An Ordinary Robotics Championship
Hello, Internet. Cole here. I’m back to not writing a ten-page story about bees, because frankly that was mentally exhausting to write. Of course, this means that I’m going to have to actually write about my life now. Fortunately, I’ve just had an experience that I believe to be worthy of an article: the 2016 FRC Championship.
To begin, I have to mention how I got to the competition, as this one wasn’t just a simple drive-up. Unlike the other competitions, the championship was an international event – teams from all over the world were attending it, though most of them were from either the US or Canada. As such, the venue was held in a relatively central area of the US: St. Louis, Missouri. Most of the team went to Missouri by bus, but the team’s leaders thought I would wander off if I went with the group – an demeaning yet accurate conclusion to draw. Thus, I had to attend with Father, who had to go to an important business meeting on Thursday; as a result, I ended up traveling by plane two days after the rest of the team left. Eventually, though, I made it to the inn where we were staying by Thursday night. Each morning, I went to the competition on the bus with the team.
The championship occurred on a much larger scale than the other competitions; this was to be expected, as it was a global competition. There were over 600 teams, some of which came all the way from Israel, so the competition had to be split into eight divisions. These divisions were named after famous scientists, such as Carver and Curie. Our team was in Carver. We performed rather poorly in terms of the qualifiers; our robot was above-average overall, but we kept getting into unfortunate alliances. Fortunately, we performed well enough for us to be chosen by an alliance as an alternate. Our alliance managed to win the finals, so we moved on to the final division, Einstein. (That is, the final division was named Einstein. I don’t intend to insult anyone’s intelligence in this article.) After a pulse-poundingly close series of matches, we emerged victorious! …Victory was pretty great. We were recognized for it when we got back to school, and we even got medals and trophies.
I had a great time at the championship. When I wasn’t scouting some of the 125 qualifiers or screaming like a little girl to determine which obstacles were placed next (it makes sense in context), I was exploring the venue with Father in tow. There was a robotics fair located in a different building, showcasing various colleges and companies. I got a bunch of business cards from it, and Father gave me some college brochures. We also went into the pits at one point. There were all sorts of robots that were built differently than ours, and I had to step out of the way of passing pit crews multiple times. This experience has improved my interest in robotics greatly, and I plan to work towards attending the championship again.
Come next season, I will work with renewed vigor and enthusiasm. For now, though, I’m going to relax a bit. The team’s still doing various demonstrations and contributing to society, and I’ll be sure to pitch in from time to time, but I want to take advantage of the reduced activity to pursue my other interests, such as DnD and creative writing (you know, like this article). Thanks for reading, and I’ll be seeing you!
An Ordinary Robotics Championship