This weekend the Robowranglers competed in the Lone Star North Regional. We had a great time, had fun with lots of our robot friends, and made some new ones. We were invited to join the #1 alliance, and would go on to be Regional Finalists (2nd Silver medal of the year!) as well as be awarded the Gracious Professionalism award from the judges. Like always, I'm proud of this performance, but the real story lies behind the curtain...
Just under 3 weeks ago the team held our traditional post-mortem meeting after competing in the Dallas Regional. We discussed what went right, and what went wrong. We took a hard look in the mirror, and decided we didn't like what we saw. The team set in motion a plan for self improvement, including an almost TOTAL rebuild of our robot Rogue. Even as a team renowned for continuous improvement and iteration, this is something we don't do.
Since then, we evolved our shooter and added a totally new shooter feeder. We designed a new robot front end with no ball intake, no sliding hopper, a reinforced intake pivot joint and an improved gear intake (9th iteration!). Since the intake didn't stick out as far in the front, we extended the rear chassis to fit a larger sized stationary hopper. Capping this off, we added a new faster climber mechanism and a new rope design. (Ohh, and we also added all the shooter autonomous modes we didn't complete for Dallas).
Carrying 29.8lbs of custom parts into the regional on Friday, a skeleton crew of 16 students totally rebuilt the robot. Many of those on this trip were not members of the pit crew, but were told before coming "Every Wrangler Rivets, and on this trip -- everyone works in the pit."
When Rogue Mk2 took the field this weekend, it came out shooting both figuratively and literally.
This robot went on to be one of the highest scoring robots at the regional, and also positioned itself statistically as one of the top robots in the world. In the eliminations we were able to score 27 kPa in autonomous, deliver 8 gears, and climb in a single match. The robot is a lightweight at 100 lbs, and is the FASTEST machine we've ever had...
Next week the team will travel to the Las Vegas Regional, and play against some of the biggest powerhouses in the program. After exchanging punches with those teams, I'm confident we'll be ready for the "big show" in a few weeks.
To say I am proud is an understatement. This is one of the most incredible experiences I've had in FRC. The students of Greenville continue to astound me, not only with the things they do but also with their incredible drive to "walk the champion's path".
To our students and my fellow mentors: Thank You. I am privileged to be able to call you my teammates, proud of everything we've already accomplished, and overwhelmingly excited for what comes next.
As always... "Damn it feels good to be a Wrangler."