After winning the Inspire Award, the top award at the Chicago League Championships, the US Robotics team, Robotheosis, traveled to Elgin, IL to compete in the two-day Illinois State Tournament last weekend.
The Parker team did not rest on their laurels after winning the Inspire Award but instead spent the week improving their robot with extra capabilities, such as autonomously selecting the correct button to push based on the attached color sensors. The team was one of only a handful of the 36 teams at the tournament that successfully selected two beacons in the beginning period of each match when human drivers were not allowed to control the robot. Further, the Parker team was able to collect and shoot smaller balls and also lift and cap a much larger exercise ball for extra points at the end of each match.
On Friday evening, the team gave a presentation to the judges about their entire engineering process from design to test to build and modify. Different students shared their roles they played in contributing to the final product as well as skills they had learned throughout the process. Then the matches got off to a great start on Saturday morning with Parker’s alliance winning the first match handily, 150 to 60 overall points, after unveiling their new autonomous beacon-pushing capability. Unfortunately, in the 2nd match, the control wires connected to the lift mechanism came loose, which did not allow them to score the cap ball at the end of the match. The team lost this match and the next two matches, but continued to fix problems that arose. They won the last two matches ending with a 3 and 3 record overall in the tournament.
While not being able to move on to the next level of competition, the team will continue to meet to work on off-season projects as well as plan for next year. They will also continue efforts to inspire future students to take on science and engineering challenges through outreach events such as Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day in March at Parker and the Chicago 2017 Robot Block Party at the Museum of Science and Industry in April. The team is hoping to build on their successes this season to come back even stronger next year.