Blog - April 2019

2019 Silicon Valley Regional Champions!

A Brief Summary

As part of an eventful weekend, we attended the 2019 Silicon Valley Regional, in San Jose, CA. We had a great time at our second tournament of the FIRST Destination: Deep Space Season with our robot, Backlash. We won the Engineering in Excellence Award sponsored by Delphi. Alongside FRC Team 5499 The Bay Orangutans and FRC Team 6418 The Missfits, we were able to win the tournament, earning our 20th Blue Banner at the Silicon Valley Regional!

Team 254 and alliance partners Team 5499 and Team 6418 pose for a picture with Backlash after winning at the 2019 Silicon Valley Regional

Robot Performance

Qualification Matches

Throughout our qualification matches, we executed a strategy in which our goals were to fill one full rocket for a ranking point and to climb to level 3 of the HAB zone at the end of every match. We encountered consistent defense from most opposing alliances, resulting in our failure to fill in a rocket in a few matches. We also tried to maximize scoring cargo balls since it was the tiebreaker metric when it came to matches in which each alliance earned the same number of ranking points. We also maximized the amount of cargo balls scored during qualification matches since cargo balls are worth more in point value than hatch disks. At the tournament, we experimented with a new form of counter defense that involved our alliance partners blocking an opposing alliance’s robot to clear a path to the rocket for us to score. We ended up with a record of 9-0-0 during the qualification match period.

Team 254 places a hatch onto the rocket during the tele-operated period

Alliance Selection

Team 254 representative, Brandon Chuang, stands with Team 5499 and Team 6418 as they agree to join our alliance

Going into the elimination period, we were excited to join an alliance with FRC Team 5499 The Bay Orangutans and FRC Team 6418 The Missfits.

Elimination Matches

During the elimination period, we employed a very dynamic, new strategy that involved our robot and Team 5499’s robot to cross paths in order to draw and confuse defense from the opposing alliance. This strategy was employed to maximize our total cargo score. We knew that Team 5499 was great at scoring cargo, so we did our best to open spots for them to score by placing hatches on the lower two levels of the rocket and the front of the cargo ship. Once each of these areas had a hatch in place, we began scoring cargo. This strategy worked well against defense because the crossing of paths by our robot and Team 5499 confused the opposing alliance’s defense robot. Team 6418 did a great job focusing on playing heavy defense on the opposing alliance.

Team 254 and alliance partners Team 5499 and Team 6418 climb onto the HAB Zone at the end of an eliminations match

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.

Our alliance readiness crew assists Team 6241 in before an upcoming qualifications match

Members of Team 254 are congratulated by judges after winning the Engineering in Excellence Award at the 2019 Silicon Valley Regional

Team 254 Driver, Jack Gnibus, celebrates the regional victory with mentor, Joey Diamond