May is a sort of rest month for our team, seniors have graduated and classes are finally over. Regular meetings begin in June, with Monday, Thursday meetings 5 – 7 pm. We spent the first half of the month cleaning up the shop, unpacking the pits, and doing shop maintenance(cleaning machines, fixing machines, and cleaning surfaces). We were getting our build space ready to host our 6 weeks of summer camp Tech Lab! Students from grades 1 – grade attend a one week long camp session where they can choose several different classes. This required disassembling our practice field, in order to have room for another classroom in our work shop.
The second half of June was devoted to driver practice in preparation for the Texas Robotics Invitational hosted by Spectrum the last weekend of June. With our practice field elements disassembled we had to get creative with how we practiced. We used a storage totes as a stand in for the cargo ship. We then laid out a course between chairs that the driver would have to drive between before scoring on a random side, and position of our fake cargo ship. These purpose of these drills were to get the driver used to positioning the robot efficiently, and to practice lining up scoring. We currently don’t have a field perimeter so we didn’t do much practice of cargo acquisition. There were four students who expressed interest in driving the robot so we took turns each night with two students drilling and switching off every 6 or so minutes.
Texas Robotics Invitational
We competed at the TRI this past weekend and it was a blast! Our students had a great time, everything went well. The student’s favorite activity by far was dodge ball and social night.
We had a good run during qualification matches and we ended up seeded 13th. Our approach to this off season event was to give competition driving experience to some new drivers so we were rotating between four drivers during qualification. We played a mix of defense and offense in quals. We were picked by the 8th seeded alliance captain 2468, another team from Austin! Alongside 2468 was 323, and 5427. During elimination matches we had our competition operator driving, and a rookie operator, and we focused on defense. This strategy seemed to work well and after tough matches in the quarter and semi finals we were faced against 1st seeding alliance captain 148, with 6800, 1477, and 2723. We managed to barely squeak out a win in the first match with the final score being 84 to 77, the second match was and another close match but thanks to the double climbs we ended up winning 96 to 80.
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