This week has been an exciting one for ADI teams, with many solidifying their attendance to their district championship and even the world championship. Let's check in!
Team 1577 is a powerhouse in Israel this year. They managed to make it onto the FIRST Updates Now top 40 teams for Week 2, which is an unofficial ranking voted on by people across the community and across the world. SteamPunk finished the district season ranked 2nd in the country in ranking points, earning them a seat to the Israel District Championship after playing at events 2 and 3. A team like this will likely earn a spot to the world championship as well, so keep your eyes on these students!
Their event performance in Week 3 was just as strong as last week, advancing to finals. They were defeated twice in a row, leaving them as event finalists. They still took home the Excellence in Engineering award, which recognizes good design or solid strategy. It's been a successful season for this team, and we are just getting started!
Historically, California and Silicon Valley have always been extremely competitive, so any team that can hold their own here is usually closely watched by many. One such team, with fans across the world, is Team 254, the Cheesy Poofs. Commonly referred to by many as "The Poofs," this hall of fame team is seen by the FIRST community as among the ranks of 148 and 118. They hadn't revealed their robot until last Tuesday, and we can honestly say that their robot Misfire does not disappoint.
Upon initial inspection, one might assume that Misfire is primarily a fuel robot, opting to devote most of its robot volume to holding as much fuel as possible. Their fuel shooter is a sight to behold, with two channels for fuel to exit through at high speed and equally high accuracy. Very rarely did the Poofs fail to achieve an extra rank point for reaching 40kPa in a match. But when they did, it was due to some heavy focus on gears. With an efficient floor pick-up mechanism, this robot has the ability to reduce cycle times for an entire alliance when a gear falls off the lift or gets dropped. They also managed to achieve the fuel bonus ranking point primarily during the teleoperated period, which meant that to reach the 40kPa pressure threshold on their own they had to sink 120 fuel directly into the high goal all within a two minute timeframe before climbing aboard the airship. Speaking of, their climb mechanism is a shocker to watch. Misfire can line up and ascend the rope in 5 seconds, a tough order to beat for many teams, meaning that the drive team can focus on completing last minute objectives during the end game while still hitting the touchpad in time to earn the climbing points.
All eyes turned to this team as they finished the event at the top of the ranks, earning first pick of their first alliance partner, selecting Team 971, the 2nd ranked team at the event. Together with team 4990, the alliance swept the competition in eliminations, never losing a single match in the entire event.
As a hall of fame team, 254 gets an automatic invitation to Championship every year. But as a winner for the event, they further justified their right to the competition. They rarely fail to impress, this team is a force to be reckoned with!
Team 2655 and Team 3215 both competed in their second event for the season, and the Asheville competition was FIERCE! With powerhouse teams coming in from Virginia and Georgia, the Asheville event was full of teams to be reckoned with. Both teams struggled in the face of highly competitive teams, but both were selected as alliance partners, advancing to the eliminations. The Flying Platypi again served as the strategy lead with the data that was collected by scouts. But when their 3rd robot had functionality problems, the alliance struggled. Even a substitution could not help to break the plane. However, with advancing to the semifinals and taking home the Team Spirit award, the Platypi secured their place at rank 9 in the state, meaning they've all but locked in their seat to the district championship in two weeks.
Apollo advanced to the eliminations with Alliance 5, but after a hard fought streak the alliance failed to advance past the quarterfinals. Nevertheless, 3215 is currently ranked 25th in the state and still holds a chance at advancing to the state championship.
The Robockets, Team 4761, had another solid showing, taking the competition in Reading, MA this weekend as the winning alliance captains along with ADI Team 5556 Carriagetown, after finishing qualifications at rank 4. They've now completed their second event and are awaiting confirmation of their seat in the District Championship, which they have all but solidified. They have a very solid shot, but it will depend on what other teams take home at their events. One thing is for sure, however! After taking home Engineering Inspiration at North Shore, Robockets will already be sending a presentation team to the District CMP to compete for the award at that level, which, if they win there as wel, will qualify the team for the World Championship in St Louis.
4909 Bionics also had a very strong showing at North Shore, ending qualifications as the 5th alliance captain. They advanced to the Semifinals, but couldn't close out the round. Either way, the team is well on its way to racking up points needed to compete in the District Championship.
Ipswich has had a difficult season, going 13-17-1 this season with the conclusion of their second event at North Shore. They were selected to compete with Alliance 3 in eliminations, advancing to Semifinals to compete against the Robockets. It's looking like this was their final event for the season, but not every season can be a winning season. Even good teams have their rough years.
5735 Control Freaks also had a great weekend, finishing rank 9 and becoming an alliance captain. After a strong showing at Granite State, this week was a challenge for 5735 after getting eliminated in the quarterfinals by Bionics. But after taking home the Excellence in Engineering award, they're in good shape to have a shot at the District Championship!
The second year of a team is often more difficult than the first year, and this has proven true for perSEVERE, Team 5962. They went 4-7-1 at North Shore and finished Rank 32. We still have one more event for this team next weekend,
so there is time to recalibrate and adjust.
Many ADI employees took time this weekend to help out at their local events. From building the field to running the field, ADI employees took time to give back. In Reading, MA, Brian and Mike helped with field assembly!
Meanwhile in Asheville, NC, Juan and I once again fulfilled the FTA, Robot Inspector, and Referee roles. What I didn't expect to do this weekend was stop robots from taking over the arena.
Of course, I kid, but we really did nearly have escaping robots. It's the responsibility of all field staff to ensure the safety of all attendees and team members. We were having a solid day, on time, no major issues, and no "fog horned" matches (no field faults which forced a restart). Then, on the final qualification match of the day, match 54, we had two faults. The first was the ladder onto the airship was left down at the start of the match. SAFETY ALERT: DON'T DO THAT! So we killed the match, fixed the issue, and restarted. Then we had issues with the red airship not recording scores properly. Kill the match again, Juan opened up the airship and fixed the issue, and we restarted again.
Then I saw out of the corner of my eye a robot slam into the retrieval zone wall and I saw the wall wobble way more than it should have. Upon further investigation I saw this...
Rivets. Sheered completely off. I ran to grab the head referee's attention, who in turn grabbed Juan and they ran over to watch the corner closely. Perhaps if it didn't move more we would be okay and there would be no escaping robots. Then another robot slammed full force into the wall, shifting it by several inches more. Head referee said NOPE and dove for the E-STOP button, killing the field.
Incidents like this at competition teach a valuable lesson. Sometimes you can't stop every disaster. The best you can do is take stock of the situation, take corrective action (in this case add bolts to the corner of the field) and move on. No matter how bad it might seem, nothing is unsolvable.
This blog post is part of a series about the 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition season, FIRST Steamworks. We'll have weekly updates during build season from ADI FRC Team 2665 Flying Platypi, and updates from many of our ADI teams performances during the competition season. Stay tuned until the end for coverage of BOTH Championships in Houston, TX and St. Louis, MO in April!