St. Louis, Here They Come!

Today St. Louis, tomorrow the world. Team 3309 moves on to World Competition.

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St. Louis, Here They Come!

Nicholas Gee, Staff Writer/Yearbook Editor

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Team 3309, The Friarbots, spent six weeks building a robot to meet the requirements of this year’s game, Recycle Rush. The purpose of the game is to stack totes, recycle bins, and put pool noodles in the recycle bins to score points. The alliance with the most points wins. Each of the teams is randomly placed in an alliance with two other teams, and they need to be the fastest to win.

The alliances aren’t the only tasks Team 3309 had to worry about. The team’s average score was based on the scores of each match previous to the final result. The higher the average, the higher in rank each team is. The Los Angeles Regionals were not so successful for Team 3309 as they encountered some problems, for example, pieces falling off the robot and remote connections failing. They did, fortunately, obtain a Woodie Flowers Award for their mentor Mr. Evan Smith.

Mentors play a crucial part in creating the robot and getting it prepped for the challenges that lie ahead. The Woodie Flowers Award, “is presented to an outstanding mentor in the robotics competition who best leads, inspires, teaches, and empowers their team using excellent communication skills,” according the judges’ award sheet. The Team also won the Excellence in Engineering Award, which “celebrates an elegant and advantageous machine feature.”

In Las Vegas during the weekend of March 25-28, Team 3309 obtained a wildcard to go to World Championships in St. Louis, Missouri. A wildcard position is rare to come by in a Robotics competition. It occurs when the top team or teams already have a spot in World Championships, so their position goes to the next best team or the next best teams. In this case, they were Team 60 and yours truly, Team 3309. Team 60 took third place and chose Team 3309 (fourth place) to be a part of their alliance.

Team 3422, part of Team 3309’s and Team 60’s alliance, could not make it to Worlds because of their low ranking. They still have a couple of competitions that they can attend and may either win or get a wildcard position down the line.

Along with the wildcard position, the Friarbots received additional awards. They won the Finalists Award and the Innovation in Control Award. The latter “celebrates an innovative control system or application of control components – electrical, mechanical, or software – to provide unique machine functions,” stated the panel of judges during the awards distribution. After Team 3309 had received the Innovation in Control Award, the entire team turned towards Matthew Krager and thanked him for his amazing programming skills.

Today Missouri, tomorrow the World!

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