Last Saturday (12/17), Four of the five Cain VRC robotics teams competed this past weekend at the Rockwall-Heath VEX robotics competition. This year’s challenge, called “Starstruck”, is to design and build robots that drive, pick-up, and dump 10” foam jacks and large pillow cubes over a fence that divides the field in half. Teams compete in alliances of 2 robots and try to outscore their opponents through a series of qualification and elimination rounds.
Team 23310A, “Gears of Steel” competed for the first time this year with a unique “pusher” bot that was designed to push stars under the fence. It was a lightweight, fast and maneuverable machine that used “mecanum” wheels to move in all directions. The team finished in 5th place after the qualification rounds and then they picked team 2148D from Greenville, TX for the eliminations rounds. They easily won their quarter final matches, but their journey ended in the semi-final round. With a little more practice this team will be able to execute their effective strategy into the finals.
Team 23310B, “Starbots” (Meridith A., Dan S., Izzy B., Codi C., Adam J., Alex S., Ryan S., and Thomas P.), built a solid performing machine with a lifting arm/claw design. The team went 11-1 through the qualification rounds and they picked team 2148A from Greenville, TX as their alliance partner for the elimination rounds. The alliance partners worked very well together went on to win the competition. The Starbots also won the Excellence award in the judged portion of the competition and the Skills award for the highest score in the combined driver/programming skills challenge. Their score of 81 ranks them 17th amongst middle and high school teams in the world.
Team 23310C, “RoboStangs”, competed for the second time this year with a lifting arm/fork design. This team completely rebuilt their robot midway through the season and now have a solid, robust design. The RoboStangs placed 11th in the qualification rounds. With a few mechanical tweaks and software updates, this team will is poised to compete at the top level.
Team 23310D, “Elite Bots”, competed for the second time this year with a fast lifting arm/claw design that could pick up several stars at once. They have continued to improve their robot throughout the season and were clearly one of the best robots at the competition. After a very difficult schedule they placed 13th after the qualifications rounds. This team is already running at the top level, with a few adjustments they will definitely be in the finals next competition.
Special thanks to the RHHS Black Hawk Robotics team for hosting and running the event. The high school team did a first class job!