All posts by Ryan Brott

Kellen and Ryan outside KNCO studios

Radio Interview on KNCO

The week after the NorCal Regional Championships, Kellen Bodine, Ryan Brott, and Ryan's mother, Alicia, were interviewed on KNCO. They talked about the team, FIRST, and our advancement to Super-Regionals. 

Ryan & Kellen in KNCO studio

Ryan & Kellen in KNCO studio

2017 NorCal FTC Qualifying Teams

Advancing to Super-Regionals!!

Acme Robotics is advancing to the Western states Super-Regional through the Motivate Award! Just two days ago, the team was competing in Newark California for one of ten spots designated to Northern California for Super-Regionals of the West. Super-Regionals is in Tacoma, Washington and has teams from 14 Western states. The Motivate Award was what earned us a spot to this elite tournament. 

The day started out with a brief judging session where we had 15 minutes to impress the judges and educate them on the team and the robot . We came out of judging feeling confident and ready to practice and scout other teams. Our Outreach team started to mingle with teams and watch their robots on the practice field to help determine their robot's capabilities. Around midday, the qualifying matches started. We performed very well in our qualifying matches despite a few technical difficulties that didn't allow our partner's robot to start. At the end of the qualifying matches, we were ranked number 10 out of 24 teams in our division. We weren't fully satisfied with how we did, but we knew that when it came to alliance selection, the tops teams would pick us because our robot is very compatible. When it came time for alliance selection, the fourth ranked team picked our team to be their partner. This wasn't the ideal situation, but we did our best to work with what he had. We ended up being paired up against the number one seed. In the end, we lost, but we definitely put up a good fight. After getting knocked out of the tournament, it didn't seem like Super-Regionals was a possibility unless we won an award. 

As a finale to the tourament, awards were given out. There are many awards that a team can win such as the PCT Design Award, Inspire Award, or the Think Award. Awards are very important. For example, the Inspire Award is considered better than winning the whole tournament. Judges use observations from the practice area, team performance, but mainly the team's Engineering Notebook to decided if they are worthy of an award. Our team ended up winning the first place Motivate Award. The Motivate Award is an Outreach based award going to the team that connects with the community, educates them on FIRST and FTC, and most of all gets people interested and involved in robotics. Winning this award was such an honor! The best part about the award was that it moved us on to Super-Regionals! So overall, the robot performance was pretty good, but the impression we made on the judges was amazing! We were one of the 10 teams chosen to move on to Super-Regionals in Tacoma, Washington and to represent NorCal. The team is very excited for the tournament and very thankful for the opportunity to work with FIRST! 

2017 NorCal 2017 Arena

2017 NorCal 2017 Arena

Above is a picture of the game fields before qualifying matches started!

Talking to the judges

Talking to the judges

​Here is a picture of two team members talking to the judges!

The picture above is of the robot ready to start our autonomous routine. 

FTC Motivate Trophy

2017 FTC Motivate Trophy

Here is our Motivate Award that we won at the tournament!

2017 NorCal FTC Qualifying Teams

2017 NorCal FTC Qualifying Teams

All 10 teams that are advancing to Super-Regionals are pictures above.

Winning First Place Inspire Award

January 29th, was a very successful day for ACME Robotics! Our last and final qualifier of the season was at Intel in Folsom and we were yet to qualify for Northern California Regionals. We came into the tournament confident and ready to compete.

We started off the day by heading into judging, which seemed to go really well, even though we were stopped halfway through our presentation due to time restraints. Following judging, we went through field and robot inspection. There were a few unexpected issues with the robot that were found, but it was okay because they were easy fixes. After this, the Outreach team got busy scouting the other teams while the drive team were testing autonomous on the practice field. Everything looked like it was coming together. Our launcher was more accurate due to the fact that we revamped it since last tournament in Roseville. 

We were pleased when the judges come by our table in the pits to ask us additional questions. It was exciting because the Outreach team finally got some more time to explain everything the team has done this season to connect with the community. It was great to talk to the judges for a more in depth period of time. Soon enough, we were competing in qualifying rounds.

Our autonomous ended up working pretty well and our ball launching mechanism was significantly more accurate. We ended up winning four out of our five qualifying matches. At the end of qualifying, we were in second place!

Ivy Brott was our alliance captain.

At this point in the tournament, the scouting came into play. The Outreach team provided their input as to the best alliance choice and the team came to conclusion on the team that we were going to pick. I was sent up as the team captain to represent the team and pick another team to be our alliance partner. We ended up choosing SpaceBalls to be our alliance partner. After alliance selection we practiced with our alliance pick on the practice field. We worked well with our partners and continued on the finals.

Above is a picture of our team drivers with our partners! We performed very well and ended up barely losing in the final match. At that moment it looked as if we were going to go home and be done for this season. Awards came around and we won second and third in a different categories. The last and final award announced was the "Inspire Award" that went the team that embodied a model FIRST team. We ended up winning 1st Place Inspire Award for our exceptional performance and our outreach. By winning this award, we automatically qualified for Northern California Regional Championship! The team was beyond happy and couldn't believe that all the hard work behind the scenes had payed off finally. We were officially going to Regionals. 

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ACME Robotics team members and our mentors pose with the Inspire trophy!

Robot Inspection

Roseville Qualifier 2017

On Saturday, January 21st, we headed to our second tournament of the season at Roseville High school. By this time in the season, we had an autonomous prepared. The autonomous we had prepared was seemingly very consistent, it pressed both beacons, and shot two balls into the center vortex. We were super excited to see how we would perform with our new and improved autonomous! At the beginning of the day we started out with judging. We went into judging with confidence and came out very happy with how we showed ourselves. Then, after judging, we went to field inspection and robot inspection. There appeared to be no problems with how our robot! Everything seemed to be going very well and our autonomous was projected to score 80 points per game. Our Outreach team came back to the team and went over and showed the team the capabilities of all the robots in the tournament. By this time in the morning, the qualifying rounds were just about starting. We came in strong. About two matches in, we found that our autonomous had a few flaws. Our button pusher wasn't long enough, so if our robot wasn't close enough to the wall, we weren't able to push the beacons. When it came time to choose alliance partners, we were chosen but the number fourth ranked team. We made ended up losing against the first ranked alliance. Even though we didn't perform amazing during our second qualifier, we learned so much and were ready to improve the robot for our next and final tournament. At the end when awards came around we won the Connect Award. Winning the award was such an honor because it showed how much our team strives to connect to the community and educate them on FIRST. Our second qualifier at Roseville High school definitely went better than the first qualifier, but there was much room for improvement. 

Alumni team member visit

Alumni team member Charlotte visits tournament on way back to college.

Above is a picture of a current team member and our only alumni member, Charlotte, who is now in college in New York. She came to support us at the qualifier while on her way to the airport on her way back to school! We loved having her there as support.

Team 8367 works out bugs at the practice field.

Above, there is a photo of the team at the practice field, working on running autonomous. 

Burlingame robot

First Qualifier of 2016-17 Season

On December 11, 2016 we went to our first qualifier of the season in Burlingame! Everyone was very excited and a little nervous to see how our robot would perform against other robots. At this point in the season our robot contained a button pusher and a launching mechanism. At the start of the morning, we headed into judging. It was nerve racking and it was key for us to show well in judging. We came out of judging feeling strong and excited for the whole day ahead of us. Next, we had to go to robot inspection and field inspection, which went very smoothly. Throughout the whole morning, the Outreach group from our team was busy scouting the other teams and finding out their robot's capabilities. The Outreach team always had to keep in mind gracious professionalism while they were out conversing with other team's because in the end, you want to appeal to the other teams. As the day went on, qualifying matches started. We came out strong, but then there appeared to be some unexpected road blocks. We blew out three gear boxes due to our design that was way too powerful. That was a major mechanical flaw that we faced throughout the qualifying rounds of the tournament. Our team did not perform very well due to our launching mechanism, but we did get many great ideas and learn from the experience. We found that our first qualifier was not what we expected, but we saw it as a learning experience to help us on our future endeavors later in the season. 

Burlingame Judges

Burlingame Judges

The picture above is of a few members of the team talking to the judges about Outreach. 

Code Movie

Code Debugging the Gender Gap Movie Screening

By Charlotte Coffin on Saturday, February 20, 2016

So it’s been quite awhile since we’ve posted, but in our defense we have been incredibly busy preparing for competitions and working on outreach.

A few weeks ago, we hosted a screening of the movie ‘Code: Debugging the Gender Gap’ at a local movie theater, the Del Oro. The movie is about stereotypes in computer science, and what can be done to combat this. It also focuses on the lack of Computer Science education in middle and High schools and how this contributes to many of the problems minorities face later in their careers.

This screening was incredibly successful and fun. We spent the weeks leading up to this, working hard to promote the movie through Facebook and hanging posters all around town!

All that promo payed off! We had a pretty good turn out, almost a full house. Before the movie, we played a short film about our team:

After the movie, our team got up in front of the theater and had a short question and answer session where we answered questions from the audience.

This whole event caught the attention of a local group called the Economic Resource Council who works to bring more technology to our small rural town. At their meeting the next night, they talked about our team and the movie, and the whole package became a catalyst in bringing more technology into schools.

Burlingame Qualifier 2016

The Burlingame qualifier was quite a day! We woke up early, in order to arrive a the location on time, but when we got there, we realized that somehow our payment had been rejected and it was possible that we wouldn’t even be able to compete! Luckily that was quickly sorted out and we were able to compete, but we had missed the judging sessions and we were unable to win any awards. However as soon as we could we entered the pit area and began our day.

Throughout the day, we did well. We won nearly all of our matches, and had a whole lot of fun.

By alliance selection time, we were ranked fourth. We got selected by team #8404 Quixilver. With them, we won first place overall in the competition.

All in all it was a super fun and busy day. We learned a lot and can’t wait for our next competition.

NorCal Championship 2015

We had a sensational Championship. During the preliminary rounds we did very well. We had some alliances that did not complement us very well and we lost some matches, however we did what we did best and got all three rolling goals onto the ramp.

In the semi-finals we were selected by one of the highly ranked teams. Because there were a whole bunch of teams there, each alliance was made up of 3 teams. We were allied with team 7391 and 5157. This alliance won the first match of the semi-finals and beat all of the other teams in our division. Thie meant that we went on to fight the other division.

In the finals, our alliance won the first match and lost the second due to a field error putting us at a tie. The last match of the day was intense, but our competitors won.

During the judging ceremony, we won the judges award yet again! We will regretfully not be continuing on the season, but its not over for us. We still plan to do outreach. We will be doing a demonstration at the Madelyn Helling Library sometime in April and we are thinking about doing demonstrations at schools.

We had a great season and we did awesome! The season isn’t over and we are super pumped for our future as a team!

Elk Grove Qualifier 2015

The team had a great time at the Elk Grove qualifier!

The team started off the qualifying rounds strong with a win in our first match. However, this luck was short-lived; the team ended up losing the rest of the qualifying rounds (mostly due to penalties). After the rounds, we were ranked 14th.

Nevertheless, during alliance selection, the 2nd ranked team, team #8375 Vulcan Robotics, choose us to be a part of their alliance instead of the 1st ranked team. Thanks to them, we then had a shot at moving on to the NorCal regional championships!

After that, our alliance won each of our matches in the semifinals and the finals.

In addition to being part of the winning alliance, the team received the Judge’s Award. We’re really excited to move on to the NorCal championships! Go ACME!!

3D Printer

We received an EKOCYCLE Cube 3D printer free of cost as part of a grant sponsored by Coca-Cola and 3D Systems.

The printer uses recycled plastic for prints; it is very environment-friendly. The team is very excited to receive the printer because it allows us to make custom parts for our robot.

In order to get the printer, the team completed an online application that included the submission of a 300-word essay about how we would use the printer. We are very excited to see what we can make with this new tool!