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
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
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.
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
A Brief Summary
As part of an eventful weekend, we attended the 2019 San Francisco Regional, in San Jose, CA. We had a great time at our first tournament of the FIRST Destination: Deep Space Season with our robot, Backlash. We won the Innovation In Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation for our code. Alongside FRC Team 971 Spartan Robotics and FRC Team 5700 SOTA Cyberdragons, we were able to win the tournament, earning another Blue Banner!
Team 254 poses for a picture with Backlash after winning at the 2019 San Francisco Regional
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. We ended up with a record of 10-1-1 during the qualification match period.
Team 254 places a cargo ball into the cargo ship during the tele-operated period
Team 254 representative, Brandon Chuang, stands with Team 5700 as we join Team 971 in an alliance
Going into the elimination period, we were excited to join an alliance with FRC Team 971 Spartan Robotics and FRC Team 5700 SOTA Cyberdragons.
Our main goal was to draw defense away from Team 971’s robot, allowing Team 971 to focus on scoring cargo balls. This strategy gave us the opportunity to score more points, since filling up the rocket did not give our alliance an advantage during the elimination period. Though we focused on distracting defense from the opposing alliance, we scored a few hatches for extra points. By scoring hatches on the rocket, we also opened up more options for Team 971 to score cargo balls. If we encountered particularly hard defense, we always had the option of scoring a hatch on level 1 of the rocket and getting around the defense later. This strategy allowed us to continuously have a lead during the match. In endgame, we climbed to either level 2 or level 3 of the HAB. Whenever we chose to execute a double climb, both our robot and Team 971’s robot climbed to level 3 of the HAB. During single climbs, Team 971 focused on level 3 of the HAB while we focused on climbing to level 2 of the HAB.
Team 254 and alliance partners Team 971 and Team 5700 load onto the HAB Zone before an upcoming eliminations match
Our alliance readiness crew assists Team 5700 in before an upcoming eliminations match
A Special Thanks
At the San Francisco 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 Team 254 cheer enthusiastically after winning a regional
Team 254 Business Development Director, Suraj Roy, discusses our business plan with a judge for the Entrepreneurship Award
A Brief Summary
As part of an eventful weekend, we hosted Chezy Champs, our annually hosted offseason FRC tournament at Bellarmine College Preparatory, in our hometown of San Jose, CA. We had a great time jumping back into action with our robot, Misfire, before the start of the 2018 FRC Season. Alongside, FRC Team 1011 Team CRUSH, FRC Team 696, Circuit Breakers, and FRC Team 5104 BreakerBots, we were able to win the tournament!
Team 254 Members pose for a picture with Misfire after winning at Chezy Champs 2017
Check out this great highlight reel made by RoboSports Network (RSN)!
At the tournament, we hosted an exhilarating exhibition match, which included the several teams with highly skilled shooting robots. The standard rule for this match was that the only way to score points was to shoot fuel into each alliance’s respective boiler. The teams which participated in the exhibition match:
The Blue Alliance
- Team 971 Spartan Robotics
- Team 973 Greybots
- Team 1678 Citrus Circuits
The Red Alliance
- Team 254 The Cheesy Poofs
- Team 1323 Madtown Robotics
- Team 3309 Friarbots
Team 1323, Team 3309, and Team 254 work together to gather fuel to shoot into the boiler
The Red Alliance started off with a significant lead by scoring 50 fuel balls into the boiler, making it an amazing show for the audience to see 3 robots scoring fuel into one boiler at once! Eventually, the Blue Alliance slowly started catching up with the Red Alliance by consistently scoring their collected fuel into their boiler. With a minute left in the match, the our friends from Team 973 displayed their true defensive skill by blocking Team 1323’s path across the field. Though the Blue Alliance’s efforts were equal to that of the Red Alliance, the Blue Alliance was unable to keep up with the pace of the Red Alliance. After the great efforts shown by both alliances, the Red Alliance came out to be the winner scoring 203 kPa compared to the 97 kPa scored by the Blue alliance. The Exhibition Match Video can be viewed here.
A Special Thanks
Chezy Champs was very special this year due to the efforts of so many people and organizations. Team 254 would like to thank our friends from RoboSports Network (RSN) for providing our audience with such a great analysis of each match and team at the tournament. We would also like to thank all the volunteers, who helped make Chezy Champs possible. It was truly an incredible experience to host an offseason tournament attended by so many talented teams, even those who chose to attend from out of state, and to make new friends and catch up with old ones too!
Throughout the qualification matches, we encountered a few mechanical problems with our gear grabber, hopper, and drivetrain and a few problems with Misfire’s autonomous performance. After some careful observation, we realized that our gear grabber’s knife-edge was worn out, so we replaced it with a new piece of polycarb. Our stationary hopper panel kept colliding with the field hoppers, which tore our hopper wall. We replaced the broken hopper panel to solve this problem. We also noticed a crimp lodged between our chain and sprocket on our drivetrain, so we removed it to make our drivetrain function normally. Overtime, our autonomous performance improved after our mechanical changes. Thus, we were able to seed first for alliance selection after having a qualification match record of 7 wins and 3 losses.
Misfire successfully hangs within the last few seconds of a Qualification Match
During elims, we faced some fierce competition during our Semifinal and Final Matches. We ended up having to compete in a third tiebreaker match in semifinals and finals. In Semifinals Match 2, the opposing alliance of Team 973 Greybots, Team 1538 The Holy Cows, Team 604 Quixilver, and Team 2135 Presentation Invasion, scored a large amount of kPa during auton and kept their lead up by activating all 4 rotors! In Finals Match 2, the opposing alliance of Team 1323 Madtown Robotics, Team 3309 Friarbots, Team 5026 Iron Panthers, and Team 2073 EagleForce, displayed their true skill, by keeping a consistent lead, from the start of the match. By the end of our elimination matches, we won all of our tie breaking matches, allowing us to win the event with our alliance. We wouldn’t have been able to accomplish such a victory if it weren’t for our amazing alliance partners – Team 1011 CRUSH, Team 696 Circuit Breakers, and Team 5104 BreakerBots.
Members of the Team 254 Pit Crew repair Misfire before an upcoming Finals Match
This past week, we attended the FIRST Robotics Competition Championship in St. Louis. With two Championship events this year, it was hard to decide which to compete at, but we had a great time facing off against teams from the east coast, Canada, and more. Alongside, Team 2767 Stryke Force, Team 862 Lightning Robotics, and Team 1676 The Pascack PI-oneers, we were able to win the Daly Subdivision finals before continuing on to win the Championship at Einstein.
In our qualification matches, we went 7-3 overall and seeded second, with Team 2767 holding first seed. The improvements we made since the Silicon Valley Regional payed off as we hit over 100 kPa during our second qualification game and managed an average of about 381 points per match. Throughout qualifications, we were also regularly able to achieve 40 kPa and activate 4 rotors, giving us enough ranking points to propel us into a high seed.
Moving into alliance selection, we joined Team 2767 alongside Team 862 and Team 1676. With a balance of gear and fuel scoring ability, we planned to maximize our points by hopefully achieving 40+ kPa and activating 4 rotors every match. Throughout the Daly finals, we remained undefeated and won against incredibly fierce competition. In our first semifinals match, we managed to score a personal record of 550 points! We were also very grateful to have received the Innovation in Control Award, an award we had also received back at the San Francisco Regional. After winning Daly with some very close matches, we were anxious to see how we would perform at Einstein.
In a round robin style tournament, we competed against every other subdivision champion throughout 5 matches. We ended up going 3-2 here and seeded second, giving us the opportunity to compete in the grand finals as the blue alliance against the Darwin champions, who had beaten us in the round robin tournament.
In the most intense games we’ve played all season, our alliance pulled ahead in the finals, winning the second match by only 3 points. We’ll let the video speak for itself, as the second finals match was certainly many on 254’s favorite game of the season:
We are so grateful to our alliance partners for playing such a huge role in our success, and to every team that attended the Championship for competing with us and making it such an amazing experience. Special mention to the Einstein teams for going all the way and challenging us in ways we hadn’t previously been. We’re looking forward to facing off against the Houston alliance at the Festival of Champions!
“Thanks to our mentors for such a great season!”
This past weekend, we competed at the Silicon Valley Regional at San Jose State University.
Throughout the qualification matches, Misfire performed very well, despite bearing one loss, going 8-1 overall and scoring an average of about 300 points. We focused on a strategy of reaching 40kPa along with delivering a couple gears to maximize the amount of ranking points we would receive, which worked out as we were seeded first heading into eliminations
Eliminations & Awards
In our alliance, we picked Team 604 “Quixilver Robotics” and Team 4990 “Gryphon Robotics.” With this alliance, we aimed to focus both on fuel and gears, hoping to reach 40kPa+ in the boiler, 4 rotors spinning, and all robots hanging in an ideal game. During quarterfinals, we beat the prior record of 506 points with no penalties by scoring 507 points and later in semifinals we scored 509 points. During finals we finished off with scoring 522 points (517 without penalties)!
Through the eliminations, we ended up winning the tournament after an exciting final match! We won the Quality Award and were recognized for being captain of the winning alliance. It was a great experience playing against all these teams and we hope to see some of them again at World Championships in St. Louis.
This past weekend, we competed at the San Francisco Regional at St. Ignatius College Preparatory.
Throughout the qualification matches, Misfire performed strongly, going 10-0 overall and scoring an average of about 277 points. We focused on a strategy of reaching 40kpa to maximize the amount of ranking points we would receive, which worked out as we were seeded first heading into eliminations.
Eliminations & Awards
In our alliance, we picked Team 971 “Spartan Robotics” and Team 4990 “Gryphon Robotics.” With this alliance, we aimed to focus heavily on the high goals, hoping to get 40kpa+ in the boiler, 2 rotors spinning, and all robots hanging in an ideal game. We also planned to use defense, having one of our robots block the chokepoint near the gear loading station, hopefully making it impossible to for other teams to score 4 gears.
Throughout several exciting rounds, we ended up winning winning the tournament after an intense final match. We also won the Innovation in Control Award and Griffin Soule, our team president, won a Dean’s List Finalist Award. It was a great experience playing against all these teams and we hope to see some of them again at SVR.
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.
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.
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.
This weekend the team participated in the Silicon Valley Regional (SVR). It was held at San Jose State University in the Event Center. There were teams from Hawaii and even as far as China. Overall we did quite well in the competition. As detailed in the previous blog post, our very committed lead mentor Travis Covington won the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award.
Despite issues with the batteries involving low voltage that are still unresolved, the robot performed extremely well. We ranked number one in the qualification rounds, even scoring exactly 254 points one round. We were in an alliance with team 1678 the Citrus Circuits and team 5027 Event Horizon for all of the elimination rounds. Together with our alliance partners we were able to become the Regional Winners, an honor for which each member of our team received a medal and the whole team received a blue banner. The first round of the quarter finals did not go too well for us because the ramp became misaligned, a stack of totes fell out of our robot and an alliance partner knocked over a stack of totes; however we recovered the next round and ranked as number one in both the quarterfinals and the semifinals and won the finals 2-0, scoring exactly 254 points again in the very final match of the competition! For our robustness in concept and fabrication we were conferred with the Quality Award.
It was a great event, and there were many strong robots, but there are a couple teams in particular who deserve recognition for their especially strong performance. Team 1678, the Citrus Circuits from Davis California, who eventually became our alliance partners, had a very effective robot and also won the Gracious Professionalism Award for exemplifying the core values of FIRST. Team 971, Spartan Robotics from Mountain View had a unique but very effective design. They were finalists and received the Excellence in Engineering Award.
The Silicon Valley Regional was a very well run event, which was for the most part on time, and often even ahead of schedule. Despite the annoyance of not being allowed to bring any food or drink into the event center, it was overall a very positive experience. We should all be proud of the accomplishments of both our team and the entire FRC community.
This afternoon, Lead Mentor Travis Covington received the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award at the Silicon Valley Regional!
This prestigious award is given to only one mentor at each regional for that mentor's ability to effectively communicate with and inspire students.
After nominating Travis for this award for many years in a row the entire team was so ecstatic to see someone so deserving finally get recognized. The students and mentors were cheering as if they had just won the World Championships again!
This weekend, from Thursday to Sunday, Team 254's FRC team competed in the Central Valley Regional FRC Tournament held at Madera South High School. Our team had an extremely strong showing, seeding second place in the qualifiers and taking home first place along with Team 1678: Citrus Circuits and Team 1323: Madtown Robotics. Throughout the tournament, our robot, Deadlift, consistently pulled off the three tote autonomous and stacked up six totes with a recycling bin and litter, scoring 42 points per full stack! We were also presented the Quality Award based on our robot's overall robustness and quality of design. Overall, this weekend was very successful for our FRC team and we would like to commend every team that participated in CVR this weekend.