Day 69 Post Austin DE

Load In

The team arrived at load in around 4pm, the weather had a small chance of rain, but thankfully it didn’t. The trailer was unloaded pretty quickly when we hit a small snag, we lost all the bolts for a wheel on one of our tool boxes. The bolts had backed out in the trailer thankfully. After borrowing a jack from a mentors car the wheel was reattached and we managed to get all of our stuff staged for when the doors open. The pit went up quickly and just like that I managed to start finding myself back in the competition mindset.

A small team of students went off to inspection weigh station. The robot weighed in at 102.7lbs, its not often we managed to easily get under the weight limit. Right when we got back to the pit a student from another team was asking if we had any one who knew C++ and could help them out with their robot code. Just like that I was off, I knew we’d probably pass inspection on the first go around. I helped that team for most of the night on Thursday, we manged to get their controls working, and added a simple taxi auto. Their main programming student was in France, oh the joys of having an FRC competition during spring break. When I got back to the pit I was informed we passed inspection which was good news. The majority of the team went home around 8:30pm but my night was just starting.

While walking around the pit I saw a group of students furiously working on their robot and asked if the needed help. They were working to attach an every bot intake arm to their chassis. I helped them solder on some wire and get some connections crimped to power a 775 pro. Upon closer inspection of their chassis I saw some problems. They had a few bumper unsupported gaps over 11″ (Rule is less than 8″) and there frame perimeter was 129″. Another mentor from a different team and myself came up with a plan to get them back into frame perimeter. We were looking for materials when the team pulls out a fully intact kit of parts chassis. The other mentor and me look at each other and agree that we are just going to assemble the KOP chassis. We managed to help the team get the KOP chassis halfway assembled before the pits closed.


Friday started off practice matches, we showed up to the filler line right away, we played in the first two practice matches, and then again in our scheduled practice match. Its always a good start when you actually get practice matches at district events.

During Friday matches we struggled with massive bounce out from our shooter. We were taking 12+ shots and only getting 8(if we were lucky) cargo in the hub. We knew we had to solve this for Saturday. We spent some time on the practice field trying to tune the shot but didn’t get far enough. Thankfully it was a home event and we made 1.5 robots. During our scouting meeting that night we had a small subset of people working with the practice bot. We didn’t make the funnel part of the upper hub. This was probably our biggest mistake of the season thus far. I can’t stress how critical it is that you get a chance to test your robot against the real field(or a close approximation).

The bounce out strike group came up with three distinct changes to make. The first is the timing of the cargo, they modified the control loop to shoot the second cargo immediately instead of rechecking if the RPM is in the intended dead band again. This makes the first cargo collide with the second cargo, keeping them both in the hub, it also had a cool side affect of being able to shoot both cargo in less than 2 seconds, which speed up cycles. The next two changes were in combination, they lowered the hood angle to 18 degrees and lowered the RPM by 100. So we were now shooting at 2300 RPM.


Saturday started off with a hard match against the Lady Cans, we lost the match by 20 some points and were one cargo off from the cargo ranking point. We haven’t completely solved bounce out but we made it a bit better and we take less time to shoot now.

Round Two Judging

We finished out the remaining qualification matches ending with a 9 win and 3 loss record, seeding 7th. Alliance selection was certainly interesting with the top teams choosing teams that weren’t in the top 8. There was one case of inter picking and we ended up being the 6th alliance captain, we picked up 2583, and 6155. Our strategy going into finals was 2583 playing defense against the opposing alliance and 6155 playing the back half of the field to cycle cargo to our side where we would score them into the upper hub.

We played against the 3rd alliance 2881(The Lady Cans), 2687 and 8610. 2881 and 2687 both had a traversal climb so we would need to score a ton of points to match that. We eked out a win in QF4-1 because both of the red alliance robots with a traversal climb did not manage to end up on the traversal run. QF4-2 we lost by 21 points with an unfortunate 16 points in fouls. So we headed into a tie breaker match. The tiebreaker match turned into a shoot out with our alliance trying to create a big enough point differential that we can match the traversal climbs. Our partners 8610 put 9 cargo into the lower hub, and we put 15 cargo into the upper hub during teleop. At the end of the match we were sitting ahead 55 to 31 with climbs not scored. The red alliance had two robots on the traversal and we had one on the mid rung. It was going to be close. Turns out too close to call! The tie breaker match ended in a tie! Both alliances with 61 points, and no fouls so the tie breaker came down to which alliance had the most climb points. Which was not us.

That ended our elimination run, we got the pit all packed up and ready to roll before returning to watch the rest of elimination matches and awards. 6800 and 2468 ended up pulling out the victory in the end, after yet another tie breaker match. There were five tie breaker matches during eliminations which is wild. Finals 2 there was a red card for G205 against the red alliance, which brought it to a close and high stakes Finals 3 match. Cannoli and the team managed to walk away with the Quality award, which is amazing. I’m glad our robots name got a shout out! I think it was certainly earned, during the tournament we had no major issues and the robot functioned as expected in all but on match when we some how managed to push the belt for the intake over a 2″ compliant wheel.

It felt so good to be back at competition, the students had a blast, they are starting to understand why the just spent 3 months pouring a few hundred hours into the robot. I have too many great stories to tell them all, but I will end on one. Our human player was very disappointed when she heard she had to wear an apron during every match, apparently the apron isn’t very fashionable. She wore it as a cape while we were queuing for a match and I think that might be the path forward from now. We have a full team debrief on Tuesday where we talk about things that went well and what needs to be improved upon.






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