This past weekend we (the Robo Vikes) competed at the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Dallas Regional in Irving. 54 teams from three countries (USA, Chile, and Brazil) and two states (Texas and Oklahoma) were there to play this year’s FIRST Robotics Competition game, FIRST STEAMworks. (Ha ha!)
Combining the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. We call FIRST Robotics Competition the ultimate Sport for the Mind. High-school student participants call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.” Under strict rules, limited resources, and an intense six-week time limit, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand”, hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. It’s the closest real-world engineering a student can experience in high school. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team.
It’s about completing a very challenging project with limits on your budget and a firm deadline. It’s about working on teams, help from caring and knowledgeable Mentors and peers, Gracious Professionalism, helping an opponent.
For a day and a half, our drive team of Alejandro Araujo, David Yokell, Alec Austin, and Jack DeRuntz captained by mentor Kevin LaPerriere, competed alongside two randomly selected Alliance Partners during eight matches of Qualifying. For each match we were positioned against another alliance of three robots. For this portion of the competition we earned a record of 6-1-1 and ended with a rank of 4/54. Once the Qualifying matches ended, it was time for the Elimination Rounds. Eight alliances of three robot teams would compete in a tournament style play of double elimination matches.
After an exciting round of alliance selection, headed by our lead scout, Adrianna Araujo (class of 2020), we were allied with two FRC teams: team 2468 (Team Appreciate out of Westlake High School in Austin, TX,) and team 5417 (Eagle Robotics out of Allen High School in Allen, TX).
During the quarterfinals, as the fourth seed, we began our competition against the fifth seeded alliance. We won the first two matches by the score of 235-215 and 305-220. On to the Semifinals!
Now we took on the first seed alliance anchored by powerhouse FRC team 2848, the All Sparks, of Jesuit High School in Dallas, former World Champions! We won the first match 330-306, narrowly escaping defeat by forcing a penalty. The second match was lost 255-267, again, due to a penalty, this time ours. We won the third and deciding match 255-240. Now it was onto the finals. Here we were pitted against the second seeded alliance dominated by founding FRC team 148 from Greenville High School in Greenville, TX, the RoboWranglers. We won our first match 305 to 255 and, after a lengthy timeout, won our second match 240-165.
With that win, the Robo Vikes have qualified to compete at the World Championships in Houston, TX on April 19-22. Nearly 1200 FRC teams will compete in 12 divisions to claim glory as the World Champion!
We have no shortage of ideas or talent here at Nolan. However, being a young team, we are at a disadvantage in terms of equipment and resources compared with those world-class teams. In order to set the team up for success both now and in the future we are announcing the #DropTheHammer campaign. When you follow the Investors link you can leave us information so that we can contact you to discuss our needs.
Thank you in advance for your support of our team and we look forward to challenging both ourselves and the world.
I am so proud of our team’s success. It is owed to the hard work of all our team members (those that were able to attend, and those not able) , all of our former members, our mentors, our coaches, and our sponsors. Thank you!