Unlike the other two days, today the team had to find their own rides to the Long Beach Convention Center. Nevertheless, it was still a very early morning. When the doors finally opened at 7:30, the team followed the same routine, pit crew and drive team went to pits, while scouters and everyone else went to the stands.
The pit crew immediately went to work creating a temporary stack clamp that would work for our first match (third match of the day). We turned in the can stabilizer that was at the top of the robot inwards so it formed a triangle, and we attached some tread to the bottom. This stack clamp served its purpose in the first two matches, but on the second match, we clamped it a bit too hard, and it broke off. Luckily we had a long time in-between our second and last match to make a new, better, stronger stack clamp. We got this mechanism on, and it performed just as we wanted.
After our last match we were happy with our stacking abilities, so our focus shifted to manipulating and picking up the cans. we reserved a slot in the practice field and when our time came, we set up the floor like the actual field and began knocking over cans and picking them up. Eventually we got the motions down and we were consistently making two stacks of five capped in two minutes.
During this time, we had also begun to prepare for the alliance selections. Since we were seeded tenth, it was a difficult position since it can be uncertain whether or not we would be the ones picking. As alliance selections were under way, we found ourselves as the captain of the eighth alliance and our partners for the playoffs would be Team 207, Metalcrafters, and Team 4415, Epic Robotz.
The strategy that an alliance performs during the playoffs needs to incorporate all of the individual talents as well as techniques that are accomplished through teamwork. Our plan going into quarterfinals was for Team 207 to create stacks of three, one of their specialties, and for Team 4415 to cap each of these stacks with a recycling can. In the meantime, we would be making stacks of five with a can. Team 4415 also had a mechanism that could grab four cans from the step, something that could allow for the alliance to cap even more of our stacks and gain more points.
For each of the two quarterfinal matches, our alliance performed this strategy to the best that we could. Unfortunately, joystick failures and communication errors plagued our alliance, preventing us from reaching our maximum potential. None the less, we had a wonderful time with our partners and had a great time playing with them. When decisions were being made for who moves on to semifinals, we were ranked fifth and tied the fourth alliance on the playoff average statistic.
Looking forward, our team is even more prepared for the Ventura Regional and we can’t wait to get to play with the many other teams there. The roster is stacked with great teams!
(Thanks to Alexander Luke, our coach, for writing a quick summery of our strategic decisions)