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10 Thousand Lakes Recap

By April 30, 2024May 7th, 2024Uncategorized

A little more than three weeks ago we loaded into William’s Arena for the 10 Thousand Lakes regional (10k for short). This is our last regional of the season and with how our season has been going so far we were all very excited for this regional.

How we did

At the Duluth regional, we struggled with our robot crashing and becoming unresponsive, and we have also struggled with similar issues in past years. At 10k we had an unprecedentedly low number of these “Rock Mode” matches. In one of our practice matches we lost power to our roboRIO (that’s the main controller in our robot, it is very important), aside from that, our robot was running in every match we played. That is to say our robot was, at a bare minimum, operational and moving around in all but one of our matches. 

Now, that doesn’t sound very impressive at first, but considering the treatment Snuffy has been through, especially with this being its second regional, it’s a win in my book. However, we did have some mechanisms fail over the course of the weekend, namely the Vanguard intake, and the climber (both pictured below).

(The Vanguard was designed to improve the consistency of the intake. The front section jammed halfway through qualification matches and prevented us from intaking. The best solution we could come up with before the next match was sawing off the offending section of the Vanguard. As the one who designed this mechanism, I will say it was not a fun decision to make).





(The joints of the climber have shattered and been replaced several times now. If we run with it, it is very likely it will fail during a climb and drop the robot onto the floor. We have since redesigned the climber to increase its strength, hopefully allowing us to climb more than once before breaking it).






We were not able to repair these mechanisms during the course of the competition. However, the core mechanisms (the shooter and the main intake) were operating well and we were able to keep Snuffy up and running.

After the qualification matches we were ranked 5th, more than high enough to qualify for the semi-finals. During the semi-finals we lost our first match, but ended up winning twice in the lower bracket. Our last match was very close. Before the results were revealed the scoreboard actually showed that we had more points than the other alliance. But after some last minute points were added, we lost to the first seed alliance, who would go on to win the regional, by a mere 4 points.

After everything, we were the fourth place alliance in the playoffs, which means that we were somewhere between the 13th and 4th best robot at the regional (Robotics is a complicated sport).

We were also awarded the Excellence in Engineering award, given to teams who demonstrate “a professional approach to the design process.” This is one of the more prestigious awards our team has received (special thanks to Bailey and Duncan for talking to the judges in the pits).

What all this means

We made a very good robot this year, everyone on the team should be proud. Because of our performance at this regional we qualify for the state competition, and we stand a good chance of doing well. The competition will be on Saturday May 4th (that’s next Saturday).

With the world championships wrapping up a week ago, we are moving towards the end of the robotics season. The state competition is the last competition we will attend this season, and team activities will start to slow down until next year (and Snuffleupagus will get a well deserved rest).

Some highlights of the competition

(Jeremy deputizing a shark)

(The team walking on the field to receive the Excellence in Engineering award)

(Something very exciting happening away from the camera)
(The view from the pits)
(Ari embodying gracious professionalism)

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