Viking Robotics Qualifies for Championship in Houston

Campbell Hall Viking Robotics Team 580 qualifies for FIRST® Championship in Houston, TX, April 18-21 after competing in the Ventura Regional March 29-31.

Team 580 Ventura Regional Finalists

Team 580 came into the Ventura Regional very optimistic, after ranking 17th out of 54 teams at the LA Regional, March 14-17 and joining the 8th seeded alliance to compete in the Quarterfinals, however they did not advance.

After the LA Regional, Team 580’s programming team, led by senior Ethan M. ’18, felt confident that the robot, named KEFFLER 9000, could consistently cross the autonomous line and place a cube on the switch during autonomous mode. During the teleoperated period, the drive team, led by seniors Justin G. ’18 and team Captain Maddy R. ’18, were confidently driving the robot, moving as many as 9 cubes into the vault to their human player, sophomore Ian W. ’20, who knew the best strategic times to play the power ups. The one component of the robot that really impressed everyone is the climb. While super loud, the climber, driven by a steel lead screw, topped with a menacing claw, would extend during the last seconds of the match and consistently grab the rung lifting the robot 1 to 2 feet off the ground.


The main thing the team wanted to try to do between the LA Regional and Ventura Regional was create a buddy bar, so that another team could attempt to attach themselves to the robot during the endgame and get additional ranking points. The robot weighed in at 109.4 Lbs, 10.6 Lbs under the 120 maximum limit so there was room to add material.

Buddy Bar

The team designed a buddy bar using two 32″ by 3/4″ steel rods with two 15″ by 1.25″ aluminum tubing and cut two holes in the claw so the bars could attach. While the team was concerned mostly with perfecting the autonomous and driving, Ian W. ’20, got the buddy bars ready to attach when the time came to add them to the robot.

Team 580 started out strong at the Ventura Regional, winning it’s first four matches and ranking 12th. However, Team 580 lost the next 7 matches and finished ranked 34th by the end of the qualification rounds. Team Captain Maddy R. ’18 & lead driver Justin G. ’18, reached out to all the top ranked teams prior to alliance selection, reminding each team what Team 580’s strengths are: ability to cross the auto line & put a cube in the switch during autonomous, additional 2 to3 cubes in switch or up to 9 cubes into the vault, and climb at the end of each match, along with the new buddy bar.  It was an exciting alliance selection as Team 580 was the final pick by the top seeded alliance, with alliance captain Team 5199 and their first pick Team 968. Our alliance went on to win quarterfinals, semifinals and 1 out of 3 final matches. Below is a playlist of our last 7 matches of the final rounds:

Congratulations Team 5818, 3512 and 5515 on a great Finals match. Good luck in Houston.

As our alliance captain Team 5199 earned an opportunity to go to the championship and Team 580 was awarded a wild card spot to go to the Championship in Houston. Congratulations Team 580 and good luck in Houston!!!






Viking Robotics ranks 17 and competes in Quarterfinals at LA Regional

Keffler 9000

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.

LA Regional 2018 - Robot Fell Ovoer

LA Regional 2018 – Robot Fell Over

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.

LA Regional 2018 - Robot Climb

LA Regional 2018 – Robot Climb

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.

Stay tuned.

LA Regional 2018 - Team Photo

LA Regional 2018 – Team Photo


Check Out Our Video

We just posted our first video on YouTube!!! Check it out and stay tuned for more updates on our progress. You can watch the video here.

2/3 Update

We’ve been hard at work trying to complete the robot. There are only two more weeks until the scrimmage and we still have a lot of work to do. But we have been making lots of progress.

One of our big advancements is working on a throwing mechanism. If you follow us on our twitter you would have seen a video of our prototype.

Treads! We’ve finally got them! Below is a picture.


It’s not the final product but it’s a good start.

We’re working on a lot more right now that we can’t wait to show you. Stay tuned!

-Viking Robotics

1/16 Progress

The base of the robot was completed this morning. the build team is currently working on finding a place for the battery in the base of the robot. They are using zip ties as a temporary solution to secure the battery onto the base. We have a long ways to go but we’re making good progress!

robot (2)

First Stronghold Competition Manual

Here is the complete manual and specifications for the First Stronghold Competition 

In summary: The goal is to shoot “boulders” into the opposing teams tower and cross defenses. Robots can scale the opposing team’s tower by extending a hook towards the top of the tower and pulling the robot up the tower. The towers can be weakened by throwing or pushing boulders inside and defenses can be weakened by crossing them twice.

This is just a brief summary. The complete rules and guidelines can be read by clicking the link above.