This season has been such an exciting time for everyone on the team. Our growth from this season to the last has been truly remarkable.
We have had an amazing build season this year. We began at first sharing ideas, collaborating with other teams, and analyzing this year’s game. Juggling many different ideas from team members, we finally came to a consensus on our robot design. We had many new experiences this year. This ranged from building bumpers, to reaching out to sponsors in order to have a sustainable build season – something we had to be less focused on last year due to working on simple robot design. With mentor knowledge, many late nights, and student dedication, we were able to produce a robot we thought would best fit the game requirements. That is exactly what we did.
Our competition season started off on March 3rd-5th at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) for the Lake Superior Regional. Competition qualification matches started off looking up. We juggled between first, second, and third place during the second day of the regional, finishing the day in 1st place out of 63 teams. At the end of the three day regional we received the Industrial Design Award that celebrates form and function in an efficiently designed machine that effectively addresses the game challenge. We also ended the challenging three day competition as finalists with a record of 11-5-0. With being finalists, we were offered the opportunity to attend the FIRST Championships in St. Louis, Missouri on April 27th-30th at the Edward Jones Dome.
Being able to meet and work with teams from many countries all over the world was a fantastic experience for everyone on the team. We began qualification matches with motor trouble on the left side of our robot. After an hour of work from the build team, we were able to get B.A.R.D. (our robot name) back in commission. Later in the competition, we broke a shaft for the jointed arm due to friction. After these issues, we were back in shape. We finished the Championships in 38th out of 75 teams with a record of 5-5-0.
We were also able to attend the Minnesota State High School League Competition on May 20th and 21st at the Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. We had to make minor adjustments to the arm and shooter similar to the Championship tournament. At the end of the day, we finished with a record of 3-5-0 in 19th place. We were very excited to participate in this tournament as one of the top 30 teams in Minnesota invited to compete. Minnesota has 208 First Robotics teams as of the 2016 season.
We would like to thank all our sponsors, coaches, mentors, parents, and finally all the students for making this year the success it has become.