Robotics Moves on to World Championship

Rolling Drones and Botley Crue work together

By Jessica Wen ’17, Rabia Arshad ’17

The Rolling Drones, one of Midwood’s robotics teams, will be moving on to the FTC World Championship.

The team will be competing against teams from  all over the country after being one of the twenty-four teams to move on from the FTC Super Regional that took place in Scranton, Pennsylvania from March 18 to March 20. Bötley Crüe, the other team that made it to the Super Regional made it to the semi-finals, and did not qualify for the World Championship.

Before heading to the Super Regional competition, Bötley Crüe won the trophy for the winning alliance and the Connect Award for helping the community understand FIRST, the FIRST Tech Challenge, and the team itself and for aggressively seeking engineers and explores the opportunities available in the world of engineering, science and technology at the regional competition that was held at Townsend Harris High School on February 28. The Rolling Drones was awarded the trophy for the Finalist Alliance and won the PTC Design award for the design of their elements of the robot that are both functional and aesthetic.

“I was overwhelmed with excitement knowing that they are both moving to super regional,” Ms. Ali said. “It is the ultimate reward after all of their hard work.”

The challenge and objective for this competition is still the same as last time.

The tables turned during Regionals. The Rolling Drones won four out five of their qualifying matches while Bötley Crüe only won one. Bötley Crüe had connection issues that prevented the robot from working. At one point, the phone that holds all the programs that allowed the robot to work fell out of its case and hindered the robot from moving. Due to the good relationship with Techno Chicks, a girl scout group ranked fourth place, they were able to move onto the super regional championship. In 2009, Techno Chicks and the Midwood robotics team moved  onto the world championship together.

“During one of the matches, we went up the mountain way too fast,” said Shazem Khalid ’16. “Our robot flipped over and that cost us one of our matches.”

Bötley Crüe Captain Victoria Gnip ’16 said, “It was really close and we didn’t think weren’t going to make it because we had so many technical issues. Luckily Techno Chix chose us to be part of their alliance. We were able to fix our technical problems and win the competition.”

Shazem Khalid ’16 and Michael Nurilov ’16 are the drivers for Bötley Crüe with Dana Gan ’16 as the coach. As for Rolling Drones, Caitlin Tsang ’17 and  Jessy Li ’16 are the drivers while Ihor Bakhank ’16 coaches from the side.

Between each matches, the teams had time to make small adjustments to their robots before they’re up to compete against another team again if they want to. Mostly, the teams switched up parts of the robot to be better prepared for the different sides of the field that they would be competing on.

Rolling Drones was ranked second and they were able to pick their three alliances and move onto the semi-finals and the finals. Bötley Crüe won one out of the five qualifying matches due to technical difficulties, which are mostly blue tooth disconnection, and resulted in rank 25.

Both teams moved on to the Super Regional where they competed in the Grace Hopper Division made up of 36 teams. The other division, Nikola Tesla, was also made up of 36 teams. While Rolling Drones only lost 2 out of 9 matches, Bötley Crüe was not as fortunate. Rolling Drones was in fourth place and got to chose which teams would move on to the elimination rounds with them. Rolling Drones and Bötley Crüe were allies at the semi-finals but lost the elimination match. The winning teams of the elimination rounds from eacch division faced each other for a final match. The Hopper Division won the match, and the teams from that division were moved up on the ranking chart. Because of their ranking, the Rolling Drones moved on to the World Championship. Since the Midwood allianc edid no tein the elimination match, Bötley Crüe did not get a chance to move up the ranking chart and could not qualify for the World Championship.

“As a captain, it’s a lot of pressure to keep the team together, organized and strong so we are able to perform to the best of our abilities from match to match. Being calm, cool, and collected was the key to success,” said Rolling Drones’ Ihor Bakhnak ’16.

Mr. Jahn said, “I was really proud of both teams for making it that far. Both teams did extremely well despite the fact that Bötley Crüe was teamed up with teams that made it hard to win. I’m glad one of the teams made it.”

The FTC World Championship will take place form April 27-30 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Quetourah Dalencourt ’16 contributed to this article.

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