Girls of Steel FTC 9820 and 9981: Update #3

The Girls of Steel FTC (First Tech Challenge) teams have been continuing with regular all hands meetings (November 14, 28, December 5, 12, & 19)  as well as meetings added on Sunday afternoons for preparing for the Pittsburgh Area scrimmage that was on December 9, 2017 at Peters Township Middle School.  Our teams’ robots are pictured below.

Some of our team members have also been doing outreach with the Girls of Steel FRC team.  For example, Aditi went to the Coding Gals presentation at Mt. Lebanon High School on December 13, 2017.

The 19 Girls of Steel FTC girls are split into two smaller teams, Lovelace (FTC 9981) and Hypatia (FTC 9820), which both competed in the scrimmage and did quite well. Yes, there were some bumps in the road but we all learned valuable lessons that we will put towards our upcoming qualifying competition on January 13, 2018 at Upper St. Clair High School.

For instance, team Lovelace now knows that it is slightly important to turn the robot on for a competing round (yes, we made that mistake.) Although this seems like a silly mistake and something that should be obvious, in the heat of competition the obvious things seem to be what gets in the way the most. As for the Hypatia team, well… they made some mistakes too. To their credit, theirs were slightly more complicated. They had some problems at the very end of the scrimmage with their program not being downloaded properly to the robot, and therefore could not do anything in that round. However, both of these problems were fairly easy to solve in the breaks between matches.

In the scrimmage there were many teams that were competing, and for each round there were four teams broken into two alliances. The alliances were randomly selected and different each time. As we went through game play the total points scored for each alliance was what was tallied. Because this was only a scrimmage we did not go into the finals or semi-finals but more so got a feel for how a qualifying competition would run and the strategies that are best. Before the scrimmage we had been focusing on perfecting the robot and getting the phones to connect with the controller and driver station. We had not selected a robot driver before the scrimmage and rather figured it out as we were there.

Now both teams  have selected the main drivers and are mostly working on perfecting the programming and giving the drivers as much practice as possible.

We have a competition creeping up on us and hope to be as ready as possible. Wish us luck and check back again after January 13th!

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