Like other FRC teams, Code Red was excited to get the 2016 season underway with the presentation of the exciting game, FIRST Stronghold. Build season quickly went by as we designed a robot that could go under the low bar and excel at shooting into the high goal of the tower. In the meantime, the Chairman’s team put the finishing touches on the essay, filmed the Chairman’s video, and prepared for the presentation before the judges.
Our first competition was in Indianapolis, as we competed in a Indiana FIRST regional event. It was an opportunity to compete in FIRST Stronghold at an event before the Michigan events that would determine our eligibility for the State and World Championship. Indiana FIRST proved to be wonderful hosts, and we were able to learn the strengths and weaknesses of our robot.
Next came our regional competitions in Michigan. We started at East Kentwood High School. At East Kentwood, we had great success in matches cycling under the low bar and shooting boulders into the high goal of the tower. With or aiming light and great driving skills, we could score goal after goal. Ultimately, this led to a strong alliance with Team #3357 (Comets) and Team #4409 (Ground Zero) where we won the competition! A highlight of the tournament was a semi-finals match where we won the match with a score that set the world record for highest score in a match. That record stood until the Michigan State Championship. Additionally, The Chairman’s team presented to the judges, highlighting our impact to the community and students with a memorable visual aid. Code Red was rewarded for all that hard work with the Chairman’s Award at Kentwood. It was a two banner day for Code Red!
Our second Michigan competition, in Ann Arbor at Skyline High School, resulted in success as well. We again came out the winners with our alliance partners Team #4216 (Blue Ops Robotics) and #5008 (robotLIONS)! A highlight of the competition was trying out a new auto set-up where the robot went over the chival-de-frise and shot a boulder into the high goal. In addition to our WINNER blue banner, Code Red was awarded the Team Spirit Award.
As a result of our winning record and hard work, Code Red qualified for the Michigan State Championship in Grand Rapids. Having won the Chairman’s Award at Kentwood, we also had the opportunity to present for the state Chairman’s Award. After two days of qualification matches, Code Red was selected as an alliance partner with Team #5980 (East Grand Rapids Robotics) and #2054 (Tech Vikes) as part of alliance #5 (out of 16). The #5 alliance made it through the Octofinals to the Quarterfinals where we were eliminated. While we did not win the state Chairman’s Award, we learned much from the experience and we thrilled to compete on that level.
Making to the State Championship and performing well there meant that Code Red also made it to the World Championship in the Edward’s Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. At the World Championship, there were eight fields simultaneously playing qualification matches and tournaments. We competed on the Carson field. We ended up being selected in the #8 alliance by alliance captains team #4264 (The Fellowship of the Springs), along with #3824 (HVA RoHAWKticks) and #5572 (ROSBOTS) for the tournament on Carson Field where we were eliminated in the quarterfinals. Besides the competition, including watching the final championship on the Einstein field, Code Red had a lot of fun times in St. Louis. We stayed at an area campground and enjoyed the camaraderie of potluck meals and campfires. We also too a little time for sightseeing by going up the St. Louis Arch.
We capped off the 2016 season with an invitation to the Indiana Robotics Invitational, the 1st Annual Grand Rapids All Girls Robotics Competition, and the West Michigan Robotics Invitational (WMRI). In the end, our robot competed in 8 events and an estimated 100 matches! A banner year for Code Red, literally.