By Nathan Satterfield ’19
On Saturday February 9, the two Upper School Robotics teams competed at the Chicago North League Championship at Parker with the goal of qualifying for the Illinois State FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Tournament.
The two teams built robots for a game called Rover Ruckus, which is a space-themed game played on a 12’ x 12’ square field. Four teams compete to get the most points in two randomly paired alliances in a 2:30 minute game. The main object of the game is to score minerals (gold blocks and white wiffle balls) into the lander (a collection container) in the center of the playing field. Bonus points are awarded for ending the match suspended off the playing field by hanging your robot on hooks on the lander. If you would like to see more, you can watch the game video here
To start the day, tournament organizers inspected all teams to verify that the robots had been built within the rules for the game. The teams then presented to judges, who would decide on awards to present to the teams at the end of the day.
Coming into the tournament, Parker’s teams—3507 Robotheosis, comprising sophomores through seniors and 9410 Frank’s Garage, consisting of freshmen—were ranked first and second, respectively. Rankings were based on each team’s best 10 of 15 matches played during the past three months. The teams then played another five matches and ended the qualification rounds in first and third.
During elimination matches, Robotheosis was partnered with Frank’s Garage. Together the alliance won their best of three semi-final 2-1, but went 1-2 in the finals matches, winning the first match but losing the later two matches due to robot difficulties.
During the awards ceremony, Frank’s Garage won the Think Award, for its top-notch engineering notebook, and the Control Award for the second year in a row, which is given to a team that has unique and exemplary robot programming. Robotheosis also won the Inspire award for the second straight year. The Inspire Award goes to the best overall team at the tournament that excels on the field with a well-designed and exceptional robot, engages its community through outreach activities and has a detailed engineering notebook that documents its design process, technical drawings and details of construction and outreach activities. The engineering notebook documents each and every thing that happens at meetings, with the goal of outlining every step of the robot-building process.
Due to its strong overall performance, Robotheosis qualified for the Illinois State Tournament,
which is on Feb 22 and 23 at Elgin Community College.
for photos from the tournament.