A pandemic, only having 9 experienced veterans, and a delayed start couldn’t stop us at Hatboro this weekend! After two years, our team made our comeback at the first competition of the season! Seniors held their breaths before the competition, knowing our first competitions are usually our roughest! But this weekend they were able to exhale a long awaited sigh of relief! Every turn brought a new challenge, but nothing Miss Daisy wasn’t used to. Our hard work paid off.
Last week, we finished wiring the final touches of our robot earlier than we usually had in the past. Programming had the chance to tinker with the real robot and make final adjustments with the drivers the Wednesday before. For once, we were ahead of schedule! Our drive team had a total of one day to practice, which is one day longer than our past drive teams had two years back, but it proved to be more than enough on the field. Our first two matches were not the best of the event, but by the third match, we rejoiced! We hung on the high bar! The dark clouds of failure parted, and the rainbow LEDs of success shone on our robot’s arm, signifying our glorious climb!
Given hanging has always been a challenging task for our team to accomplish, it made our heart soar to know we did what we set out to do. We knew our coaches felt the same too. On the bus ride home, our drive and strategy coach stood up and told us, “This is it. This is the robot we decided to build.” And we couldn’t be more proud.
Looking at the progress we made on Saturday, we were determined to climb to the highest rung, traversal, on Sunday morning. And traverse we did! In order to traverse, we had to adjust the levers and the gears on the climber. After applying the proper adjustments to the gears, we rolled Miss Daisy out onto the field and the pit members rushed to the stands with the rest of the team in anticipation of the daunting task ahead for our robot. As we waited for the endgame, our stands erupted in chants and cheers for the drive team.
And then it happened; we climbed to traversal. The robot we had strategized and envisioned in January went from ideation to realization. It was no longer “maybe we can do it”. We COULD do it and we just proved it to our district and ourselves.
With every high comes a low. A few matches later, our robot lost all code. Our robot didn’t even leave the starting line. As it would turn out, though, if our robot had worked and we attempted to hang, the robot would’ve broken since the hooks of the hanger arms weren’t properly reset.
The prototyping, redesign after redesign, and CAD all came to fruition. When we hung, we knew our team was entering a completely new era. No longer are the years of struggling to reach a seemingly impossibly high bar.
Qualifications came to end with us traversing for another time, ranking Miss Daisy at 13th by noon. With the end of qualifications, came alliance selection, and our strategy scouts were prepared. Our team was in the stands watching every robot during every match and taking notes to input into our scouting database, an elaborate spreadsheet with equations that the strategy team created during build season to give us quick data about the best teams to ally with. During alliance selection, we got picked by Team 7414 and allied with 5420.
As the matches progressed, we maintained a solid performance. Our gyroscopic sensor was misaligned and our driver had to compensate as best as they could, leading to us not being able to perform the best we could. As luck would have it though, during match 60, our partner, 7414, lost balance and was unfortunately unable to continue.
Although our time on the field got cut short, no one went home feeling disappointed. We won the Excellence in Engineering Award for the hooks on our hanger arms! The hours we had poured into the robot had paid off! Next competition, we plan to go even further.
Our performance proved that the sky isn’t the limit for us. It’s just something we stand on.