Blog - April 2018

2018 World Champions!

A Brief Summary

As part of an eventful week, we attended the 2018 FIRST World Championship in Houston, Texas from April 18th to April 21st. Assigned to the Hopper Division, we won the Division Championship Award and the the Autonomous Award sponsored by Ford, for our 4 cube scale autonomous program and scale detection software. After becoming the Hopper Division Champions, we executed a well-planned strategy alongside FRC Team 148 Robowranglers, FRC Team 2976 Spartabots, and FRC Team 3075 Ha-Dream Team, allowing us to win our 4th world championship and finish with an undefeated season!

Team 254 poses for a picture after winning at the 2018 FIRST Championship in Minute Maid Park

Robot Performance

Qualification Matches (Hopper Division)

Throughout our qualification matches, we wanted to make sure that we secured 4 ranking points during every match, while still gaining control of our scale for as long as possible. In order to do this, we ran our scale autonomous program, which placed 3-4 cubes on our alliance’s scale or, when we were not confident with our alliance partners’ ability to place cubes on the switch, we executed our autonomous program which placed cubes on the switch and scale.

Alliance Selection

Going into the elimination period in the Hopper Division, we chose to form an alliance with FRC Team 148 Robowranglers, FRC Team 2976 Spartabots, and FRC Team 3075 Ha-Dream Team.

Team 254 representative, Weston White, poses with our chosen alliance partners

Elimination Matches (Hopper Division)

During the elimination matches in the Hopper Division, we maintained our undefeated record for the entire tournament. From a strategic perspective, we aimed to always have possession of the scale and our own switch while also placing cubes on our opponent’s switch. This strategy allowed us to gain a significant lead during each match and stopped the opposing alliance from being able to score from their own switch. We would also like to thank Team 3075 Ha-Dream Team for helping our alliance during Finals Match 2 in the Hopper Division, while Team 2976’s robot was undergoing some repairs. Through the efforts of our alliance partners, we were able to win the Hopper Division. We also won the Autonomous Award sponsored by Ford, for our unique 4 cube scale autonomous program and scale detection software!

Lockdown hangs with alliance partner, Team 2976, at the end of a match

On the Einstein Field

We generally maintained a similar strategy during the Einstein matches as in the Hopper Division elimination round, by placing cubes on both switches and keeping possession of the scale. Team 2976 Spartabots played awesome defense on the portals to slow down the opposing alliance’s cube flow after they used all the cubes from their switch fence. Team 148 Robowranglers attacked the opposing alliance’s switch to force them to cover their switch before attacking our switch or the scale. Our drive team chose not to prioritize powerups, by placing only 3-4 cubes in our exchange for the levitate or boost powerup. With this strategy, we placed first during the round robin matches, allowing us to move on to Finals, with the Carver Division winners. We would like to shout out FRC Team 2910 Jack In The Bot, FRC Team 4911 Cyberknights, FRC Team 4499 The Highlanders, and FRC Team 5006 Apophis, the Carver Division winners, for executing a great strategy while playing against us on the Einstein Field.

Lockdown works to place a cube on the opposing alliance’s switch

A Special Thanks

At the 2018 FIRST World Championship in Houston, we would not have been able to be so successful without the amazing teams that we were able to work with during our matches. Also a special shout out to our pit crew and drive team for properly maintaining our robot during the tournament. We would also like to highlight the efforts of our alliance readiness crew to keep our alliance partners ready throughout the tournament. Team 254 would also like to thank all the volunteers and judges that made this tournament an exciting experience, and all of our mentors, teachers, and parents who supported us and helped us succeed in this tournament.

Members of the Team 254 Pit Crew repair Lockdown before an upcoming match

Members of the Team 254, 148, 2976, and 3075 drive team strategize before an upcoming match

Our drive team poses for a picture on the Einstein Field

Members of the Team 254 Alliance Readiness Crew assist Team 6014

2018 Silicon Valley Regional Champions!

A Brief Summary

As part of an eventful weekend, we attended the the 20th Silicon Valley Regional, in San Jose, CA. We had a great time at our second tournament of the FIRST Power Up Season with our robot, Lockdown. We won the Innovation In Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation for our autonomous code. Congratulations to one of our mentors, Nick Hammes, for winning the Volunteer of the Year award, for his hard work emceeing and in planning this wonderful event! Alongside FRC Team 973 The Greybots and FRC Team 2367 Lancer Robotics, we were able to win the tournament, earning our 50th Blue Banner!

Team 254 poses for a picture with Lockdown after winning at the 2018 Silicon Valley Regional

Robot Performance

Qualification Matches

Throughout our qualification matches, we executed a variety of autonomous programs to ensure we were prepared for various situations. This allowed us to either place 3 cubes in the switch or place 3 cubes on the scale. When on an alliance with robots that were good at placing cubes on the scale, we had to make sure we maintained ownership of the scale before placing cubes on ours’ or our opponent’s switch. We always tried to position ourselves on the scale platform to have enough time for hanging. During the qualification match period, we gained 4 ranking points in each match.

Team 254 places a cube on the scale during the autonomous period

Alliance Selection

Going into the elimination period, we chose to form an alliance with FRC Team 973 The Greybots, FRC Team 2367 Lancer Robotics.

Team 254 representative, Weston White, stands with Team 973 and Team 2367 as they agree to join our alliance

Elimination Matches

By choosing Team 973, a great scale robot, and Team 2367, a great switch and exchange robot, we were able to follow a more flexible strategy. During the elimination matches, Team 973 worked with us to lock down the scale, while Team 2367 focused on keeping ownership of our switch and delivering cubes to our exchange station. To create a head start on scoring cubes onto the scale, we used our 3 cube scale autonomous program. If our opponents were good scoring on the scale, we joined 973 in maintaining ownership of the scale. When our autonomous program was successful, we worked on maintaining ownership of our opponent’s switch, using cubes from our portal. Team 2367 executed flawless and well-timed defense against the opposing alliance. With an organized strategy and great alliance partners, we remained undefeated for the season, allowing us to become the first-place alliance at the tournament and win our 50th blue banner!

Team 254 and alliance partners Team 973 and Team 2367 stand together during Semifinals Match 1

Helping Other Teams

The Alliance Readiness Crew worked hard throughout the tournament to assist Team 6688 West Valley Middle College Robotics and Team 7317 Crusader Crew. Our crew helped improve the design of Team 6688’s exhaust system, used for delivering cubes to the switch, safely wire their control system, fix their pneumatics so that there were no leaks, and write an auto that could put cubes into the correct side switch. When Team 7317 needed help, our crew worked to create a new and improved intake system to collect and deliver cubes to the exchange. Through this experience, students were able to make friends and get more hands on with designing an actual robot.

Our alliance readiness crew assists Team 7317 in mounting hardstops for a newly designed intake

A Special Thanks

At the Silicon Valley Regional, we would not have been able to be so successful without the amazing teams that we were able to work with during our qualification and elimination matches. Also a special thanks for our pit crew and drive team for properly maintaining our robot during the tournament. A big thank you to the chairman’s presentation team for handling our team’s Chairman’s Presentation in front of a panel of FIRST Judges. Team 254 would also like to thank all the volunteers and judges that made this tournament an exciting experience, and all of our mentors, teachers, and parents who helped us succeed in this regional.

Members of the Team 254 Drive Team repair Lockdown with a mentor before an upcoming match

Our drive team discusses a possible strategy before a tense eliminations match

Excited Team 254 members receive the team’s 50th blue banner