This past weekend the Jonesville HS robotic team (#5502, The Cobrots) teamed up with the Comets from Grand Rapids, and the Robotarians from Coloma to win the prestigious Lansing FRC Regional held at Mason high school in front of a capacity crowd.
The Cobrots had to overcome many technical difficulties in the course of the two days of competition. Initially they had to overcome some software programming bugs that kept them from getting any practice time prior to the first match and then had to rebuild and combine gear-motors several times over the course of the matches as the impact was damaging the gear teeth on one mechanism. Other mechanisms that were added in the ‘unbag’ time since the last event had to be cut off and reassembled three times before a functional and reliable location could be found that would hold up to the brutal course.
The drive team (Randal McDowell, Gleb Goryunov, Steven Koppel, and Brody Longman) who just a couple weeks ago helped set the high score at the Kettering University Regional had their resolve tested over the two days as they scored poorly and they struggled to execute many tasks, specifically the castle climb, which the team became known for. But over time, as they solved their technical problems, their scoring consistency returned and they again became recognized as the team having not only the coolest shirts (designed by teammate Alivia Rebeck), but also having a robot that can consistently execute the exciting castle climb in the last 20 seconds of play. With only two team members available for talent scouting, Michael Pope, Alivia Rebeck had their hands full evaluating and ranking the other robots. Luckily we were recruited by the alliance of the Comets and Robotarians and so they did not have to make the difficult decision of who to partner with.
In the first round of playoff competition, the team’s role as defender subjected their robot to extraordinary abuse as it repeatedly was pummeled by an aggressive robot of the other alliance as the Cobrot fought to protect our alliances goal scorer from the abuse. The Cobrot held strong and the opponent was eventually disabled by the referee for excessive contact penalty points. Again, to the delight of the crowd, the Cobrot climbed the castle at the end of the match. One time with less than a second to spare.
In the semifinals the Cobrots role was to traverse challenging obstacles as it delivered scoring balls to the goal shooter. They were so effective at this that for the second regional in a row the team was involved with setting the event’s highest score. An amazing 177 points, eclipsing the 160 they achieved at Kettering.
Moving on to the double elimination final, the team narrowly won the first match but then a scoring issue resulted in a stressful delay to determine the outcome. In a bit of a ‘Steve Karvey’ moment the officials declared the Jonesville alliance the winner and then after 10 seconds declared that to be incorrect and that indeed the other alliance had won taking it down to a winner take all last match.
After all that drama, the final was a bit less eventful as the Jonesville alliance scored more effectively and the Cobrot sealed the deal with another exciting castle climb. Although stressfully, this time it took three heart stopping attempts before the latch held. They were now champions!
The Jonesville robot team could not work with this cool technology and gain the valuable lessons and skills without the help of Martinrea, Cobra Moto, Mr Rooter, Ross Engineering and Design, Orbitform, Stockhouse Printing, Vertex Pistons, Jonesville Tool, The Rotary, The Kiwanis, Nefco, Jonesville Lumber.
You can follow the team as they advance on to the State Championship in Grand Rapids April 14-16 at #JonesvilleRobotics and www.JonesvilleRobotics.com.
Team picture from Left to Right. Gleb Goryunov, Brody Longman, Steve Koppel, Randal McDowell, Michael Pope, Georgia McDowell, Coach Phil McDowell, and Mentor Jared Page.