Members of Team RPG traveled this past weekend to iSpaces in Cincinnati to participate in the Ohio State Championship. The weekend started with a harrowing drive through a snowstorm that left members of the team staying in hotels scattered across Kentucky. Our hope to do robot check-in Friday night was side tracked 30 miles south of Cincinnati by a major accident that closed the interstate for 90 minutes. All team members did arrive safely but it meant that we had a very early start to Saturday!
The day got underway with us setting up our pit area, checking in the robot, and starting to scout the competition. The 28 team field looked to be very strong with teams traveling from as far away as Maryland, Michigan, and Tennessee. Once all of the team members arrived they met with the judging panel and presented the “Story of Team RPG”.
Then the 5 qualification rounds got underway. After last week, our team members were very much focused on the details – lesson learned Team RPG won their first two matches. In the third match, the alliance attempted a daring 2 robot hang maneuver. Unfortunately, the maneuver did not work and Team RPG’s alliance lost the match. After the match, an inspection showed that a wheel axle had been damaged. The team worked to replace the axle and barely made it to the next match. The team won the fourth match, although their robot, Excaliber, was still behaving oddly. Turned out that one of the motors had broken and needed replacing. The drama began because our head engineer had become very ill. The youngest member of the team stepped up and replaced the motor and got the robot ready for the final round. The robot performed but the match was against two very strong teams. Our alliance fell short by just a few points.
After the end of the qualifying round, Team RPG was not selected as an alliance partner and thus our competition was over. However, we did not go home empty-handed. Team RPG won the Motivate Award. This award “celebrates the team that exemplifies the essence of the FTC competition through team building, team spirit and enthusiasm.”
We did not advance to a super regional tournament so our tournament season is over. This does not mean that Team RPG is done! We have outreach opportunities to let others know about FIRST and FTC. Team members will be showing the robot at local schools, as well as traveling to Knoxville to demonstrate during a FRC tournament.
This has been a great year for Team RPG. As a rookie team we accomplished way more than we expected at the outset. More importantly, the team members learned a great deal about team work, practical engineering, programming, and so much more.