Bot Bash Champions!

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Now that it’s February of 2015, I figured I should finish this blogpost I started last fall. Way back in October, Rebecca was grinning at the GLBR Bot Bash.

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Once again, Christian’s programming code enabled our robot to score a 2-ball auton (when our alliance partner was unable to shoot autonomously).

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Rebecca tightened bolts between matches.

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So intense!

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For our two young people, I think the most difficult part of this competition was watching other teammates drive the robot! To fully optimize learning opportunities at this unofficial off-season event, two new drive teams joined our experienced drive team in a rotation. Of our 11 regular Bot Bash matches, Christian and Rebecca only “drove” 4 times. When they weren’t participating in a match, they were typically busy providing support for the robot and the “green” drive teams.

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A nonchalant pose by pro human player Christian:)

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After lunch we had risen to 4th place among the 20 or so robotics teams attending. As leaders of the 4th-seed alliance, our team’s clever strategists selected 2 hard-working rookie teams to join us in the elimination rounds. Our first choice was Team 5231, Shepherd’s Radical Jays, whom we’ve mentored occasionally and battled against (in a friendly way:) over the past year. The rookie Heritage ONE Hawkbots, Team 5229 from Saginaw, filled the third spot on our alliance.

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Here, Christian used his height to catch the ball trussed from an alliance partner, then quickly tossed the ball into our robot to collect more assist points.

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Our kids, with the experienced drive team, were chosen to play throughout the “playoffs” to give us the best chance at a win.

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Heading into the Finals, the girls of our main drive team paused a moment to pray.

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The 3 finals matches were extremely competitive. We were playing against 2 of the Bot Bash host teams–The Charge, 2619 of Midland and Team Phoenix, 703 of Saginaw–with many more years’ experience than our relatively new team.

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Victory!

You may watch videos of the Bot Bash Final Series Matches via YouTube:

GLBR Bot Bash – Finals-1

GLBR Bot Bash – Finals-2

GLBR Bot Bash – Finals-3

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Our team was also selected for the “Hottest Bot” award, presented by Saginaw’s Team Phoenix!

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These trophies were especially unique and classy. Many thanks to FIRST of the Great Lakes Bay Region for a terrific Bot Bash!

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10.18.14
Great Lakes Bay Bot Bash
Off-Season Competition
Midland, MI
Flat Mountain Mechanics Team 4819
FRC 2014 Aerial Assist

Bot Bash set up & field repair :)

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As the Bot Bash was an “off-season” event and performance had no bearing on the official season’s scores, it provided a perfect opportunity to train new team members. Tasks like battery replacement…

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and learning rules and tips for the human player role.

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The Radical Jays asked Christian to help edit their code. He had helped them last year.

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Rebecca experimented with the role of “drive coach.”

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During a practice match, two of our team’s green drivers somehow separated the corner metal bars on the field low goal and caught our robot’s “intakerator” inside the goal framework.

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Hmmm. Now what?

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Inspection revealed that our robot’s “intakerator” bar was a bit wobbly but expected to continue performing properly.

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Rebecca watched the FTA (FIRST Technical Advisor) and engineers discuss repair options.

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Then she picked up a drill to begin repairing the field!

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Rebecca knew just what to do. Her experience with thousands of rivets on robot and airplane prepared her for exactly this opportunity.

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I’m so pleased with the mentors from various teams who guided and supervised Rebecca and other students during this repair. It’s one of the terrific aspects of FIRST: hands-on learning opportunities for our young people!

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Yes, our 15-year-old daughter helped repair the game field! We had time for one more practice match before pits would close for the evening. The Bot Bash competition would begin bright and early on the following morning.

10.17.14
Great Lakes Bay Bot Bash
Off-Season Competition
Midland, MI
Flat Mountain Mechanics Team 4819
FRC 2014 Aerial Assist

Bot Bash field build

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In preparation for the Bot Bash back in October, our robotics team volunteered to help build the competition field.

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Rebecca whipped out her pocket knife to trim loose threads from the field carpet.

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She also helped tape carpet seams.

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Many of the Flat Mountain Mechanics, along with a couple robotics students from Saginaw and Midland, assembled this portion of the goal station.

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Members from at least 3 or 4 robotics teams worked together to assemble and align the side boundaries.

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Somebody was excited to drive the robot again!

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I left to visit the library before it closed, but field-build fun continued. Terry captured these two remaining photos.

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10.16.14
Great Lakes Bay Bot Bash
Off-Season Competition
Midland, MI
Flat Mountain Mechanics Team 4819
FRC 2014 Aerial Assist