If you have never been to a robotics regional, it is well worth the trip. Ours takes place in Williams Arena, at the U of M. The event is like a cross between a science fair and a sports game. In one gym, all of the teams have a booth, and are available to answer questions about their robot. On the other half, loud music blares from speakers in the semi-darkened stands, and cheers echo as robots score goals. Many teams, including us, have mascots that dance over by the stage. A late night chat with a security guard confirmed that we have a larger attendance than women’s basketball.
Now that you understand the feel of the regional, I should explain how we actually did at the regional. After some difficulties getting the Chugga working on Friday morning, we emerged successful from the pits. Our robot could catch from a human, and throw the giant ball into the high goal. Our autonomous even worked, netting us a neat 20-25 points in that phase. Although we could shoot into the high goal, we mostly did not. We were concerned that our drivers hadn’t practiced enough to be accurate. Plus, throwing the ball over the truss was worth more points. We would receive the ball from the human, and toss over the truss, letting our team mates push the ball into the low goal, to begin the cycle again.
You might have picked up on the flaw in our strategy. We needed our teammates to be able to score quickly, which was harder than we anticipated. As a result, we mostly lost, but we scored well enough to be picked for the Eliminations (Quarter-Final), where we lost 2-0. The most important thing was that we had lots of fun, and learned a lot.
Mentor Jeremy leads a group of students to our pit.
Marcell and Brady chilling with Chairman Scottie in our pit.
Paige dancing with the mascots on stage.
Photo-op with Scotbot and David
Chairman Scottie being brought onto the field.
Ray getting ready to help drive Chairman.
We also got the chance to talk with lots of other teams!