Team RPG

Robotics and Programming Guild

HCA Again

Since the last time we went to Heritage Christian Academy we had to spend time repairing the robot and did not get to present during Connect(a time where all students 7th grade and older come together and listen to upcoming events and sometimes have special guests) we decided to go again. On February 21, 2014, Albornzine Cahill, Nocturna, and Dain Ironfoot went and presented there mighty bot to about two hundred students who were in 7th – 12th. They even took the field to show how the robot reacts to it. While Albornzine and Dain controlled this marvelous beast, Nocturna described what it does and a little about FIRST. Thanks to the magical powers of Microsoft power point, projectors, and a flash drive, the group had a slide show presentation to go along with most of their presentation, although it malfunctioned during the beginning, leading to Nocturna having to use her memory and pure improvisation. Over all they had a great time and no one had stage fright, although they were not able to raise the flag.

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The end…or is it?

After a hard time competing at Ohio State and Georgia State Championships (one was harder than the other), we unfortunately cannot continue to the next level (super regionals). We will also be losing at least one member, Viloth D’wingym, because he is getting to old for FTC :( but we hope that he will come back and be a programming mentor for those who will be on the programming team next year. We may lose more because of the huge time commitment and lack of interest to them. This may seem like the end until next year, BUT we still have stuff to do. We can still perform outreach to other people in our area. When we have an outreach idea, we our more likely to do it because we will not have any more meetings until August or September time frame. Thank you for all who supported us and to those who read this blog. We will still post for almost every outreach event we do but we will most likely have no more team meetings till August or September. So for now “So long, farewell, Auf Weidersehen, goodbye”

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Georgia State Tournament

Georgia state…… what good did we have at Georgia State….? Over all Georgia State was the worst tournament. The failures were on both our team’s fault and the host’s fault. We won one round out of six rounds. We had problems like: the authorities would not redo rounds that they messed up (12 teams challenged a rule and still they did not redo that round), our robot broke a few times; we picked up the wrong controllers when starting a round, and other things. We had some things that made the day enjoyable (for a bit). We had a nice interview (you can watch it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAwdxZUrYCE) the very first round we won (we got our butts kicked in the others), and at the end Haldir won a box of Girl Scout cookies, because one of the teams (GENIUS) is a team made up of girl scouts and they were doing a raffle throughout the day that you placed your name in a box and they would draw four names out those who got their name drawn got a box of Girl Scout cookies. Also Nocturna (though she was never publicly mentioned) made the best move one could ever make: she started a flash mob streak! We were waiting for the awards, and Nocturna went up to the people running the sound and asked for a song (Cha Cha Slide) and they said yes. So the song played, and a lot of people gathered to dance. The song ended and another flash mob song came on, and that process went on and on until they played four different songs (Cha Cha Slide, Cupid Shuffle, Macarena, and Party Rock).over all we had a bad tournament with a few good times in it.

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Ohio State Tournament


snow
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.

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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.

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STEM Fair

On Monday, January 20th , Dain Ironfoot, Albornzine cahill, and Haldir went to Heritage Christian Academy’s STEM(Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fair to present their robot, Excalibur, to the people who went. During the fair, they showed off their robot to those who went over to their display. After the award ceremony, they did a public display in front of all of the people who were there, including the mayor of Mount Juliet. They passed out business cards and brochures. Their Goal was to get people excited about robots, and hopefully pick up a sponsor or two.

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Teach to Others

Every Friday at Heritage Christian Academy, Dain Ironfoot and Albornzine Cahill teach an elementary aged robotics class. There they learn to program and build robots using the Lego Mindstorms robot. One of the classes tries to complete some of the challenges from the FLL 2013-2013 challenge, Senior Solutions. Each week, they congregate in one of the rooms. There, they get to building of the robot that they have made. With guidance from Dain or Albornzine, the students, about five at max, will form, then program and test their bot. They have completed two of the challenges and are attempting for a third. The other class is trying to build a more complicated robot that acts like a spider-bot.

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Taking Excalibur to Heritage Christian Academy

On November 15th, Dain Ironfoot and Albornzine Cahill took the champion robot Excalibur to Heritage Christian Academy (HCA). After fixing what was broken and having difficulty trying to use wireless two controllers, they were able to show the robot around to their fellow students. Most amazing of all, they were offered by their principal to later take it again to their school to present to the whole school. Later, they plan on taking Excalibur back to HCA to impress the students there again, and hopefully they can bring their team-mates with them.

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Cincinnati Tournament

Trophies

On January 18, 2014, most of the team (Viloth D’wingym, Jukto, Dain Ironfoot, Et’ath, and Abornzine Cahill) ventured to Cincinnati, OH to challenge those in that city. The non attending members were watching eagerly from home and awaiting updates. There we went to S. Xavier High School and prepared for our third tournament. The team who hosted the Tournament had some problems with connections and running the autonomous programs of some robots, so the team was down low in the ratings. At the finish of the qualifier rounds, we lined up to be pick for alliance partner. The first four teams of the rankings picked their teams. We had a surprise when the teams picked a second partner. Normally, they would only pick one alliance partner. Thankfully, we were picked to be an alliance.

One of the finals, the winning team and Team RPG for that round got disconnected so the team showed them in the rules that if that happens they are supposed to redo the round, and so, they redid that round. We ended up getting first place alliance partner award. The team also got the Think award for our Engineering notebook. We got to move on to Ohio State, which we were all very happy about.

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Team Meeting 12-21-2013

This week’s meeting was the week for the programmers to show their true glory, or lack thereof (I can say that, I’m a programmer).

The programmers (Viloth) worked tirelessly on the IR sensor automous program, and finally got it completed! They also worked on the drive function to get it properly functioning, but “they”(Nocturna) failed miserably, and are going to work on it again this coming week.

The engineers, meanwhile, were furiously working on their game of Magic: The Gathering, harping at the programmers, and being generously useless (I can’t say that, I’m not an engineer).

However, the engineers were there to fix any explosions/electrical fires/deaths/mortal injuries that the programmers might cause.

That last paragraph was only partially in jest. In this week’s tragedy counter, we have:

  • 1 electrical fire
  • 1 partially severed finger (by Coach Foo himself!)
  • 1 smoking Excalibur

Team RPG has only one meeting until the next tournament. This tournament is in Acworth, Georgia on January 11th.

The team took this Saturday off because of the holidays, but they’re back to labor and toil on January 4th.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

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Francis Schaeffer Study Center

On Wednesday, December 11, Nocturna, Abornzine, and Dain brought Excalibur to Francis Schaeffer, Nocturna’s tutorial.  Excalibur had quite a nice time at Schaeffer. It zipped around, handing blocks to its adoring fans.

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While Dain and Abornzine were controlling Excalibur’s actions, Nocturna gave yet another improvised speech about the nature of FTC, what Team RPG was about, and the general workings of the team. At least three people were genuinely interested, so that’s a start, and everyone at Schaeffer now knows that they can talk to Nocturna if they would like to start a team!

Thanks to Francis Schaeffer Study center for allowing Team RPG to display the robot!

posted by Nocturna in FTC 2013-2014,Outreach and have No Comments