The RoboRunners third week of the season was by far the most exciting yet. After several last minute practices and tweaks that built on previous practices, the competition robot was ready just in time for the team to travel downstate to compete in their first ever “official” competition.
Competition was a lot of fun and the students did very well. Most of their competition was from Middle School teams, but the RoboRunners Elementary School team held their own against the older kids.
RoboRunners Travel and Compete
The team headed to the Lansing area a day ahead of time and stayed at a hotel. The kids had a lot of fun swimming. They also took over the exercise room at the hotel to set up the field and practice.
The next day everyone woke up early and headed to the competition venue after breakfast. The room was full of robots and people. The kids had never seen so many robotics competitors in one place!
The team checked in and had their robot measured. After a short driver meeting, the schedules were generated and passed out. There were 100 qualifying matches!
RoboRunners Qualifying Runs
The team struggled a bit in qualifying in the beginning. The pressure of a big competition and competing mostly against Middle School students had the team off their normal form in the beginning of the day.
Once their nerves settled down the team began to do better. When qualifying was over, the team found themselves in 10th place. This squeaked them into the finals for the Vex IQ Teamwork Challenge – only the top 10 teams made it to the finals.
RoboRunners Teamwork Finals
The team scored balls well in the finals but in the end both they and their teammates toppled off the ramp, losing 25 points. Had they stayed on the ramp, they would have placed 1st in teamwork, but in the end they placed 5th.
Skills Challenges, Judging, and Awards
In addition to the Teamwork challenge, the team also competed in the Driver Skills Challenge and the Programming Skills Challenge. The team did well in both events.
For Driver Skills, the team placed 3rd in the competition. Their score is also in the top 200 in the world as of today.
For Programming Skills, the team placed 1st! Their score also puts them in the top 150 in the world as of today!
The students were also interviewed by the judges and were very excited to share their engineering notebooks. The team did very well in the interview and had a lot of fun explaining their robot.
At the end of the day the team won the Programming Skills challenge and received a trophy. Placing 5th in Teamwork, 3rd in Driver Skills, and 1st in Programming gave them the highest average placing among all teams that competed in all three events!
What an amazing first competition RoboRunners!