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All 2011-12 Posts
2011-12 Build Week: 1
Posted on May 2, 2012 by Benjamin Yu
Even though MVRT did not qualify for the FRC finale, MVRT was fortunate for having the opportunity to attend FIRST's Championship competition. MVRT members left on the Wednesday before Championships, all excited for the international event. After two speedy flights MVRT members arrived at St. Louis, Missouri.
Everything about St. Louis was amazing! With a stroke of luck, MVRT was able to book a hotel right next to the St. Louis arc and lucky members were rewarded with an amazing view of the majestic arc, which gave a curious glow at night.
However MVRT wasn't here to go sight seeing. At the Edward Jones Dome, thousands of FIRST members were working on their robots, 400 FRC teams preparing their robots for the competition of it's short career. Divided into four divisions, FRC at Championships was truly unique. Everything at Championships was on a different scale from regional competitions; thousands of spectators, hundreds of teams, full scale practice fields and even several fields for competition to boot. MVRT members who were attending championships for the first time, were overwhelmed by the magnitude of the FIRST community.
With a hundred teams in each division, MVRT, competing on the Newton field, faced a whole lot of down time to explore the Dome. Sponsors of FIRST was kind enough to set up stations that showed the work each individual companies did. Even though MVRT was not unfamiliar with robotics, the robots made by professional engineers were on another scale, one even went around following neon trails. MVRT was really inspired by these robots, which were hinting the future work of some of us future engineers.
Back at FIRST competitions, FRC's little siblings, FLL and FTC, really showed some great work. MVRT members who attended FTC and those who coached FLL teams, were definitely interested in the smaller robots. However, seeing the little robots rack up points, really pumped up members for FRC games.
On the field, El toro was performing its best all year. El toro was consistently making its autonomous shots and was zooming across the bump into enemy territory. At the Championship level, MVRT decided it was necessary to play defense against the other superior robots. Our drivers played a hard defense, and after two days of qualification matches MVRT finished 73rd out of 100 teams.
Unfortunately, MVRT's competitive experience ended in the qualification matches, the team was not picked for the elimination rounds. However, the best was saved for last, and the whole team was able to watch the remaining matches as a team. With only the cream of the crop left, alliances were shooting hoop after hoop after hoop. After the unbelievable high scoring games 118, 548 and 2194 won the eliminations and moved on to represent Newton on the Einstein field.
At the finale of the 2012 FRC season, 4 alliances representing 4 divisions and 388 other teams, battled it out to be the champions of Rebound Rumble. Unluckily a few teams faced some connection problems to the Einstein field, but the games were still amazing. After each match came and went, the crowd was amazed by each match. In the end, team 25, 16 and 180 were crowned the winners of Rebound Rumble.
After the Championship event, members felt very rewarded. St, Louis brought many experiences and Championship goodies for members to take back. Memories of airplanes flying down towards the Einstein field and sitting on the bean bags for the Autodesk demo would be unforgettable to MVRT and especially our senior members.
Back at awards, 115 became one of two teams to have won the International Website Award, not once but twice. Congratulations to Sean Loveall (2012) for becoming an Internationally Recognized Webmaster.
Posted on April 3, 2012 by Benjamin Yu
Well it's that time off the year again! FIRST'S Silicon Valley Regional! On just the previous Thursday, MVRT pit members set up equipment and settled into the familiar regional.
On the practice field, MVRT's human player dedicated the good part of a dozen practice rounds to practice throwing balls across the field into the hoops, while the rest of pit team prepared El Toro for the practice rounds. The team robot may not have shown the consistent autonomous performance that the team has seen at the beginning of the Davis regional, but performed well for basic teleop-control. With a little bit of practice MVRT was ready for their second regional.
A sea of purple filled the stands for the Silicon Valley regional and the drivers from all the way down in the stadium heard the cries of "MVRT" from the stands. Right in the teleop-period, the drivers, as practiced many times before, squared up El Toro's bumpers with the fender, and with two short "whooshes" the balls sail over the top board and out of the field. Unfortunately, El Toro did not show the consistency that shined in the Davis regional, and came about shooting balls way over the back board or just hitting the hoop. With El Toro swerving left and right, pre-game positioning also became a gamble.
Regardless, MVRT pulled out a higher ranking than they did in Davis, finishing the qualification rounds as 20th out of 50 competing teams! During the alliance selection process, MVRT members crossed their fingers as the top teams picked their partners. But MVRT did not have to wait long, and the 7th seed captain, FIRST team 2473, called out MVRT to join them! MVRT showed their joy with a standing applause, and soon after, FIRST team 100 also joined the alliance!
Side by side with CHS Robotics and the Wildhats, MVRT went into the elimination rounds proudly as the 7th seed alliance again. However, after an effective autonomous and an accidental field reset, MVRT unfortunately lost both elimination rounds.
MVRT was also well noted outside of the intense matches on the field. Inside the pits, the judges noticed MVRT's constant support of other teams, sending tool and members from their own pit to help out their fellow FIRST robotics teams. During the award ceremony, MVRT was awarded the Gracious Professionalism award. With the pit members jumping for joy, MVRT streamed down the the stairwells as a purple river to high-five the judges.
With the end of the Silicon Valley Regional, MVRT continued the day packing, while not wanting the regional to end. MVRT members scattered, choosing their own ways to prolong the FIRST regional experience, but with the end of the day comes a new opportunity. After all, the FRC season is still not over.
Posted on March 18, 2012 by Benjamin Yu
It's the time that we've all been waiting for! The Sacramento Regional. On Thursday, MVRT pit members arrived at school at 5:30 in the morning to take the robot and their many hopes to UC Davis, where the regional was held. The first day was quite busy for MVRT pit members as they moved in and out to transport all of the tools and the robot into the pits. We pulled our robot together quickly and ran a few games on the practice field for our driver to be more accustomed to the field.
The next day, the bus arrived with members including the scout team and back-up pit crew. The team settled down as opening ceremony began and prepared themselves for the upcoming games.
Right off the start of the match, El Toro slowly crept up to the fender, squared off its bumpers and let it's shooter go! As the two basketballs were raised by the conveyor system, MVRT scouts held their breath in anticipation for twelve autonomous points. Thump... Thump... El Toro made the shots and swished twelve points right off the start! The sea of purple burst into cheers, chanting "115!115!" MVRT held several of high scoring games during the Qualification matches of the Sacramento regional despite a couple of problems with the drive train and autonomous period.
At the end of 84 qualification matches MVRT ended up 25th out of 50 teams, but MVRT was proud of El Toro XXV's performance on the field so far. As the team waited in anticipation, it was the 7th alliance's team captain's turn to make his choice. The team jumped in joy and a celebratory burst of noise exploded in the stands! MVRT was extremely grateful for being picked by team 4159, CardinalBotics, to play as the 7th seed for the elimination matches, along with team 8, Paly Robotics.
Unfortunately, MVRT was unable to advance past the first round of eliminations, but ended its last match with a bang. The El Toro encountered a jam with the balls while the other alliance ended autonomous with 30 points. When the alliance tried for a triple balance, team 8 successfully climbed onto the bridge but flipped over the barrier, heading outside of the field. As the bridge became unbalanced, team 4159 also flipped over at the other end of the balance. At the last second El Toro managed to balance itself, but lost the game with the crowd bursting into cheers. As the team moved their focus to the other alliance's bridge, their eyes widened with disbelief; the other alliance managed a triple balance and ended with 78 points, the highest score made at the regional so far. It was a victorious defeat that will be remembered.
In the end, MVRT did not only qualify for the elimination rounds, but was also honored to receive the website award at the Sacramento Regional. Congratulations to the team and a pat on the back for the webmaster!
After all the excitement of games, awards, and even cheering itself. MVRT packed its pits and headed home. Every member was dead tired from the amazing regional but the napping team had faces of satisfaction and joy.
Posted on February 24, 2012 by Benjamin Yu
After two days of rest, MVRT met again on the Friday of build to attend the Clean Up session. To all those parents out there with a child that never cleans his or her room, no member of the team has an excuse that they can't clean because they cleaned up the working area for MVRT. Even though most of the members were unfamiliar with the idea of putting away tools that they had just used, MVRT members had a great time putting away tools that they had worked with all build. Recovering from the stress of the build deadline, members laughed throughout the five hours of clean up. A real miracle must had happened for the inside out room to become right side up again. Rest well MVRT, competitions are just around the corner!
Posted on February 21, 2012 by Jessica Chen
After approximately 6 weeks of intense working...
El Toro 15 is born! The creating of this robot has been extremely on-schedule compared to previous years and all the member have been working hard! The last set of bumpers were completed last night with paint, sweat, and a hair-dryer! Though the poor thing had to go through 3 times of stapling, it's all good now! After some last minute touch-ups were made, El Toro 15 was finally bagged and tagged at 11!
We had Korean BBQ, rice, noodles, and seaweed today for dinner and found out that a few people on the team have never had seaweed before. However, they have started to like it after their first try! After dinner and socializing as usual, MVRT-ers didn't go back to work as usual because we had a pleasant surprise waiting for us! The member who brought in food today also brought in a birthday cake for El Toro! So the team had strawberry chocolate cake for dessert and celebrated El Toro 15's FIRST birthday!
A big thank you to everyone for an awesome build (especially all of the mentors that stayed with us despite of how late it was and all of the parents that supported the members and help feed the team) and get ready for competitions!
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