FTC Northern League West Division Meet 1

Rockford Robotics hosted the first meet of the 2015/16 FTC season for the Northern League West Division on Saturday, November 14 at Guilford High School. The fifteen participating teams included four rookie teams. Each team competed in five matches. League play is a bit different than traditional qualify matches. Each league meet will has inspections and qualifying matches, but no judging sessions or formal ceremonies. Standings from the league meets are cumulative and guide alliance selection at the league championship.

Attending teams included Octopi (6007), Breaking Bot (7627), Robotic Lions (7715), Rockford RoboTECH (8003), Techno Tamerins (8685), Robo Vikings (8698), KISS Robotics (8706), E-Robotics (8708), Rough Robotics (8709), E-Robotics (8708), Fruit Salad (8817), WOW Robotics (9239), Rolling Thunder (9411), They Might Be Robots (10326), Dream Machine (10482), and Minivation (10505).

Thank you to Eric Williams, Chris Magee and the many local volunteers for their work in organizing and operating this event.

Click on the albums below to see pictures from the meet.

2015 Robofest

2015_robofestWe had a fantastic time at Milwaukee’s RoboFest 2015! There were 15 teams, so the elimination rounds consisted of 4 alliances with four teams and one alliance with three. Our alliance included Rockford Robotics, Winnovation, Flaming Monkeys, and the Hilltoppers. After finishing 2nd in the semi-finals, we advanced to the final round. After two matches in the finals, we were tied with the competing alliance (which included Wave Robotics and Fondy Fire.) This forced a nail-biter third match which we lost by 10 points. Final score for the 3rd match was 112-122.

Students and adults had a great time, with different people trying their hand on drive team. It was nice to reconnect with some teams that joined us at R2OC as well.

Robofest boasted record crowds. We were happy to be a part of this annual event.

2015 FIRST Tech Challenge Kick-Off

2015 ftc kickoff

The FTC Kick-Off was held on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at Guilford High School. This event was jointly sponsored by Rockford Public Schools and the Rockford Robotics, Owls Nest, and Techno Tamerins teams. It featured workshops on:

  • Gracious Professionalism
  • Engineering Notebook and Video Production Requirements
  • Fundraising
  • FTC’s New Operating System

Following the workshops, attendees viewed the game challenge video and a complete full size playing field.  This year’s game is Res_Q.  Use the links below to learn more about the game and see the game video.

2015 Rock River Off-Season Competition

R2OC was a good competition for ALFIE. The Recycling Container (RC) Stabilizer, as simple as it is, was a big help. It allowed us to make full stacks at the feeder station instead of half-stacks at a time, which was our previous strategy. ALFIE performed consistently and built up to 2 and a half stacks in a match.

We ranked 7th in qualifying and became the 5th alliance captain for Eliminations. ALFIE had its best run of the day in the first elimination match. Despite that, we were simply outmatched by the 4th alliance, captained by Fondy Fire, and ultimately eliminated. We may have been beaten, but at least we were beaten at our best.

Mentor Trevor Nichols gave a shout-out to Team 2039 saying, “Special thanks to all the Rockford Robotics volunteers. Everywhere I went, there were Rockford Robotics students, mentors, and friends volunteering. Rockford Robotics was a huge part of making R2OC possible. Thank you.”

Congratulations to our 2015 Graduating Seniors

2015_grad_snrsEight of our Rockford Robotics team members are moving on to college in the fall. Check out their plans:

  • Brandon C will study mechanical engineering at Letourneau University
  • Mitchell K will study engineering physics at Rock Valley College
  • Ben K will is exploring career paths at Rock Valley College
  • Shawn M will study aerospace engineering at Purdue University
  • Jacob P will study electrical engineering at Bradley University
  • Ben P is studying media and design at Rock Valley College
  • Kyle R will study manufacturing engineering at Bradley University
  • Shayne T will study electrical engineering at University of Wisconsin, Platteville

Congratulations to all! We will miss you.

Team 2039 at 2015 FIRST World Championship

2015 FIRST World ChampionshipWorld Championships were huge this year with 608 teams competing. It was broken down into 8 divisions with 76 teams in each division. Since we knew our robot was not the best offensive robot, we were busy optimizing our robot to do one function well. It was noticed, and we were picked in the 1st round by the #8 seed. This is only the 2nd time Rockford Robotics has been selected to compete in eliminations at the World Championships, and the highest we’ve ever been selected. Our team captain showed Gracious Professionalism® when they decided that the alliance would be better if the 3 robots they selected competed together, so they sat out of the eliminations. We knew it was going to be difficult fighting from the #8 seed without our alliance captain in what appeared to be a difficult division. The alliance came up with a great strategy to play to each robot’s strength, but ultimately we finished 5th in the quarter-finals and just missed out on the semi-finals.

Some quick facts:

  • We were in Newton Division.
  • We ended in Ranked 46th with an average qualification score of 115 and average playoff score of 195.
  • For comparison, at Central Illinois Regional we had an average qualification score of 74.17 and average playoff score of 48.5. At Midwest Regional we had an average qualification score of 75 and average playoff score of 74.5
  • We were the 8th overall pick (First round pick!) selected by our alliance captain team 4118  (Rank 11).  Our other Alliance members were team 955 (Rank 14) and team 4954 (Rank 29).

Beyond the competition, our team had a chance to connect with a Peoria, IL team that wants to do a robotics rollout within their school system, similar to one that Rockford Robotics is doing within RPS205. It’s awesome to see our students not only doing everything they can to promote STEM within our community, but also helping impact other communities.

THANK YOU to our sponsors and families. It would be difficult to compete at the same level or conduct as many community outreach events and technical training classes without their support.

Rockford Robotics Wins CIR Chairman’s Award

2015_cir_chairmanRockford Robotics was honored to receive the FIRST Robotics Chairman’s Award at the March 2015 Central Illinois Regional. The most prestigious award at FIRST, it honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST. The judges noted how active our team has been in promoting science and technology to our community. The award includes an invitation to the World Championship in St, Louis, April 22 -25.

Rockford Robotics team members thank our sponsors, our families, and the local community for their continued support. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Team Captain Addie Wins Dean’s List Award

addie_award_webCongratulations to Addie L, Rockford Robotics Team Captain. Dean Kamen, FIRST Robotics founder, presented Addie with this award during the Central Illinois Regional.

The Dean’s List Award celebrates outstanding student leaders whose passion for and effectiveness at attaining FIRST ideals is exemplary.

Addie will join other regional finalists at the Championship in St. Louis, April 22 -26, 2015, where ten students will be selected as Dean’s List winners.