VEX 2017

Our school, LDHSS hosted the VEX Competition on December 9th. Our school only had 1 team this year, team 4783A. In total, there were 29 teams who attended, including a lot of “at home” teams (Ashwin & Neeharika’s team, 89043A Sibling Rivalry is an example), as well as school teams, such as Ashbury.

The competition started at 8:15, and we were behind on some mechanical components on the robot such as the mobile lift. The arm that would be utilized to pick up yellow cones for needed some last minute tweaking, but was fully functional by the end of the repair. When the competition started, the judges inspected our robot. We had to adjust the robot’s size and mechanical issues a couple of times to meet the requirements, but we ultimately got our robot approved. The day was set up so that all teams had 3 practice matches, and an undefined amount of qualifiers . During our practice matches the team decided to have team member Jeril be the head of driving, while Darren and Hammad assisted him. Our practice matches were a bit poor but we but we learned from our mistakes.

Our team tied the first match of the qualifiers with the other alliance, and lost many others. We ended up winning 2 or 3 matches in all, which was decent for our first competition. Around the end of the qualifiers, our wiring on the robot became unplugged, ultimately making the arm inoperative. Our strategy changed to pushing mobile goals into the 5 point area. Out of the 29 teams, our team qualified 24th.

Before the alliance choosing period started, the skills area was set up. In the area, one team tries to gather as many points as possible within a minute. We had to get the robot to push mobile goals to their designated locations. Hammad took the job as drive lead for this portion of the competition. By the end of the competition, it was announced we came 6th out of 29 teams.

After that, it was time for the top 8 teams to pick their alliances. An alliance may only have 3 teams. Our team was the very last team to be chosen, but we were grateful for the opportunity. We got the arm working in the prep time thanks to Shiyam, a programming team member. Our alliance, the 8th alliance out of 8, were up against the 1st alliance. Our match was the first to play, and we suffered a horrific defeat, eliminating our alliance from the competition.

In the end, we enjoyed our time at the VEX competition. We battled through stress, tragedies, successes, wins and severe losses, but we appreciated the opportunity. We are ready to take in the experience we gained through this competition and try again for next year, as well as use new strategies for the soon coming FIRST Build Season.

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