Columbus was the first competitive event that we attended in 2016. Throughout the day, there was a little bit of trial and error with the firing of our catapult mechanism, which is the design we chose for Stronghold Bot. Since the competition robot was different from the practice bot at our build site, we had to make major adjustments, being as our intake could only pick up about three balls per match. Eventually, after hard fighting, we got to pick the alliance that we thought that would best complement our capabilities. Unfortunately, both of our alliance members were nonfunctional during the finals, along with our robot’s intake being broken, so we ended up losing in the end. But there was still much to look forward to, being as our intake problems could be solved before the next competition, in Dalton.
Coming into this event, we knew we needed to make a couple of changes. First of all, we changed our strategy so that we would be able to score more points in a shorter amount of time. We also changed the intake – the new intake made it so that we could scoop up balls easier and faster. In the playoffs, we chose East Cobb Robotics and the GI Joz for our alliance, two teams that we are very close too. In the finals (a very close match), we came out on top, breaking the 1-1 tie. The drive team was very happy with the results because they used new techniques not exercised in the practice. The event was a huge success, being as we also won the Chairman’s Award here.
Worlds competition is high stress situation for everyone on the team. This is especially true for the members of the drive team. They spend the whole time on the field where everyone can see them. Every mistake they may make can be easily seen by everyone, so pressure levels are beyond intense. This year’s drive team gave it their all and minimally let up. However, luck was not on our side, because during almost every match, there was something wrong with the robot. Instead of freaking out, the drive team calmly worked out each problem. But Worlds is home to the best of the best, and even though we rectified our mistakes, the fact that we had mistake at all put us at a major disadvantage. We took a lot away from Worlds 2016, and this experience will guide us for many years to come.