2018/19 SEASON SUMMARY
This year’s competition was called FIRST Destination: Deep Space. The basic idea was that space travelers controlling robots are on planet Primus and had to prepare rockets and cargo ships for an emergency takeoff due to a sandstorm. The robots had to secure round hatch panels to the rockets and cargo ships, and also load cargo to the rockets and ships. At the end of each match, the robots had to return to the habitat area where they started and climb on to a platform. Each match had three robots in one alliance competing against three robots in an opposing alliance. The robots were randomly assigned to alliances each match, and had to use teamwork and strategy to win. In the playoffs, the top teams chose their alliance partners and then the alliances remained the same throughout the playoff rounds.
In their first competition at Mt. Olive, the RoboWarriors performed well in the qualification rounds with a record of 8-4 going into the playoffs. They were ranked 9th out of the 37 teams competing, and made it to the quarterfinal round of the playoffs before losing to the alliance that went on to win the Mt. Olive event. The team then decided to make a major design change to the “claw” mechanism on the robot that grabbed the hatch panels, and they were able to design, build, and install the new claw before going to their next competition at Montgomery. The new claw worked extremely well in the Montgomery competition, and the team had a record of 9-3 after the qualification matches and was ranked 7th out of the 37 teams competing there. Once again, they moved on to the playoffs before losing in the quarterfinals. Also at Montgomery, they won the “Innovation in Control Award” for their superbly designed robot control station, an award which they had also won last year.
Due to their two solid performances in these district competitions, the RoboWarriors qualified for the regional competition at Lehigh University. There were 60 teams competing at Lehigh, and their record of 6-6 in the qualification matches gave them an overall rank of 30th. Though they competed well, it was not quite enough to be chosen for the playoffs at Lehigh.
After these competitions, the team’s final ranking in the FIRST Mid-Atlantic Region was 48th out of 128 teams. This ranking, though very respectable, was not quite enough to qualify for the national competition in Detroit. This then, is the goal for next year. The RoboWarriors are proud of what they did accomplish this year and look forward to building on their success next year.