ACME attended our third qualifier this weekend. Since we already qualified for Nor Cal Regionals this tournament was all about practice and gaining some experience. The drive team was hoping to become more familiar with the controls and commands, the software team was anxious to see the results of auto and the scouting team was kept busy gathering data on the teams during the matches.
This was the robot we took to competition. You can see the dump bed which dumps the Glyphs into the Crytobox (the blue thing with the columns). On the side you can see the jewel arm, used to knock the jewel off of the jewel stand. Below you can see our intake, made of two compliant wheels and two core hex motors to suck in the Glyphs.
During the matches we had a lot of exciting rounds. Besides a new design to test, it was Clara and Emma's first time drive coaching. They were joined alternately by Kellen, Oren, Kelly and Shawn, all drivers. The pit crew was Ben and Kelly, who stayed at the pit to answer Judge's questions and to hold down the fort. John, Clara, Emma and Sean were this tournament's scouters and remained in the stands to collect info on the teams competing.
At tournaments, teams play five matches each before finding out if they have made it into the semi-finals. As it turns out, we were the top team in the matches, meaning we got to pick our alliance partners first. We chose team 5214, Tech Support. They had an awesome robot that could fill a Cryptobox in under a minute and a half. They were very supportive of our alliance and together we hold the fourth highest score in the world!
This was the first time ACME has ever won First Alliance. We were over the moon when we won and couldn't have done it without our alliance partners. Northern California Regionals are tentatively scheduled for the end of February. We hope you will keep checking our website for more updates and please follow our Facebook page.
Last weekend, ACME attended our second qualifier in Santa Clara. This tournament was all about gaining experience and challenging ourselves, but we gained much more than that.
We started off the day by setting up our pit area. This area is where other teams come to have a better understanding of our team, our robot's design, and get free Red Vines (courtesy of ACME Robotics). We display a pit board that shows all of the team members, our Outreach events and our robot design. We also made a pyramid of ACME bracelets that were also freebies (because why not?).
Then we went into our judges interview, where we give a presentation of our robot and the judges ask us questions about it. Our judges interview at this qualfier was one of the best we have ever had and are super proud of the way it went.
After the judges presentation we have to go around and scout the other teams in the pits. We scout other teams so that we are on the lookout for them during the matches. If you make it to the top four teams, you need to know which alliance partners you want This qualifier's scouting team consisted of Emma, Kelly, Clara and Ben, and in the stands we had Emma, Clara, Sean and John.
After opening ceremonies the matches started. We just so happened to be one of the first teams up. While our first match did not start out so good (as our phones could not connect to each other), the next few steadily got better.
There continued to be problems throughout the day concerning the robot though - mostly due to connectivity problems. This outcome slightly dampened our positive moods, but non the less, we continued to try to overcome these trials. A good sign was that after almost every one of our matches the judges would come talk to us about what went wrong during the match and what we were going to do to fix it. This was taken as a positive sign that we were in the running for an award.
And as it turns out, we were! Even though things seemed not to go our way that day our positive outlook and perseverance came through. We were given the Inspire Award!!!!!!!!
This award grants you a ticket to the Northern California Regionals, the next step in advancing towards Worlds. We were so happy to have been given this award and are so grateful to the judges who recognized us.
The Nor Cal Regionals will be held at the end of February in Union City. Look for our upcoming post about the Roseville Qualfier two weeks from now. Go ACME!
This week, ACME members are busy getting ready for the Santa Clara Qualifier. Members have several collaborative and individual project to wrap up, as well as getting in some driver practice time.
This week will mainly be focused on getting the robot ready and functional for competition. In order for us to be in tip top condition for the qualifier we finished assembly a few days ago. The hope is that this week will be dedicated to working out the kinks from driver practice and running the robot through autonomous.
Since it was one of our goals this year to build a robot that could complete all of the aspects of the game, we had to make some design alterations. These alterations included rethinking the glyph intake, rebuilding the drive train, and making a new superstructure to accommodate these mechanisms.
The qualifier will also be different in term of size and the amount of activity happening at once. Twice as many teams are signed up to go and there are going to be two matches going at once. It is sure to be a fast paced day!
We are super excited for this next tournament and can't wait for the day! Look for the update on this tournament, it should be publish a few days after Saturday, January 13.
This past weekend, ACME traveled to our first qualifier of the season in Folsom. FIRST teams are allowed to go to three qualifiers each to try to qualify for Norther California Regionals. Throughout the day we had some ups and downs, but here is a brief summary of ACME's first Relic Recovery Tournament!
The team worked diligently in the weeks leading up to the competition. We stayed up way past our bedtimes almost every night in order to be ready for competition day. The Hardware and Software teams have been so dedicated to the team and we own them a big round of applause for all of the hard work and dedication they put into the robot.
As for the qualifier, we did really, really well! Our Engineering Notebook came together beautifully, our judges presentation went extremely well and our autonomous code (the part of the game where the robot runs on pre-written code) worked fantastically considering the Software team started testing code the day of the competition!
As you can see above, this is the robot that we took to competition. This first phase of the robot consists of a Glyph lifter (the green wheels) that suck in a Glyph and then move up and down on a lead screw in order to place the Glyphs into the Cryptobox. Attached to the linear slide on the left is the Relic Recoverer, or the Steve-Grabber, as the ACME team jokingly call it. The red, 3D printed grabber at the end is perfectly fitted to the yellow game piece called the Relic. Another unique design we developed is the periscope that rises up from the center of the robot. Since vision is a very important part of the game this year, we needed a phone mount that could rotate in all directions. This is where the idea of the periscope formed. Although it works rather well, we had a slight problem where the scope wouldn't rise up fast enough so some of the code timed out and the robot moved on to the next part of autonomous.
Thankfully, these problems are fixable and the ACME team is preparing to take step to make our next competition robot better than our first. Call it Phase Two, if you will. A time for all members to reflect on the first qualifier and take the steps to improve, not just the robot, but our whole concept of the game. Such as the build time until our next qualifier, tasks being completed and, of course, writing processes and designs of the new robot in the Engineering Notebook.
Another positive of the qualifier was the awards. ACME won two awards this time, including one we hadn't received in previous seasons. This award was the Think Award, which we received for our outstanding Engineering Notebook (kudos to Kelly who worked hard in making the Engineering Notebook stellar). The second award we received was second place Inspire. Inspire is the highest award you can qualify for in FTC and winning second place was pretty amazing considering it was our first tournament of the season.
Going into Phase Two, ACME members and mentors are probably even more excited than when we kicked off the season with the 24-Hour Build. Over Thanksgiving break we are going to be coming up with ideas for new designs and planning out our schedule for the upcoming weeks. Watch out because ACME Robotics is ready for anything!
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!
Above is a picture of the game fields before qualifying matches started!
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.
Here is our Motivate Award that we won at the tournament!
All 10 teams that are advancing to Super-Regionals are pictures above.
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!
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.
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.
Above, there is a photo of the team at the practice field, working on running autonomous.
The picture above is of a few members of the team talking to the judges about Outreach.
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.
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!!