On Saturday, Dec. 11, at the FTC LA Region Championship Tournament for Robotics at K.L Carver Elementary School, the Marlborough Robotics team, led by science instructors Andrew Witman and Stacy Sjoberg, came in 18th out of 27 teams.
The robot, which the team has been working on for about four months, has four wheels and a dumper and had to dispense batons on the competition field and dump them into rolling goals. Our robot was not as complicated as other teams but was still able to do the basic movements. At the competition, two teams with different robots create an alliance to compete against another two teams. Each team has three human players that consist of two drivers and one coach.
Five members of the Marlborough robotics team showed up at the competition: Shifrah ’14, Maramawit ’14, Gwendolyn ’12, Shalena ’14, Alexandria ’14, and Lori ’14 (me). Two other students tagged along to watch: Kyla ’14 and Pilar ’15. At the competition there were both schools, like Marymount, and clubs, like DeVolution and Kronos.
During the first round, with Alexandria ’14 and Gwendolyn ’10 driving the robot and Witman coaching, our robot had software problems and could not move adequately and so we relied on our alliance to gain points for us while our robot turned in an awkward circle and our dumper fell off. The team was disappointed that our robot did not work the way they wanted it to, but we still had some down time to work with the robot and try to repair it. In the second round our dumper fell off again, so we had to find a way to make our dumper more stable even though the software was working perfectly! In the third and fourth rounds, with Marawarit ’14 coaching, the robot was running perfectly, but the dumper was having problems. Our team had to keep repairing it in the free time they had. Although we were getting more and more frustrated by the dumper, we finally managed to pull it together and come up with a better solution, so the fifth and final round was our most successful. Our robot managed to balance itself on the bridge with our alliance’s robot, which earned many points.
Although the team did not win first place, the entire team was full of smiles and laughter as we all ran to the playground and sang the Alma Mater at the top of our lungs while playing on the slide and monkey bars.