It was an ordinary day at one of our meetings when our coach revealed the big news of us attending both League events on the weekend. We were originally supposed to go on Sunday, Jan 26th, but some of the teams had to cancel at the last second, opening some spaces on Saturday, Jan 25th. So as soon as the news was revealed, our coach immediately signed us up. She thought it was going to be a good practice for Victoria, and the team agreed.
On Saturday, also known as League 2, our team was met with a couple of surprises. As soon as the teams arrived they were all supposed to get ready for robot inspection, but we couldn't. You see, our robot’s on/off switch was found to be burnt out and so when we proceeded to link our phones together, it wouldn't work. Fortunately, one of the Meadow Ridge teams nearby came to the rescue and let us borrow a spare. With that problem out of the way, another came up. With our first round coming up, our robot’s phone systems would not sync together. We tried multiple times restarting the robot and trying again. We were so lost that in the end we had to go to the Field Inspector, Mike Silverades. After a lot of internet searches, restarting robots and youtube videos, we got them to sync just in time for our first match.
League 2 rounds weren’t that interesting and went by pretty quick. Our team ended with 5th place after all the teams finished their 5 rounds. League 3 on the other hand was a different story. As usual we arrived and got ready for inspection. Everything went well until our first round. We were teamed with a pretty decent team so our confidence grew a bit. We started off with our autonomous that we programmed just the day before and watched it work almost perfectly. After the 2 minutes of driver control. The points were tallied up. The board read 42-42 when the team saw it. We had tied our first game. Everybody in the gymnasium gasped in shock and surprise. Ties were a very rare occurrence because of the fact of there being multiple ways to score points. Round 2 went by as quickly and the 3rd one was near, but this time it was different. This time we were teamed with a team of two that built their robot the day before and had no knowledge of FTC. To make the situation more tense, we were going up against the two best teams in the competition, but we still managed to pull off 42-73. As our field crew and programming improved every game, our team pulled off amazing feats in the 5 rounds. In the end, we came in a respectable 6th place out of 10 teams as a first year rookie team.
It was also great to meet other teams in our spare time after or before the rounds. During the League 2 event, one of our mentors from Victoria, team FixIt came by to watch. It was great to catch up,talk about our robots and even talk about our strategies for the games. Another nice relationship we shared was with team MIT. For our last round we were teamed up in alliance with MIT and some disagreements came up with the penalty system. You see, the opposite team robots are not allowed to enter or block these taped zones on the map. When the timer reached 1:20, we decided to go to the taped zone, but the opposite robots obstructed our zones. We thought that would be a penalty and just went on with it, but when the final scores came up, the penalty score from the opposing alliance showed 0. Our alliance was quite puzzled, the referees saw it happening and didn’t do a single thing. With these in our minds, we both our team and MIT spoke to the referees and asked politely why the opposing team didn’t get penalized. We later found out that in order to be penalized for blocking, the opposing team must be doing it for at least 5 seconds. After finding out this information we walked back to our tables and accepted the outcome.
We are now currently getting ready for the final competition in Victoria on February 22. We still got a lot of work to do, this includes improving our autonomous, practice more for robot control, fulfill a few promised demos and keep raising money through fundraising. We have been pretty good at keeping up with our Engineering Notebook, and have good material for our posters. Stay tuned for another update soon.