What a rookie season!

This weekend Team 4931 competed in the 2014 St Louis Regional FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), which was held at the Chaifetz Arena and featured this year’s “Aerial Assist” game. We placed 16th out of 45 teams during the qualification matches, advanced to the quarterfinals, and were selected by Team 3792 to be on their alliance (with Team 5176) during the elimination matches (thanks!!). We didn’t survive our matches against the #1 seeded alliance, but getting as far as we did was simply amazing and beyond our wildest hopes.

We also  won two awards:

  • The “Rookie Inspiration Award” celebrates a rookie team’s outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers within their schools and in their community; and
  • The “Highest Rookie Seed Award” is given to the rookie team that is ranked the highest among all first-year teams at the end of the qualifying matches.

What an amazing season! Our robot may not have shot into the upper goal, but our design did everything else — and it did it very well. We could defend with our high-traction and powerful chassis. We could block shots with our tall structure. We could easily and quickly pick up the ball with our capture gate and roller. We firmly held onto the ball by keeping it completely within our 80/20 structure, even when other robots hit us as hard as they could. We could pass the ball to other robots, and sometimes even handed it off directly to them with our “robot kiss” without the ball ever touching the floor. And our robot did all this with not a single mechanical, electrical or programming problem during the entire 3 day event — not a single problem. That goes to show that our team was focused on building a robust and effective robot.

But the definite crowd pleaser was our robot’s extendable nets that could catch an over-the-truss pass from another robot for the extra assist points. We did it not just once, not just twice, but three times in competition matches! One of our matches even scored the maximum number of cycle points possible: all assist points, an over-the-truss shot, and a catch.

Here’s a compilation video of all three catches:

Not bad at all! Major points to Team 3792, Team 1094, and Team 1706 for such excellent shots over the truss.

Perhaps the biggest compliment, however, was the feedback and respect that we got from other teams. “Great to work with.” “Really solid design.” “Flexible and fun.” “One tough robot.” And many more compliments.

Thanks to the St Louis FIRST organization for an outstanding event, and thanks to all the other teams that competed in the 2014 St Louis Regional FRC event. We had so much fun, met so many great people, and learned a massive amount from all of the seriously smart FRC teams, organizers, volunteers, and mentors! FIRST is an amazing organization.

Thanks to our unbelievable mentor teams, Team 1208 “The Metool Brigade” from O’Fallon Township High School and Team 4246 “Resurrected Robotics” from Triad High School.

Finally, thanks to our families for putting up with our hectic 2 1/2 month schedule preparing for this event. Talk about some significant assists!

Check out more videos on our YouTube channel and photos from the event on our Flickr page.