Saturday, January 7. 2017
When we made it to Spencerport we rushed off of the bus, eager to get inside to the warm, heated building. Spencerport’s robotics team 3015 Ranger Robotics has been hosting the local Kickoff since last year. They have been doing an amazing job by creating a fun and exciting environment for all. They’re even generous enough to hold a raffle give away! Some of the prizes vary from a simple flash drive to a flat screen TV. They also have tons of yummy, scrumptious donuts in their cafeteria for everyone to enjoy. That’s actually the very first place some of us went when we got in…
Once we all filled up on tasty donuts, it was time for all the teams to gather in the auditorium for the live stream. A slide show played on the projector of various pictures submitted from different teams. Whenever there was a picture of our team we would proudly cheer. When everyone calmed down there was some quick speeches from sponsors talking about various opportunities FIRST gives its members, from experience to scholarships. Once all of that was over, the stream began.
This year’s steampunk-themed game, FIRST STEAMWORKS, is played by two alliances of three robots each on a 27 ft. by 54 ft. 4 in. field. Each match is 2 minutes and 30 seconds long. Robots operate using pre-programmed instructions for the first 15 seconds of each match, and then drivers control the robots for the remainder of the match. The object of STEAMWORKS is for robots to work together to gain points by scoring green balls, or ‘fuel’, into the low or high goals of a ‘boiler’ to build up steam pressure, or by retrieving and delivering gears to the ‘airship’ in the middle of the field. The human players on the airship (yes! Human Players in the middle of the field!) will collect and install the gears, and if enough gears are installed then they will be used to turn the rotors and award the alliance extra points. During the last 30 seconds of the match, ropes are deployed from the airships, and robots can climb up the ropes to score more points. Check out the game animation here!
-Student Blogger James