Blog - September 2019

2019 FRC World Championship

A Brief Summary

This past April, we attended the 2019 FIRST World Championship in Houston, Texas from April 17th to April 20th. Assigned to the Turing Division, we won the Division Championship Award and the Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors.After becoming the Turing Division Champions, we executed a well-planned strategy alongside FRC Team 3310 Black Hawk Robotics, FRC Team 6986 PPT Bots, and FRC Team 948 NRG (Newport Robotics Group), allowing us to earn the second place title at the 2019 FRC World Championship in Houston!

Team 254 poses for a picture at the Hall of Fame Lunch in the George R. Brown Convention Center

Robot Performance

Qualification Matches (Turing Division)

Throughout our qualification matches, we sought to earn the maximum number of ranking points, which meant prioritizing scoring in the rocket in every match to get the rocket RP, as well as climbing and scoring enough points to win. Since we were competing in the 2019 FRC World Championship, most teams could fill a rocket with cargo by themselves or with another team on our alliance, which made our strategy easier to execute. When we were with partners who could manage scoring on the rocket themselves, we primarily worked on distracting defense. Seeing as finishing a rocket is incredibly hard under defense, giving the other teams an open other side of the field allowed them to finish their rocket as we worked on ours. In other matches, where we did not have partners capable of finishing the rocket, we accomplished the task ourselves, while fighting through the defense the best we could. We also made sure to finish each of our matches by climbing onto the HAB, so we could get the HAB docking ranking point. Luckily, we were with many other level 3 climbers, allowing us to stay out in the field longer as they climbed, but we always attempted a double climb for more points with the new climber.

We also kept tiebreaker points in mind during our divisional qualification matches. If there happened to be a tie in ranking points, we always prioritized scoring cargo to boost that metric. It also worked well seeing that cargo balls are worth more than hatch panels.

Alliance Selection

Going into the elimination period in the Turing Division, we chose to form an alliance with FRC Team 3310 Black Hawk Robotics, FRC Team 6986 PPT Bots, and FRC Team 948 NRG (Newport Robotics Group).

Team 254 representative, Brandon Chuang, poses with our chosen alliance partners

Elimination Matches (Turing Division)

During our elimination matches, we focused all our efforts on winning our matches. Since ranking point didn’t matter, we focused on scoring more matchpoints. We put most of our efforts into scoring as many cargo balls as possible, because they were worth more than hatches. We wanted to score enough hatches such that we had multiple points to score at any moment to allow for us to change our scoring location and not get stopped by defense. We ran our cargo ship autonomous program to place hatch panels on the first two side slots of the cargo ship, and then filled the rocket and did any other tasks throughout the rest of the matches.

Backlash with alliance partner, Team 3310, at the end of a match

On the Einstein Field

We generally maintained a similar strategy during the Einstein matches as in theTuring Division elimination round, by placing a larger focus on the number of matchpoints we scored. However, we used the amount of cargo scored was used as a metric in case any matches ended in a tiebreaker. We made it to our final tiebreaker match on the Einstein field and, unfortunately, lost due to an amazing performance carried out by FRC Team 1323 MadTown Robotics, FRC Team 973 Greybots, and FRC Team 5026 Iron Panthers, the Newton Division winners, allowing us to earn the second place title.

A Special Thanks

At the 2019 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 Backlash before an upcoming match

Our drive team poses for a picture on the Einstein Field

An action shot of Team 254’s suction climber at the end of a divisional qualifications match

Hot San Jose Nights 2019

Event Summary

On September 7th, Team 254 appeared at the 11th Annual Hot San Jose Nights at the Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose, CA to demonstrate our 2019 season robot, Backlash. We talked about our 2019 season, what we do as a robotics team, and how others can get involved in robotics. To entertain some of the kids that came to see our robot, we even played catch with game pieces using our robot. Many of our team members were also able to speak with other parents about the FIRST Program and how their children could get involved. This event allowed us to share our knowledge and experiences with the surrounding community.

Team 254 President, Jack Gnibus, and Members, Marcus Ma and Emiliano Hansen, show Backlash to the surrounding crowd.

Our Experiences

Outreach leader, Safwaan Khan said, “Hot San Jose Nights was an amazing and exciting first event to attend as Outreach Director. Not only did I get to talk about robots, something I love to do, but I also got to interact with both children and adults. I got to show and explain the functions of the robot to children, and I got to explain the processes in which we construct our robot to adults. Overall, the event was a great way to meet and play with others in our community.” Our team allowed visitors to touch our robot and look at it up close, while also answering any of their questions about our robot. In general, people were astonished to see the speed of our robot and how tall it could expand, and several people asked how they could get involved with what FIRST has to offer. Overall, Hot San Jose Nights was an outstanding outreach event and we wish to continue making an impact in our community!

A crowd of onlookers observe Backlash in action!

Team 254 Member, Robert Ganino, talks about what it’s like to be on the team with an interested visitor.