Prior to arriving at Kettering Thursday evening for the five hour open work/practice time, you may recall that the team had realized that their robot was “out of spec” after work completion date (“bag day”) and had used their only available six hours of ‘unbag’ time to cut apart the robot and rebuild it to legal specifications. When it had went into the bag and the end of the six hour unbag day the robot was together but not working.
Arriving at Kettering University we had five hours Thursday evening to finish building the robot, get it working, and pass official inspection. With any time left over we could practice.
With a half hour left to go Thursday evening, the stressed out team members finally passed inspection!
The Friday morning practice session was used to sort out the teams “autonomous” portion of the software. This is the 15 second period of each match where the students’ java programming skills make the robot work without driver interaction.
There was no time for driver operated practice so tensions were high as the students prepared for their first match. On the field in front of the capacity Kettering crowd, their robot crossed their first untested challenge (officially called a “defense”) and then promptly lost their battery.
From that low point, the team rebounded to become only the second team at the event to successfully scale the castle wall, and the soon became the first repeat climber. In fact the team became known as “the climbers” as the machine did is quite reliably.
At the end of two days of qualification matches, the Jonesville 5502 Cobrots were in 17th position in the standings of 40 teams. The team was proud.
They were even prouder when they were selected early in the second round of championship team selection. This allowed them to compete through quarterfinals and semifinals competitions in hope of reaching the finals.
Going into the quarterfinals as the 7th seed of 8 teams they were certainly an underdog. They surprised the capacity crowd by beating the 2nd seed team in best of three matches while achieving the weekends high score of 160 (55 of which were scored by the 5502 Jonesville Cobrot, which single handedly cleared 3 defenses and then scaled the tower).
The success story ends here though as the team got bumped from the semi-finals. Their high score of 160 stood throughout the weekend and the team that beat them eventually won the championship.
The Martinrea, Cobra Moto, Ross Engineering, Mr Rooter, Orbitform, Vertex Piston, Stockhouse, Jonesville Tool, Jonesville Lumber, NEFCO, Rotary and Kiwanis backed team will only have limited time to improve their robot before their next competition at Mason HS March 25 & 26.