mountain view and set up. There were about 40 or so members of the company that gathered around asking questions about the various subsystems and function of the robot.
Many members of the company also played Ultimate Frisbee after work on a team. These members lined up on one end of the space set up while Abhi Kumar and Richard Lin drove the robot around, picking up and shooting frisbees towards the employees(At a much lower, catchable speed). Meanwhile, Nagy Hakim answered questions about the robot. At the end of the demo the team members stuck around for pizza and presented the award to Patrick for Ooyala’s sponsorship.
Team 254 thanks BAE Systems and Ooyala for their continued support in the robotics program.
Yesterday, Mark Leon and Drew Price arranged for the current Zero Robotics Winners to tour the NASA Ames Facilities. Team 254 represented the NASA Robotics Alliance as part of the tour. The 20 or so members of their winning team filed in to the lab and were given a presentation by Abhi Kumar and Richard Lin as to the history, function, and current robot of the team. Afterwards, Abhi and Scotty Cardona demonstrated the robot’s shooting capabilities and hanging prowess. To finish off the tour, Mark took the group upstairs and talked more about the NASA Robotics Alliance and the summer Robotics Academy. As the members left, we brought Shockwave out onto the field and answered final questions for the group.
This afternoon, NASA Administrator Mr. Charles Bolden visited the Ames Robotics Exploration Lab with Congressman Mike Honda and several other NASA executives. Mr. Bolden is a former General in the U.S. Marine Corps and a former astronaut, having taken part in Space Shuttle missions. The team last spoke to Mr. Bolden in the pits at the 2010 FIRST Championship.
Mark Leon led the group through of the robotics education programs supported by NASA which included demonstrations of BotBall Robots, FIRST Lego League, VEX Robotics and the FIRST Robotics Competition. Team 254 leader Jonathan Chang described the VEX game to Mr. Bolden and then introduced Goutham Gnanasekaran, Luis Guevara, Andrew Torrance, Eli Wu, Eric VanLare and Van Tran, who drove four of our World Championship-caliber robots.
Later, Team President Nagy Hakim spoke about our FRC team and introduced Scotty Cardona, Abhi Kumar and Jonathan Lee. Finally, Abhi and Scotty demonstrated our famous 6.4 second climb. After Mr. Bolden left, one of the NASA Ames Directors, Donald James, thanked the team members for the presentation and talked to them about the impact such demos could have on future legislation for education and STEM.
The team is very grateful for the support we have received from NASA over the years. We are pleased and honored to be asked to showcase our program to those who make what we do possible.
This past weekend, five of our VEX teams attended the VEX World Championships in Anaheim, California.
Our five teams were distributed among five separate divisions and played ten matches each. Qualification matches began on Thursday afternoon, continuing through all of Friday and concluding on Saturday morning. Our teams met varied levels of success during qualification matches; the level of competition at Worlds was incredibly high. When matches concluded on Saturday, team 254D ranked highest, seeding 16th with 7 wins, 2 losses, and one tie. They were also the only team to be selected for eliminations, which happened in the afternoon. In divisional quarterfinals, 254D, with the drive team of Eli Wu, Andrew Torrance and Goutham Gnanasekaran, faced off against top-ranked Fuxing High School and former world champions, Green Egg Robotics. They managed to win an incredible upset in the first quarterfinals match, but lost the second match and in a stroke of bad luck lost the tiebreaker match when one of their alliance robots fell over early in the match. Despite this setback, we are all proud of having made it so far at World Championships.
Team 254 also excelled off the competition field. We were recognized during the tournament for the website award, which we tied with Team 1114 for 1st place in the world. In addition, our mentor Pat Fairbank, who has worked tirelessly over the year to ensure the success of our VEX program, was recognized for his efforts by winning the Mentor of the Year award, becoming one of only 2 mentors from around the world to win the award this year.
Next years’ VEX game, named Toss Up, was also revealed at World Championships on Friday evening. Many of our team members have already gotten to work planning for this new game and thinking about possible designs for next season. The 2012-2013 VEX season has officially ended, but our team members are already eagerly looking forward to making the 2013-2014 season a great one for Team 254.