On December 6, 2015, we headed down to Burnsville for our first tournament of the 2015-2016 RES-Q FTC Season. We were about as ready as any team is for these early tournaments, excited and ready to go! The first part of our morning was our judging session at 8:20am. We had been practicing our presentation so it went smoothly. The judges were able to ask us questions and we answered them to the best of our ability. We were quite happy with the way judging went. One of the best parts of having an early judging session is that you get it out of the way and can then turn your attention to inspections.
Inspections were the next activities for our team after the judging session. We went through Robot and Field inspections. Last year, we had to go through a Software Inspection as well but with the new electronics system for this year, that step isn’t a part of the tournaments anymore. The Robot/Hardware inspection went smoothly and our robot passed without any troubles. Field inspection went well too without anything surprising happening. We were grateful to have an almost uneventful morning.
One good thing about the new electronics and new tournament schedule is that there are now practice rounds in the morning. These were valuable to our team because they allowed us to make sure everything was going well before anything counted for points. It also allowed us to get to know some other teams that we may not have been paired with as an alliance if we hadn’t had a practice round.
Then most of the rest of the day consisted of robot runs. Our autonomous run was something we worked with throughout the day. We tweaked as we went but we weren’t necessarily disappointed because we didn’t leave ourselves much time to program before the competition. We will be able to program much more before our next Qualifier. The only major problem we ran into was the common disconnection problem. We were able to restart the robot a few times but that still takes away precious match time. Nevertheless, we were able to perform well enough to be picked by the third seed alliance captain, Dyna-Bytes, at the end of the day during alliance selections. Our alliance was Dyna-Bytes, Easy as Pi, and ourselves.
One of our highlights of the day was during one of the runs with our alliance after alliance selections. We were finally able to stay connected long enough to get our robot to hang! We were all so excited. The best part about this, however, is that our sponsor, Machining Technogies, a company that has been so incredibly generous to us, was able to watch! We were so happy to have them there and it made it so fun for us.
And that leaves us with the last part of the day, the awards ceremony. In the end, we were nominated for 7 awards and took home the 1st Place Think Award and the 2nd Place Inspire Award. We were very proud of our day but the best part, looking back, was the people that were at the tournament. It is fun to win awards but what makes the FIRST programs something we have come back to over and over again in the past seven years are the amazing people who create the experience for us. We got to know so many volunteers and teams. We also got to know the people from Machining Technologies better. It amazes us everytime how this program is able to bring people together all in the name of STEM and the spirit of teamwork. We could go on and on about how humbled we feel to be a part of the program but we will sum it up by saying this…
Volunteers, Mentors, Sponsors, Parents, Friends, Supporters… Your work doesn’t go unnoticed. In fact, we have noticed for seven years now and we couldn’t feel more grateful or blessed to be a part of the FIRST community you have helped create. We would like to offer our most sincere thanks and appreciation. You have truly made a mark on our lives.
Thank You to ALL and Happy Holidays, Height Differential