Lessons of Robotics

Second day is in the books and wow what a day. I’m beginning to understand how important practice is to robotics. The team went through some lessons for the competition. Our day started early since we were the first match of the day.  For matches, you have the blue alliance and red alliance, we teamed with another team to form the blue alliance. Our autonomous program worked really well, this is when the robot runs itself. Then we hit a bit of trouble, called static electricity. When one of the other robots hit ours it sent a static charge through our NXT, freezing it. Not a good thing. Our partners did really well scoring points on blocks and raising the flag (if you need to see rules go here).  Immediately afterwards the team repaired the robot and had to get ready for their next match. No time to sulk over the problem. Great teaching moment!

DSC_0071       DSC_0150


Match two was a better. They were part of the blue alliance again and in this match they did a double hang, it fell a bit so they didn’t receive points for this move. But what a great try and they even impressed the MC. I’ll try to explain this as best as I can. This is when the our robot picks up another robot and hangs on the bar. Something very hard to do. Of course, Coach Toebes was impressed and happy. We lost this match by only two points. They came back from the match in good spirits having done well.

Match three ended on a good note they won the match. Their alliance did really well and they were becoming one of the best defensive robots at the competition (personal opinion here and Mr. Toebes agreed).  Match four didn’t end well, the motor on one of the wheels went out. So they couldn’t steer the robot correctly.

DSC_0084         DSC_0154

Overall they did well, but Friday’s competition they needed to win both matches if they even wanted a chance to be a part of an alliance. Also they were hoping to win the Design Award by PTC. Mr. Toebes thought this was possible but they needed to show they could help win a match.

This whole day was a great lesson in perseverance . When the robot didn’t work they needed to learn from that and move on. They had to fix it and continue to compete, the competition was no where near being over. Lessons all day long, hence the title of this blog. I’ll be the first one to admit that this experience really represented the best of STEM. I was really happy to be a part of this event. 

Friday was another day of competition.


About rippie77

Science Teacher at Cardinal Gibbons High School, Raleigh NC.

Posted on February 28, 2014, in Cardinal Gibbons High School, First Tech Challenge, Robotics, STEM and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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