Westtown District Competition

IMG_1562As we’ve come to find out after our weekend at Westtown District Competition, repeatedly yelling “YEET” from the stands is very important for morale. Our spirit was absolutely out of this world–we tried out some new cheers, both organized and disorganized. Regardless, our team rallied behind Miss Daisy XVIII as she conquered her first competition of the season. The first day of competition proved itself to be a bit of a challenge–a tough first match revealed that half of our drivebase had decided to take the day off. This, of course, was unacceptable. The pit crew worked through our second match in an effort to diagnose the problem, and ensure that our robot was ready for action in the next match. If you’ve never been to a competition, just picture the pit as the trenches. That’s it.

After they fixed the problem with the drivebase, the pit crew spent the rest of day one chasing down other problems that arose. Some can certainly be credited to human error, but we won’t talk about that. There was one point, however, when Miss Daisy was randomly deploying the linear actuator, which is our HAB mechanism. This nearly threw the robot off of the robot cart on multiple occasions. So that was fun. It was then that the pit crew and its coaches decided to take off the linear actuator mechanism. It was a tough decision, but it was certainly the right call. We played the rest of our matches for day one without a HAB mechanism, which we made up for with our cargo and hatch mechanisms.

By day two, our drive team had gotten a feel for the quirks of our robot, and were getting better and better with each match. Come alliance selection, we were picked by the 6th seed in the first round of picks! That was some good stuff. Alongside team 834 and 1370, we made it the third match of semi-finals, where we lost to the alliance that ended up winning the event. But over the course of our matches, we learned a variety of things about our bot–things we wouldn’t have learned without a bit of trial and error. At the end of day two, we won the Entrepreneurship Award! The judges recognized us for our efforts with Sparky’s Robot World, our Hour of Code event, and our SWOT analysis. Even though our robot took some Ls, our business plan certainly didn’t.

Westtown served as an opportunity for us to improve upon our robot, work on some new cheers, and build morale as a team. It was a great experience for rookies, as it was many of their first times attending a competition. There were also some bomb samosas, which were arguably the biggest highlight of the weekend.

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