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How did we do?? This was a great first tournament. We knew going in that we were a very young, novice team. Many top contending teams have years of building experience and started building this year's robot in May. We received our parts in July and didn't really know what to do with them. We followed the directions to build the ClawBot. That was fun. But when we tested it, we realized it was not going to work for this competition. Over the next several weeks, the team built a chassis, took it apart, tried another design, took it apart. Other kids worked on a scissor for hanging and an intake to score the balls.
Two weeks before the competition, we had a chassis that was strong and maneuverable and an intake that could sort of pick up balls. The team tested, modified, examined, guessed, modified until on the day of competition, they arrived in Orange with a great little robot. Unfortunately, we had no programming and no way to hang in the final moments of the game. We had focused our efforts on doing two tasks very well and that would have to do.
After our first match, a loss, we were ranked 35 out of 36 teams. That was sad, but we didn't have a very complete robot. Next, we beat our opponents soundly, 41-25 points. We quickly checked the rankings...14th place! Sweet. Three more matches with very close scores helped us learn that we need to closely review all the rules before the tournament (if we had set the ball down, we would have won) and practice driving a lot before the tournament (at least one match could have been won with a tiny bit of luck or a few more minutes practice). Over all, even with only one win, it was a very successful day. We can't wait to work on the autonomous portion of the competition. We can now see that will give us quite an advantage. Less than half of the teams even attempted to run some programming.
But wait, just as we put away the robot and were ready to call it a day, Stephen decided we should head over to the drivers' meeting for the championship. We ended up 28th out of 36, and only the top 8 were going to the championships, but we went anyway.
The top 8 teams each picked another team to form an alliance for the final matches. Then they all picked another team since it would be best 2 out of 3. Our ears perked up. We probably still wouldn't be picked, but it was at least a slight possibility. They got down to the last pick, called a team, and they declared, "We decline." Apparently after a day of competing, their robot was no longer running. Team 8 deliberated some more and called, "3434A." Stephen looked back with surprise on his face and chimed, "We accept." How awesome is that?
We had the opportunity to be teammates with the Spur-Flys of Van Nuys, the World Champions from 2009. When the bell went off, Team Ctrl-Alt-Del was all alone. Our alliance's robot failed to engage. Stephen ran the Mar-10 flawlessly, scoring for us and descoring the opponent. The final outcome of the elimination tournament was 2 wins, 1 loss in the first round and 2 losses in the second round. We are so excited about how well the Mar-10 performed, robust in design and highly maneuverable. We think we have a winning robot for the future.
At our Intro to Programming Class..."It's like Minecraft that makes you think." (Sam, 10 years old)