The challenge: Build a robot that can shoot basketballs, balance on a see-sawing platform, and run both automatically and with human input. That’s no easy task, but Beaver’s robotics team, the Beaverbots, was up for the challenge and designed a robot for the FIRST Robotics Competition on March 23-24 that hit all of those targets.
This year’s FIRST competition was titled Rebound Rumble and pitted two alliances of three teams against each other on a court that contained four basketball hoops at each end and balancing bridges in the center. What occurred during the game is described on the FIRST website:
[The alliances] compete to score as many basketballs into their hoops as they can during a 2 minute and 15 second match. The higher the hoop in which the basketball is scored, the more points the alliance receives. The match begins with a 15-second Hybrid Period in which robots operate independently of driver inputs…Baskets scored during this period are worth extra points. For the remainder of the match, drivers control robots and try to maximize their alliance score by scoring as many baskets as possible. The match ends with robots attempting to balance on bridges located at the middle of the field.
The Beaverbots designed their robot to be a good teammate and focused on feeding balls to the sharp-shooting members of their alliance. Their robot was also very strong in earning extra points at the end of the game by balancing on the bridges.
The top eight seeds from the qualifying rounds advanced to the elimination round and each chose two other teams to form their alliance. Beaver finished the qualifying round seeded 17th out of 52 teams and was selected to be part of the #3 team’s alliance for the elimination games. After winning the quarterfinal match, the Beaverbots’ alliance was defeated in the semifinal round.
During the winter build period and the event itself, the Beaverbots came together as a team, earning compliments from the FIRST judges who were impressed that the team has come so far in only four years of competing.
The Beaver community is already looking forward to next year’s season and even more success from the Beaverbots.
Here is a video from one of the Beaverbots’ games. They are on the blue alliance and are team number 2888.