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Flaming Monkeys Robotics News

We returned from our competition last night.  The robot and team were successful in a number of ways.  It’s not just how the robot performed, but also about networking with other teams and helping them out.  Although we didn’t “win” the competition, we were winners in gracious professionalism and had a lot of “first” moments.

Thursday- Because we met our fundraising goals, were able to bring the entire team down on Thursday rather than just 4 team members.  We discovered the benefits of having extra hands there- answer judges ‘questions, start helping other teams complete or troubleshoot their robots, getting our pit decorated, getting our mascot visibility and having 2 team members sing with the choir for opening ceremonies (another team first).  The inspector noted that we were the “easiest inspection of the competition”- it was ours too, ever.  Only the switch needed to be moved.

Friday/Saturday

These were competition days.  We discovered that other teams gave away awards, too.  We never got awards before, another first.  We received 4 in total- 3 for “best pit” and one for “best mascot”.  Our mascot, Mark, made quite an impact with judges, mentors, teams and volunteers with his antics, sign language and of course hugs.  Our pit was decorated as a “tiki hut” complete with vines, flowers, trees, animals (stuffed) to carry out our jungle theme.  Team members took turns manning the “animal crate”/podium posing as “tour guides” dressed in safari shirts.  They spoke to judges, visitors and handed out banana pens.  We’ll include pictures in the next newsletter.  We continued the theme in our Chairman’s Award Presentation with Luke, Haley, and Tony posing as “tour guides” explaining our community outreach programs to 2 judges.  They commented on our originality and humor.  They also gave us constructive feedback on our team’s direction.  This is the first time we applied for the award that looks strongly on community outreach & sponsor networking.

The team is proud to report the following about our robot’s capabilities during the competition

  • We competed in all 10 of our matches.
  • We were able to score in all 3 periods of the game in a couple matches.
  • We scored roughly 50% of the points possible in the autonomous period (this is the period were the robot is programmed to shoot Frisbees without a human driving it).
  • We scored 50% of our “hanging points.  This is the period where the robot hangs on the pyramid bars.
  • We had other teams discuss a potential alliance for the elimination matches (this is where the top 8 teams each pick 2 partner teams for the final rounds).
  • ·         We were ranked 36/53 teams.  The ranking system is based on randomly assigned teams that you will play with and/or play against on Friday and Saturday morning. The ranking system is often not an accurate method of the robot’s abilities depending on the caliber of the teams.
  • Although we didn’t get selected for the elimination rounds, we are proud of our robot and can’t wait to play in the Rock River Off-season Competition to be held August 3 at RVC with other teams.  We hope you can see us perform in person.

Dee Sternhagen

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