Viking Robotics Team 580 competed at the Los Angeles Regional at the LA Fairplex in Pomona, CA, March 14th – 17th. This was the team’s first competition for the 2018 season and captain Maddy R. ’18 was really happy with how the robot and team did. Competing with 54 teams from around the world, Team 580 ranked 17th and was chosen by the 8th ranked alliance, our neighbors from Bridges Academy, Team 4019 Mechanical Paradise, to compete in the finals. Unfortunately, the alliance did not get past the quarterfinals, however, Team Captain Maddy R. ’18 & driver Justin G. ’18, were both very pleased with how the robot performed. To view Team 580’s qualification & quarterfinal matches click here.
All teams get 6 weeks to design, build and program their robot and Team 580 came to this competition with several components not fully built. Maddy & Justin, along with team members Ian W. ’20, Ethan M. ’18, Emma F. ’18, Quinn G. ’21, Kamron K. ’21, Cleo N. ’21 and Finn C. ’21, arrived on the Thursday prior to competitions and spent the morning doing final assembly. Everyone was excited to get out onto the practice field for at least one practice match and test driving the robot around.
Catastrophe struck with the first match as the robot fell over breaking several of it’s 3-D printed wheels. The team learned quickly that the robot was too top heavy when fully extended and would not be able to place cubes on the high scale during matches. The team replaced all the broken wheels and got back out on the field for the last practice match and successfully drove the robot around, placed cubes on the switch, and pushed cubes into the vault. The exciting part was seeing the robot successfully climb at the end of the match for the first time. The robot’s climb ultimately became one of the robots strongest features. The climb mechanism was super loud, turning heads each time it climbed.
Team 580 queued up during opening ceremonies to be in the first qualification match Friday morning, so it would be trial by fire to see how the robot would perform with other teams. The strengths & weaknesses became obvious to the team. The grabber, which was needed to pick up cubes off the ground was slow, couldn’t get low enough to pick up cubes and was struggling to shoot the cubes out. Driver, Justin G. ’18, started learning how to quickly push cubes into the vault making Team 580 a strong team member for future alliances. By the end of the last match, Justin was putting 7 to 9 cubes in the vault. Meanwhile, programmer Ethan M. ’18, worked on adjusting the autonomous code to be able to cross the line and place a cube on the correct switch from any starting position. By the end of the day, he had successfully programmed multiple different autonomous modes for the robot.
Team Captain Maddy R. ’18 along with Michael M. ’18 from Granada Hills High & Wilder Buchanan ’18 from Loyola High school each received a $1000 scholarship from SCRRF. They each wrote an essay on “The Impact of FRC/FTC/VRC on my Future Goals.” Congratulations Maddy, Michael & Wilder and thank you SCRRF for recognizing them and for helping students continue their STEM education! Please click on the following links for more information on Los Angeles Robotics or the Southern California Regional Robotics Forum (SCRRF) Scholarships.
The team left the LA Regional feeling they worked out a lot of bugs and are looking forward to the Ventura Regional in two weeks.