FIRST Robotics - Season Wrap-Up

All I can say is WOW. This has been an amazing season. It's been a good season for all of our teams. We'll check in with our three championship teams and then I can get into just the sheer size and awe of this event.

Team 1533 Triple Strange had a good run of it. At the end of Friday they finished qualifications ranked 31 out of the 75 teams in the Carson Division, with a record of 6 wins and 4 losses. They also took home the Creativity Award for their division for, you guessed it, their awesome SWANK drive system! When I was talking to their students on Thursday, they mentioned specifically targeting this award with their drive system. I'd say mission accomplished, team! I've come to love this team and its students and mentors, now seeing them at every event they've been to this year and seeing them at the local practice space hosted by the Platypi. The improvement this team has made at each event is astounding and even though they did not advance to their divisions elimination rounds, I couldn't be more proud to support this team.

The Flying Platypi, 2655, also did extremely well in the Carson Division. With a record of 5 wins and 5 losses, with most losses happening early while they were trouble-shooting some programming issues (turned out to be a PID loop that fell out of tune while playing with their practice robot).  They ranked 27 out of the 75 teams in Carson. I've had the opportunity to watch these students grow from timid wallflowers to leaders that can take the lead without much need for guidance. These students drove this team to where they are now and there are some students I almost don't even recognize anymore. Maybe we can score Einstein next year???

The Stormgears had a good run in the Archimedes Division. Finishing rank 73 of 75 may not sound that great, but just 5 minutes talking to the students and mentors on Friday showed me this team has the drive to do amazing things as they gain more and more experience. They've made it to Championship every year they've been in existence, and even in just their two years they've done so much for their local community and the global community They told me about their STEM Splash in a Box and how they're already working with companies to get them distributed to as many schools as possible. These students are going to change the world for the better. They also showed me pictures talking to Vince about FIRST and their robot. Team 5422 is going places!

ADI Tech in FRC

Our sensors came in many forms for teams to use. We of course have our donations - the small accel-gyro board that went to every team, the M1K in the kit of parts, and the iSensor IMU board available through FIRST Choice. There was also a board available to teams that has an ADI gyro on it that I found several top tier teams using to their advantage. I already told you about one team on Friday. Let's meet a veteran team that had the same idea.

Team 148, The Robowranglers, out of Greenville, TX, a team I used to follow a lot back in my days of volunteering at the Dallas Regional event. They are using the same Spartan board that Citrus Circuits, 1678, was using this year. This team has typically been a very mechanically strong team. They enhanced their edge with the ADXRS453 sensor on the Spartan board, and this competitive team went on to become the number 1 seeded team on Hopper. They selected Citrus Circuits as one of their partners in the eliminations and went on to advance to Einstein.

Speaking of Einstein, let me give you a feel for just how big this is. Think of the Superbowl. Then multiply that by five times. And then throw in some STEM. It was a full quarter mile walk from the back of the pits in the convention center to the fields in the dome. I've never walked that much since school. And the sheer number of people was such that you could have 4G LTE signal and nothing would get through. Robotics took over downtown. Here's a quick video of just how many people were in the stands for Einstein.

The games began with the quarterfinals on Einsten going well for the Robowranglers and Citrus Circuits. They won both of the matches and advanced to a hard fight in the semifinals. Winning the first match and losing the second, it went to a tiebreaker that resulted n a loss. Watching Citrus Circuits in action was the most impressive thing I've ever seen. The fact that these students built this robot in just 6 weeks is amazing. I've posted some videos below.

This powerhouse alliance had a good fight, but the best was yet to come with the Finals matches. It was Tesla vs. Carver and the two teams were extremely evenly matched. The scores came down to the last wire. After the tiebreaker match the score posted on the screen was a TIE with 225 points on each team. However, 5 of those points awarded to the Red alliance were due to a foul called the Tesla blue alliance. This meant that Carver's alliance took home the gold per the tiebreaker rules. It was an amazing sight to see and an unforgettable championship.

That's a wrap! Thank you FIRST for an amazing run of a season, thank you to ALL of the volunteers that made the event possible, and thank you St. Louis for being an amazing host city. But perhaps the best part was hearing this moving song performed live.



This blog post concludes the series about FIRST robotics and the impact that ADI has on teams of students across the country and the world. Stay tuned for more posts during the next year's season and some updates during off-season! Follow the conversation about FIRST with the hashtags omgrobots and morethanrobots on all social media platforms.