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.

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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.

Local FLL & FTC Teams Advance to State Championships

First Lego League Teams from Froberg Elementary School and Marshall Middle School qualified to participate in the Northern Championship Tournament at Elgin Community College on January 17, 2015

First Tech Challenge Teams 7207 and 8706 will compete in the State Championship at the Illinois Institute of Technology on February 21. Both teams qualified by placing 2nd for the Inspire Award at a regional event.

Team 8706 is Auburn High School’s KISS (Knights in Service to STEM.) They are first year team.

Team 7207, M-Fusion, is a second year home based team led by Rockford Robotic’s Mentor John McInerney. M-Fusion competed in the Decatur Qualifying Tournament on Saturday, February 7. In addition to placing 2nd for the Inspire Award, they:

  • members of the Finalist alliance.
  • a runner up for the Motivate Award.
  • a runner up for the Think Award.
  • a runner up for the PCT Design Award.

FIRST Tech Challenge at Guilford High School

ftc_league_mt_2014Illinois FIRST is testing out “league play” for FIRST Tech Challenge, FTC, teams. Team 8003 and the five RPS 205 high school teams are part of the West League.

In this first year of league play, 24 teams from Northern Illinois are divided into two groups of 12 teams. League teams compete in at least three meets. The third meet will be part of the league championship. At the league championship, leagues #1 and #2 will compete separately, and then the top alliances from each league will compete for the League Championship Finalist Alliance and Winning Alliance.

Originally, the second League Meet was scheduled to be played in Rolling Meadows. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Rockford was asked to host this meet. With only a few weeks to prepare, Rockford Robotics rallied to provide a venue – Guilford High School -and volunteers. Our team members served as competition coordinators, referees, field attendants, queuers, announcers, robot inspectors, and team interviewers. Special thanks goes to Chris Magee and Eric Williams for organizing this event with just a few weeks to prepare.

Inaugrial Rock River Valley FTC Kickoff

robotech_kickoff_2014On Sept 6th, 2014 Rockford Robotics hosted the inaugural Rock River Valley FIRST Tech Challenge Kickoff at the Discovery Center in downtown Rockford to celebrate the start of the 2014-2015 FTC season.

Rookie and veteran teams from all over the region came out to attend learn, for the first time, this year’s challenge and attend lectures covering a wide array of topics from programming and CAD to team building and ‘bot shop organization. The event ended with the revealing of the FTC 2014-2015 Game, including the Kickoff Video broadcast and a fully constructed FTC field!

All of the teams in attendance were presented with a tool kit containing Greenlee professional grade hand tools. The kits were a generous donation from Greenlee to the Rock River Valley area FTC teams.

This event was made possible by members of the Rockford Maker’s Network.

Two Rockford Teams Win FIRST Tech Challenge Regional Awards

Our FIRST Tech Challenge Team, RoboTech 8003 won the CONNECT award at the Batavia Regional.  Winners of the Connect Award have done a great deal of community outreach not only to spread the word about FIRST but specifically to include engineers, scientists, and other technology professionals into their outreach efforts. This creates connections between teams, FIRST, and the professional world that can last years beyond their participation in FTC. Connect Award winners also develop and execute plans to fund their team including clear goals and objectives – including how they can give back to their community in the future. Here is what the judges had to say about our team: This Northern Illinois team has organized itself as a formal association and as a result will be enabled to connect to every school in its community through its district. Their robot was born on Mount Olympus. It is named after Apollo’s twin sister.

Congratulations also to M-Fusion, a local home based team, who won the PTC Design Award.  The intent of this award is to expand the challenge, inspiring teams to incorporate industrial design into their robots. These elements can be shown in the simplicity of the design as it applies to the tasks, the look and feel of the robot, and how the design allows us to think of robots in new ways. The Design aspects must serve a function – but they should also differentiate the robot in a unique fashion – not an easy task with a limited set of parts and game challenge. Here is what the judges had to say about M-Fusion: For the design award we had to think hard about our candidates. Their knowledge of CAD software made us googly eyed. When this team could not find off the shelf components to suit their robots needs they printed them instead.

M-Fusion also qualified to compete in the State Championship on February 22 at Illinois Institute of Technology.