Robot Modifications

side view showing new angled arm guides
In preparation for the state round, we made some modifications to the robot. Most of these were programming tweaks, but there were a few structural changes that were important to the performance of the robot. In our third round at the qualifier, we noticed (and were not happy) that the arm of the robot got stuck on the supports that we used to keep the arm straight.

In response to this problem, we designed new supports that face sideways so that the tips curve out and the arm will invariably get funneled into a straight position.We also made drastic modifications to the "battering ram" hanging off the left side of the robot. These revisions should help us to combat the problems we faced at the previous competition.

Awards Ceremony

Will takes the trophy
At the end of the day, we emerged with two awards from the qualifier. Receiving two awards is very rare because it is only legal if one is the "Robot Performance" award, since it is the only one based on score alone.

Our two trophies
We earned the Robot Performance and the Champions' award, which is given to the team that displays superiority in all areas of the competition.Of the 15 teams attending the competition, we were placed first overall. We were very glad that we left our school's team to make our own, since that team unfortunately did not move on.

Sterling, Terabyte Dave and Will enjoy the moment of victory
Regrettably, Britton had to leave before the awards ceremony, so the pictures only show Sterling and Will (and Terabyte Dave, our mascot) receiving the awards.

The Road to State

We have been very busy preparing for our upcoming state level competition. There have been numerous problems with the robot and some programming glitches, and battery level has been an increasingly formidable problem with our robot's performance. We have plenty of batteries, but there is only a certain window of charge that offers optimum performance.

We have also been hard at work fleshing out our presentations and adding new animations to our slideshows. With our enhanced presentations, we believe that we will do better than ever before.
As one problem is solved, another pops up. Unfortunately, nothing can ever work perfectly, and sometimes we have trouble finding solutions. But no matter how hard it is, we will keep trying, because we are the Terabytes.

Gracious Professionalism At the Qualifier

Will demonstrates our Robot to other teams
At the first level of competition, we had plenty of opportunities to display gracious professionalism. For those of you readers not affiliated with FLL, gracious professionalism and coopertition are both terms trademarked  by FIRST. They are a part of the Core Values, which teams get judged on.

At the competition, we exchanged business cards and tokens with all of the other teams. (At the state level, we will be giving away ninjas instead of army men, so be warned). We agreed to let other teams use our table to practice on when we did not need it. We also offered tips for programming and design to teams who were having trouble.

Many of the other teams were good examples as well. They also exchanged tokens such as pencils and buttons with the rest of the teams.

Terabyte Victory at Qualifier

Mascot Dave, Will, Sterling and Britton- L to R

Our team emerged victorious from the qualifying round on January 5. We spent five hours preparing the night  before, surviving on fruit snacks and Cheezits. After getting up at 6:00 a.m. to go to the competition, we saw that we had plenty of pit space and we ran home to get our field table.

Since there were no extra practice tables, It was very helpful to have our own table with us. As the scoreboard shows, our first robot round was a complete disaster.

Terabytes on top
Things went wrong at every turn, and we ended up getting only 75 points. Our third round was also less than stellar, but we got a respectable 195 points. Our true triumph was the second round, when we came away with the top score of 295 points which the earned us the "Robot Performance" award.

WIll and Sterling (Britton had to leave before trophies were awarded)
Our judging sessions also went well. Our robot attracted the attention of several teams, and the judges also liked our designs and ideas. The project judges fell in love with our FallSafe, and they told us to start a company to make the product someday. (We were surprised by this). We also did well in our Core Values judging.
Check out our swag!
Due to our great performance in all areas, we also received the "Champion" award. Overall, our first level of competition went very well. We will be going to the state level of competition on January 26.