At the end of the qualifying rounds we were seeded 30th out of 52 robots. The top 8 teams were then allowed to select two teams to compete with them in the finals. Due to the fact that the number one seeded team was allowed to select the number two seeded team, 15 teams were required to be prepared to draft teams for a final alliance. We were drafted into the finals by the 5th seeded team. Team 2175 was the top seeded rookie team, and the drafted us along with team 930 into the final rounds. In the semi final rounds, we were able to beat out the number 1 and number two seeded teams from the qualifying rounds and move on to the finals. We lost our second round of the finals by 1 point in a 61 to 60 scored match. Overall we felt lucky to have been given a chance to compete in the finals and were ecstatic about our success and ability to bring home a regional finalist award. We are looking forward to next year and hopefully will get a chance to compete at the national competition.
During the radio controlled period (2 minutes long), the teams could score two types of pieces called “ringers” and “spoilers”. Placing a spoiler over the opposing alliances game pieces effectively nullified the score of that game piece. Spoilers were the only pieces allowed to be removed from the rack and replaced over another piece. The scoring of the game pieces was based on 2 to the power of the length of a run in either the horizontal or vertical direction. For instance, a single tube was only worth 2 points, however 8 tubes on all of the spider legs on one level of the rack was equal to 256 points. This proved to be a very difficult task, however it was achieved by one alliance during the qualifying rounds. One of the teams that achieved this, “Robot Casserole” was eliminated by our alliance during the semi-final rounds thanks to the great defense played by our alliance members. Bonus points were also awarded for lifting robots off of the ground in your own alliances home zone at the end of the match. Our robot was designed to place ringers on the middle and bottom levels of the rack and two lift two robots 13″ off of the ground. Robots lifted 4″ or higher were awarded 15 points per robot, and robots lifted 12″ or higher were awarded 30 points per robot. In our best round, we were able to place two ringers on the rack and lift two robots off of the ground scoring 64 points for our alliance.
The game begins with a 15 second autonomous mode section where each team is able to score an innertube known as a “keeper”. The keeper cannot be covered or taken off of the rack during the RC control period. Lights on top of the rack served as signals and provided information via a camera about the location and orientation of the rack. Despite some of the software being provided, very few teams at the Wisconsin Regional were able to successfully implement a keeper scoring autonomous mode program. At the end of the autonomous mode, any unscored keepers became invalid game pieces.
The 2007 game for FIRST robotics was a challenging and fun event. We competed at the Wisconsin Regional at the US Cellular Arena in downtown Milwaukee. Rack ‘N’ Roll is like a 3D game of Tic-Tac-Toe using innertubes as the game pieces and a 10′ tall rack as the board. The rack consists of 3 levels each consisting of an octagon with 8 scoreable spider legs. A red alliance and blue alliance were each made up of 3 different robotics teams and competed for the highest score.
In the 2007 game, “Rack „N? Roll,” students? robots are designed to hang inflated colored tubes on pegs configured in rows and columns on a 10-foot high center “rack” structure. Extra points are scored by robots being in their home zone and lifted more than 4” off the floor by another robot before the end of the 2 minute and 15 second match.