South Texas Qualifier at Cinco Ranch

The RoboRangers competed in one of the first qualifiers for the area this past Saturday.  24 teams descended on Cinco Ranch Junior High School for what turned out to be a great tournament.  CRyptonite 624, the Cinco Ranch High School FRC team, hosted the qualifier.  Their army of volunteers made the event run smoothly and their spirit energized the crowd.

The team started the tournament by first going to the Core Values Teamwork judging.  Although they couldn’t complete the challenge, they united as a team, gave it their best, and had a lot of fun doing it.  Next up was their first robot match, with Bobby as robot handler and Marcus as his pit assistant.  The pair managed to give the team their highest table score of the day.  After the first match, the team was ready to give their project presentation.  As always, they gave an enthusiastic performance and the judges loved that it was clear that the team works really well together and that they put in a lot of effort into their research.  The judges gave excellent feedback that they can apply to further their research project.  Match #2 was next with Aidan and Alex handling the robot.  Aidan felt that one of his touch penalties wasn’t warranted and he had the courage to approach the head judge for a reversal decision.  In the end, it didn’t affect the team’s overall score but it took a lot for Aidan to make that challenge.  Match #3, led by Trent and Fiona, was a bit difficult.  The sensor on their robot fell off after the first mission and they worked as hard as they could to get it back on and functional.  Grace under pressure!  The team went for Technical judging of their robot design and programming after the matches were complete.  They did a fantastic job as a team explaining the robot design process throughout the season, their many different prototypes, and how they got to the robot they competed with that day.

After lunch, the waiting began while the judges deliberated who would be awarded advancement tickets and awards.  Team CRyptonite 624 and the emcee did a great job at keeping the teams engaged.  It was especially fun when they called the coaches up for what they thought was acknowledgement, and it turned out to be a coaches dance-off!  Coach Damian got his groove on doing the bull rider and even took a spin on the floor.  The chicken dance, the macarena, and more made Coach Damian a sweaty mess but he had a blast!  Even the RoboRangers were caught dancing!

It was a fun event and a lot of teams were recognized for their awesome efforts.  The RoboRangers didn’t have a strong robot game and I wasn’t sure if they would be up for any awards.  All awards were given except for the 1st Place Champion’s Award.  The emcee read the winner…team #5374…the ROBORANGERS!!!  The team graciously accepted their award and their advancement ticket to the Lonestar Championship to be held January 7th!!!  There were tears by the team members, proud coaches, and parents.  Their accomplishment as a team is outstanding!

Here are some highlights of their day.

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Here is a funny video of Coach Damian and the RoboRangers dancing!

FLL Qualifier – December 3, 2011 from Susan Lynch on Vimeo


Lone Star Championship Tournament

The Roborangers had a fantastic time competing among the top 60 teams in the south Texas Lone Star Championship Tournament. The University of Houston hosted the event and the energy in the building was electrifying. The kids really had a great time. They loved walking around the pit area meeting kids from other teams. The team ended up achieving their highest robot performance scores of the season at the tournament. That was a huge accomplishment! They were in a tough bracket as two of the teams they competed with went on to achieve 1st and 3rd place in the robotics challenge. It was a great way to end our rookie season. Pictures and video to come soon!

Congratulations RoboRangers!

All the hard work the team has gone through the past 8 weeks paid off.  Not only did their robot finish in the top 8, they received the First Place Project Award!  Outstanding!  During callbacks the judges were laughing so hard at their skit that one almost fell out of her chair.  The kids came out of the judging room with huge grins.  Theywere having fun.  Their overall performance earned them a spot at the 2010 Lone Star Championship Tournamet at the University of Houston this weekend.  They will be competing among the top 60 teams in all of South Texas.  According to the FIRST LEGO League, the Lone Star Championship is the largest single day FLL event in the world.  It will be a wild time for all of us! 

Here are some highlights of the day…

It’s all coming together…

The team is just one practice away from the tournament and major strides were made today.  The team worked on their skit some more and a bunch of hands worked together at making the team poster.  Great team work!  The team also had major repeatable successes with their robot missions and they were scoring the highest they have all season.  Go RoboRangers!  The team also got some administrative work in and made checklists of all the items that need to be brought to the competition. 

Crunch Time!

The RoboRangers are coming down to the wire.  The qualifiers are this Saturday!  The team has just 2 more meetings to prepare.  Yesterday, the team worked on performing their skit.  It’s quite entertaining.  Tomorrow the research/project team will be working hard on the team’s poster and making checklists of everything they need to bring with them to the competition.  The robot mechanics and programmers still have quite a bit of work ahead of them.  They were having repeatability issues so, as a team, they have completely changed their objectives.  It’s a difficult task to change strategies this late in the game, but they are working as hard as they can.  And that is all they can do.  They are having a good time doing it, and in the end, that is all that matters! 

Thank you to the Concepcions for the gigantic pizza that barely fit through the front door!

Getting there!

I’ve been remiss at updating our team’s blog.  The team is just 2 weeks away from their qualifying competition.  The programmers and robot designers have been hard at work.  After a complete rebuild of their robot, the team has a good handle on some of the missions.  It’s exciting to see how excited the kids get when they execute their program flawlessly.  Cheers abound!  The researchers have been busy gathering all the information for their project and will be finalizing their skit tomorrow.

At one of our team meetings, the kids were fortunate to have Brandon Hamilton as a guest speaker and give the kids a peek into his world of orthopedics.  He brought along plastic models of the hand and foot, along with a titanium external fixator,  He showed a ton of xrays and some pictures of actual surgeries which garnered a few “ewwwws” and “that’s gross!” from the kids.  The kids came away with a lot of great information that they have applied to their research project.

Here is the RoboRanger tshirt design, artwork by Alex.  The shirts will arrive just in time for the tournament!

The past 2 weeks meetings have been focused on getting 1-2 mission challenges complete.  The team decided together that achieving the Patent/Claw mission was high priority as only one team can score the points from it in the head-to-head match.  The programmers and robot designers worked to get the robot to it, following the objectives of the strategic designers.  

 And this is what happens after 3 hours of intense programming…

Big thank yous for the Simmons, Shurtz, and Zapalac families for the dinners you have provided the team!