FRC 2019 Season Recap: Diving Deep into Robotics and Problem-solving

The drive team is excited to at the World Championship in Detroit

Code Red celebrated its 10 year anniversary during the 2019 season with the theme “A Decade of Impact”.  It was also an important year for Code Red’s six seniors who were starting their final year as a FIRST student after being part of the team since elementary school or since middle school.  It was also a season of change in that Code Red entered into a partnership with Byron Center Public Schools which includes will include a new build space in 2020 that is part of a two-year expansion project at Byron Center High School.  Our competition schedule was also set to include an event in Canada, Code Red’s first time competing outside the United States.

With these factors and the team excited about the 2019 game, FIRST Deep Space, we were ready to take on the new challenges of placing hatches and cargo in rockets and cargo ships and climbing on the hab in the end game.  Our robot design included swerve drive and a lift system that allowed us to place game pieces on all levels of the rocket as well as climb the highest level of the hab. Competition season began with our first event at Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario, Canada.  The weekend was a time for Code Red to see how the robot performed in competition in preparation for our Michigan events. Code Red was selected as part of the 6th alliance and were eliminated in the quarter-finals. The highlight of the weekend was receiving the Quality Award at the event, capping off a successful weekend for Code Red.

Our next event was at East Kentwood High School.  At East Kentwood, we ranked 10th and were captains of the 6th alliance.  We selected the Techno Trojans (5405) and Wayland Wildcats (6090) as our alliance partners, and were up against the 3rd alliance.  Unfortunately, we were eliminated in the quarterfinals by the alliance that went on to win the event. Code Red was awarded the Gracious Professionalism Award during the awards ceremony.

Forest Hills was Code Red’s second Michigan event.  At the end of qualification matches, we were ranked 9th and were selected for the 5th alliance by the Iron Giants (5069), who also selected Excel (2474) to join our alliance.  We made it to semifinals where we lost to the alliance that went on to win the event. In the awards ceremony, Code Red was honored to get the Entrepreneurship Award, and we qualified for the Michigan State Championship!

Next came the State Championship at Saginaw Valley State University.  Code Red was in the Dow Division and had an up and down series of qualification matches.  By alliance selection, we were ranked 20th. We were selected by the Atombots (245) to join the 4th alliance along with GRAYT (1322).  We won our first qualification match but lost the second due to 1322 breaking down. Our alliance took a time out and called in a back-up robot, Byron Robotics (5641), to take the place of 1322.  We won the third quarterfinal match and were on to the semifinals. In the semifinals, we lost to the alliance that went on to win the division, but we were thrilled at the same time because we had qualified for the World Championship in Detroit.

In Detroit, Code Red competed in the Darwin Division.  At the end of qualification matches, we were ranked 18th and became the first pick for the 8th alliance.  Our alliance captain was The Wings of Fire (51), and we were also with Atombots (245). We were eliminated in quarterfinals, and with that, it brought an end to the 2019 season.  Looking back, amidst all the ups and downs that a season of robotics can bring, it was a fun season as a cohesive team of friends.