FIRST Robotics 2015

Cornell2012

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
537
Location
Portland, OR
This is definitely not hunting related but I wanted to let everyone know about two FIRST Robotics competitions the team I am mentoring will be at in the next month and a half.

FIRST is an organization that tries to keep students interested in STEM fields and teach them aspects of teamwork, engineering, math, computer science, public speaking, and community service. Every year, FIRST creates a game and announces it in early January. Students have about six weeks to design, fabricate, test, and program a robot to compete in the game, with regional competitions from the end of February through the beginning of April, and a championship later in the year.

I mentor team number 291, and we will be at the Pittsburgh regional in California, PA on March 6 and 7, and then in Cleveland on March 27 and 28.

Admission is free for spectators and would be a great thing to spend a couple hours at, especially if you have a kid interested in science, technology, or robots (I mentor a high school team, but there are programs for younger kids as well. If you drop by with an interested student, I will try to get you down into the robot team pits for the full experience. I'll be running our scouting and strategy team at Cleveland but for Pittsburgh I would be able to personally show you around.) or if you yourself would be interested in mentoring a local team.

If anyone is interested, I can provide more info. Just let me know. There are events across the nation (and world) that you could check out.

(FIRST's website: http://www.usfirst.org/)
 

MT_elk

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2012
Messages
2,684
Location
MT
Very interesting. If I lived in the area, I would definitely drop by. Good luck on your competition.
 

Cornell2012

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
537
Location
Portland, OR
There is a competition at Cleveland State University this weekend that I will be attending. If anyone is interested, let me know and I can post more info.
 

smalls

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2003
Messages
1,882
Location
red river of the north
Awesome.

I'm a big fan of team 876 in the FIRST robotics competition. Our schools team qualified for the World Competition coming up in St. Louis. In fact tomorrow night I'll be attending a prime rib fundraiser (like they needed a fund raiser to convince me to come eat prime rib), as the team will be demonstrating their bot.

As a very rural school district that has lost most of its vocational programs, the robotics club has been an awesome tool to help students get hands on experience with science and technologies that we hadn't dreamed 15 years ago when I graduated high school. From writing code to applying advanced fabrication techniques, those kids are getting the education of a lifetime.

Kudos to you Cornell to lend your assistance to the program. Of all of the takeaways, there is likely none more valuable to these kids than the mentorship they receive.
 

Cornell2012

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
537
Location
Portland, OR
You haven't had a professor try to teach you to count cards have you? ;)
No professor needed. I did that part all on my own. Haven't tried my skills at Vegas yet.

Awesome.

I'm a big fan of team 876 in the FIRST robotics competition. Our schools team qualified for the World Competition coming up in St. Louis. In fact tomorrow night I'll be attending a prime rib fundraiser (like they needed a fund raiser to convince me to come eat prime rib), as the team will be demonstrating their bot.

As a very rural school district that has lost most of its vocational programs, the robotics club has been an awesome tool to help students get hands on experience with science and technologies that we hadn't dreamed 15 years ago when I graduated high school. From writing code to applying advanced fabrication techniques, those kids are getting the education of a lifetime.

Kudos to you Cornell to lend your assistance to the program. Of all of the takeaways, there is likely none more valuable to these kids than the mentorship they receive.

Congrats to them! Making the championships is no small feat. I've never experienced the 4-field-glory myself. Maybe someday I will help guide a team to the robot promised land.

Today was the end of the competition. In this year's game, all of the teams are ranked based on the number of points they scored over the course of the qualifying matches. Each round consists of two alliances, each made up of three teams.

Our robot was having some serious technical difficulties for most of the first day (each of communications, programming, and mechanical in turn), and so our ranking at the end of the second day was very poor (49 out of 56 teams I think). The top 8 teams after qualifiers get to "draft" their alliance for the rest of the playoff rounds. We had recently added a very niche mechanism that was never fully proven during qualifications, but one of the teams that we have some history with went out on a limb and chose us to be on their alliance (very uncommon for anyone in the bottom third of the rankings).

Anyhow, we played the quarterfinal matches and had some game plan kinks to work out, but eventually managed to move on to semifinals. In semifinals, we put up some of our best numbers, but the other alliances were hitting their strides as well. It ultimately came down to the last round, where one group needed to score 165 to tie us (not sure of tiebreaking protocol - it basically never happens in this game) or 166 to eliminate us from the competition. When all was said and done, they came up just short at 162, putting us into the finals!

Ultimately we lost in finals to an alliance that had some extremely good robots and team members. We fought the best we could, and were pressuring the opposing alliance to not make a mistake. Had they faltered even a bit, we likely would have caught up. All in all, we wound up in second place, everyone on the alliance got a medal, and we even won an additional award for gracious professionalism. A win would have given us a spot at the championship, but part of gracious professionalism is supporting the victor even as you yourself are eliminated.

The past three months were some of the most frustrating of my life. We hit snag after snag and still managed to produce a robot at the end. Today was the culmination of weeks of hard work by our 29 students and the handful of other mentors that keep everything afloat. The team earned every bit of what they won, but some of the students already have their sights set even higher for next year.
 

Sytes

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 25, 2009
Messages
8,731
Location
Montana
A most enjoyable read! Thank you cornell for taking us along with your journey. Major kudos to you and your team! a real inspiration in days such as these where we get so wrapped up with politics and the negatives in this world and then to read such an inspiring story of young men reaching for the stars. it's great to read of mentor such as yourself its gotta feel very fulfilling.
 
Last edited:

Corax

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
744
Location
Texas
That is an excellent accomplishment. Sounds like some serious future engineers.

Thank you for mentoring them.
 
Caribou Gear

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
94,636
Messages
1,412,429
Members
29,685
Latest member
rangespec3
Top