By John Vu
This past weekend Bellarmine hosted its Annual Bellarmine VEX Tournament with a total of 69 teams from all over the Bay Area competing. Six teams from Team 254 competed against an assortment of designs and robots to make it past the qualification matches.
By the end of qualifiers, three teams from Team 254 were moved into eliminations. During alliance selection, Team 254C joined Teams 5369 and 5327B to form an alliance. Team 254A, 254F, and 254C all competed in the quarterfinals, but only Team 254C broke into the semi-finals. Unfortunately, 254C’s alliance was eliminated in the semi-finals
With three teams making it passed qualifiers, the tournament was a strong test, pushing teams and robots to their limits. The tournament’s intensity gave insight on the necessary improvements and adjustments that teams will need to make on their robots and strategy for the next tournament. Now, teams will continue working and improving their robots from the new insights from this tournament for their next upcoming tournament.
Congratulations to tournament winners 86868, 5776T, and 563.
This past weekend, from Tuesday until Saturday, we participated in the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championships in Saint Louis, Missouri. On Tuesday, a smaller group of students left early to set up the pit and make sure everything would be set up for when the rest of the students arrived on Wednesday. We were placed into the Newton division, and with Team 1241, Team 1731, and Team 708 we played some great games in eliminations, but unfortunately were eliminated in the subdivision finals.
On Thursday and Friday, we played 10 qualification matches across both days, and earned 9 wins and 1 loss throughout those games. In qualification match 100, we even managed to push a disabled robot onto the batter, securing us an extra ranking point and winning us the game with a final score of 140-139. The qualifications overall went well for us, as we earned 35 ranking points and ended up as second seed going into eliminations.
Eliminations, Einstein, and Awards
Saturday opened with the alliance selections, and we partnered up with the first seed team, Team 1241, Team 1731, and Team 708. With this alliance we hoped to consistently score highly while preventing the opposing alliance from having free reign on their side of the field. This strategy seemed to work out throughout our quarterfinal and semifinal games, with us scoring around 240 points in most of those games. In fact, we scored 254 points in our second semifinals game excluding foul points; however, a red card on our alliance prevented our score from being recorded that game. Moving into the finals, we matched up against an alliance including Team 217, Team 4678, Team 3476, and Team 188. Although we played hard, we were eliminated from the tournament in the Newton finals.
In the end, we would like to congratulate Team 330, Team 2481, Team 120, and Team 1086 for their success in winning the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championships. Additionally, we are proud of Team 987’s achievement in earning the Chairman’s Award, cementing them as a Hall of Fame team. Overall, we are extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to interact and play against many great teams at the Championships and hope to do even better next year.
This past week, VEX Team 254C travelled to Louisville, Kentucky to compete in the 2016 VEX Worlds Championship. 254C competed in the Arts division at worlds. In total, there were four other high school divisions, each consisting of 100 teams from around the world.
By the end of the 250 qualification matches, 254C had won 6 of it's 10 qualification matches, and was ranked 26th by alliance selection. Unfortunately, this was not enough to convince other teams to invite them to an alliance, and so their Nothing But Net season ended there.
However, students have already begun to think about the new 2016-2017 VEX Robotics Competition, Starstruck, which will require a drastically different design from Nothing but Net.
This past weekend, we participated in the Silicon Valley Regional hosted by Google.
Throughout the qualification matches, the work we put in over the past few weeks payed off as we performed stronger in many areas than we had at CVR. We overall performed well, consistently crossing defenses and shooting high goals from the courtyard while earning a win/loss record of 8-0. Our success in the qualifications allowed us to place second in ranking moving onto the alliance selections.
Eliminations and Awards
During alliance selection, we went with the first ranked team, Team 1678, and Team 1662. With those teams, we went undefeated throughout eliminations and came out as the regional champions. During our second quarterfinal game, we even scored the highest amount of points in the tournament with a score of 205. Although we didn't win any awards, we were honored to play with such great teams and are looking forward to the upcoming World Championships.
Team 254 just returned from the Central Valley Regional.
During the Central Valley Regional, from Thursday to Sunday, we competed with a variety of teams from all throughout California. Throughout the qualification matches, our robot, Dropshot, performed solidly, and despite one match with connection problems, it won 9 out of its 10 matches, ranking us at second place for the qualification matches. In our second quarterfinal match, we even scored 210 points, the highest score of this season so far.
Eliminations and Awards
During alliance selection, we joined an alliance with Team 1678 (Citrus Circuits) and Team 3970 (Duncan Dynamics). In our second quarterfinal match, we scored 210 points, the highest score of this season so far. We also made it all the way to the finals and won the regional, scoring 205 points in our first finals game. After the exciting finals, we also received the Innovation in Control Award for Dropshot’s targeting system. Overall, this tournament was successful for us, but we plan to continue iterating on our designs and improving shot consistency for the upcoming Silicon Valley Regional.
This past Saturday, VEX teams 254E and 254F travelled to Concord, to compete in the Duel in Diablo Nothing but Net VEX Tournament. At the tournament, they competed against 27 other teams from around the area.
Both teams performed very well throughout the qualification matches. 254E, with just a single loss, finished the qualification matches ranked 3rd overall. 254F also performed fairly well, ranking 11th by the end of the qualification matches.
During alliance selection, 254E invited 254F to join the third seed alliance. Due to the size of the tournament, each alliance only contained two teams. Unfortunately, this turned into a problem when the robots from 254E and 254F had issues, and there were no other robots to rely on. This led to the alliance being eliminated during quarterfinals.
Despite not doing as well as they had hoped during eliminations, 254F was awarded the sportsmanship award.
Yesterday, VEX teams 254B, 254D, 254E, 254F, 254G, & 254H attended the Tracy Triangle VEX Tournament. With over 80 teams, this was the largest VEX tournament our teams attended this season.
Throughout the tournament, all 254 teams performed very well. By the end of the qualification matches, 254B had gone undefeated and ranked 3rd out of all teams. During alliance selection 254B invited 254F & 4768C to join their alliance. Additionally, 254H joined an alliance with 4768B and 4768. 254E also joined an alliance with 5772 and 5327C.
Unfortunately, teams 254B, 254F, & 254H were eliminated during quarterfinals. 254E made it through several challenging elimination matches, but ultimately lost in their 3rd final match by a small margin.
At the end of the tournament, 254H was awarded the Create Award for their robot design. Congratulations to the tournament champions 5776T, 8000B, & 8000D.
This Saturday kicked off the first day of the 2016 FRC season with this year’s game, Stronghold. After the initial game reveal, both students and mentors gathered in the robotics lab to analyze this game’s rules and come up with strategies to tackle this year’s challenge. Once kickoff wrapped up around 4:00, the team began work on designing and prototyping parts of the robot.
Yesterday, Team 254 for had the opportunity to compete in the Willow Glen Plaza VRC Tournament. VEX Teams 254A, 254B, 254C, 254D, 254E, & 254H had the opportunity to compete against 18 other VEX teams from around the area.
Overall, all 254 VEX teams performed very well. By the end of the qualification matches, 254C was ranked 1st, and 254B was ranked 2nd. 254E and 254A also performed very well, ranking 6th and 9th, respectively. All 254 teams made it into the elimination matches, with the first seed alliance consisting of 254C, 254B, and 254F. Unfortunately 254D’s alliance was eliminated during the quarterfinals, and 254C, 254B, & 254F lost to 254A’s alliance during semifinals.
During the finals matches, teams 563F, 254A, & 256B went head to head with 563, 254E, & 6734B. After four exciting matches, 563F, 254A, & 256B won, due to a last minute strategy change that led to the 254E accidentally entering their opponent’s loading zone, which led to a disqualification.
Additionally, 254C also won the Excellence Award, and ranked first in robot skills at the tournament.
Last Saturday (12/5/2015) VEX teams 254C, 254B, and 254F competed in the 5th Annual Central Valley VEX Robotics Challenge. For all teams that competed, this was their 3rd tournament of the season, so it was a great opportunity to implement changes based on their previous tournaments.
Overall, all teams performed very well at the tournament. Throughout the day, all 254 teams were ranked highly, and were strong competitors. 254B ended the qualification matches ranked 7th, and was invited to join the 3rd seed alliance with teams 973A & 4033B. Team 254C went into alliance selection as the undefeated first seed robot, and picked teams 3396 & 973G to join their alliance. While team 254B unfortunately lost during the semifinals, team 254C was able to win all of their matches throughout eliminations, and ultimately won the tournament.
Despite not making it into the elimination matches, team 254F impressed the judges with their robot and strategy, and was awarded the Judges Award.
This tournament was a rather successful one for Team 254, and everyone involved learned a lot. Teams will now return to working on their robots and strategies for the upcoming Willow Glen tournament.
This past weekend (10/18), VEX Teams 254A, 254B, 254C, 254F, & 254E all competed at the DVHS VEX Tournament. Being the first tournament of the season, it was a great opportunity for our VEX teams to determine how their robots functioned during competition, and to test their strategies.
With their single flywheel design, and a strong lift, team 254C was eventually invited to join the sixth seed alliance, with teams 824C and 5327B. After several close matches during quarter-finals, narrowly won and moved on the semi-finals, where they were unfortunately defeated by teams 8000A, 8000D, and 5776Y. Congratulations to tournament winners, 5776T, 5369, & 5776.
Overall, our teams all had a lot of fun at the tournament, and learned a lot from other teams. Several of our teams now have plans to work to improve their robots for the upcoming Bellarmine VEX Tournament.
Check it out! Our FRC team is one of the five featured in this AT&T documentary of the World Championships in St. Louis! Even though we only made it to division quarterfinals, the event was great!
"RoboLeague, a documentary airing on AT&T U-Verse Buzz Ch. 1000, follows five FIRST Robotics Competition teams as they strive for glory at the 2015 FIRST Championship!"
The Second Annual Chezy Champs went even better than the first! Congratulations to the winning alliance of 3476, 971, and 968! Everyone had a great time; thank you for coming. Special thanks to the countless hours donated by volunteers the past few weeks. See you all next year!
We had a great time at the Santa Clara County Fair today. Deadlift did some fancy stacking for the crowds. Teams were demoing robots from 2012, 2013, and 2014, but Deadlift was the only 2015 representation during our timeslot. Thanks to Team 3256 for inviting us!
With the increased size of the championship from 400 teams last year to just over 600 teams this year, 4 new divisions were added: Tesla, Carson, Carver, and Hopper. Team 254 was a member of the Carson division and ended up seeding first, picking teams 973, 999, and 4499, and then unfortunately experiencing some bad luck and being eliminated in divisional quarterfinals.
However, the team received the Industrial Design Award for their outstanding robot and had a great time in St. Louis on Sunday.
The team played a total of 10 qualification matches on Thursday and Friday. Some matches were tough, but in others the team scored more than 240 points! By the end of Friday, 254 seeded first with a qualification average of 211.1, the highest of any team at the Championship, let alone any official FIRST event.
Here are some videos of our Qual matches, recorded by Team 1511: Rolling Thunder.
Qual 9: https://www.yo...v=JZOhJp0zlb8
Qual 22: https://www.yo...v=RW7emwjSH3I
Qual 35: https://www.yo...v=tT2bwv63cBk (one of our best of the season!)
Qual 47: https://www.yo...v=FUoWPrFWpI4
Qual 63: https://www.yo...v=gWIw4apFnLg
Awards, Alliance Selection, and Playoffs
The team received the Industrial Design Award. This award celebrates form and function in an efficiently designed machine that effectively addresses the game challenge. The judges were impressed with the robot's ability to stack effectively both from the landfill and from the human player station by using a tethered ramp. This year, awards were shared between 2 divisions (about 150 teams total), so to receive the award was quiet prestigious!
During Alliance Selection, Team 254 selected Teams 973: The Greybots, 999: The MechaRams, and 4499: The Highlanders. The alliance was hoping to strike a powerful balance between stacking from both the landfill and human player stations and using fast can grabbers to ensure we would always be able to put up as many stacks as possible.
However, despite all of the alliance's efforts, they were sadly eliminated in the quarterfinals. In their first match, buggy autonomous modes meant 254 was unable to get the 20pt tote stack. Then, after playing a nearly perfect match after that, Team 973 accidentally set down their last second stack on a noodle, causing that stack to fall over and domino another stack. Despite the terrible score, the alliance hoped that they could score at least 215 points in their second match to keep themselves qualified for the semi-finals. Once again, however, 973 ran into 254 during auto, disrupting it and scattering the yellow totes in the way of the cans on the field. Then, after auto, Team 999 tipped over onto the landfill, blocking many of the totes 973 needed to make their stacks. It was an unfortunate series of events and bad luck and the whole alliance was bummed to have been knocked out so early.
However, the boys didn't stay upset for long, we quickly ran around and helped our friends (1114, 971, 1678) competing in other divisions. We loaned batteries to 1114, and cheered on our friends on 1678 as they went on to win the entire World Championship.
Relaxing in St. Louis!
On Sunday, students got to choose to either wake up at 10am and go to the City Museum or sleep in and meet up with the others at the Arch at 1pm. It was a lot of fun and really relaxing to hang out and take photos under the Arch for an hour before heading to the airport.
Overall, FRC Worlds this year was one of the best in a long time. All the students had a ton of fun and no one was really bummed for that long. We're excited to return and hoping to do better next year!
This past week, Team 254A and 254D traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, to compete at the 2015 VEX World Championships. 254A competed in the Science Division, while 254D competed in the Technology Division. Our teams faced off against top teams from places like New Zealand, Texas, China, England, Mexico, and Bahrain. 254A experienced numerous setbacks at the tournament on their scissorlift, such as spilling ketchup onto their Cortex and numerous stripped gears and bent axles. 254A worked around the clock to repair the robot, but unfortunately were unable to fix the robot in time for eliminations. 254D did reasonably well, placing 30th in their division, but also unfortunately did not reach eliminations. On a happier note, the new VEX game "Nothing But Net" has gotten our team members talking about potential designs to shoot balls into a net, such as flywheels and catapults. Unlike previous years, for the majority of the match bots cannot lift above 18 inches, eliminating the lifts that have been dominant in earlier games.
Louisville was also quite a surprise for our teams. The food in Louisville was a lot better than Anaheim, where the majority of previous World Championships have been held. Our team especially enjoyed the Moelicious BBQ food truck and the hot and fresh minidonuts served at the event. Cracker Barrel was also well-liked by students. We also went go-karting in Indianapolis and relaxed at Dockweiler Beach in LA.