Oh my goodness! I've only been existence for about 2.5 months, but this weekend was by far the greatest time of my life! I'm so blown away by all of the cool things that happened this weekend!
On Friday afternoon, the girls came down the the shop and finished packing everything up. They made a list and checked it twice! Everything from my cart to the pit lights to buttons to wrenches to spare parts got placed in the truck carefully. The whole afternoon, the girls were so excited to see what the weekend would be like! From there, the girls carpooled over to the competition at Springside-Chestnut Hill Academy. It was a bumpy ride at times. I'm so thankful that I didn't get hurt! Once we arrived, everything was unloaded and the girls started setting up the pit. They hung up lights on the tent, organized the tools, and got acclimated to the competition. Once they were ready, I got inspected. Don't worry - I passed! The inspectors weighed me, checked on my electronics and pneumatics, looked at my bumpers, and made sure that I was safe to play on the field with other robots. It was a little bit nerve-wracking, but I knew that my team made me perfectly fine so I didn't need to worry. By the end of the day, everyone was exhausted and needed to get home and rest! I snuggled up on my cart and waited anxiously for the morning to come.
Bright and early on Saturday, all of the teams came pouring into the competition! I was so thrilled when I saw the girls! Before I knew it, I had to get on the field for my first practice match! The girls got me a fresh battery, gathered the drive station, and brought me over to the field. They quickly set me up on the field in my autonomous position and got ready for the match to start. As I waited on the line, I began to feel a mixture of nervous and excited. However, once the match started I knew what I had to do. I got out there, shot some boulders, crossed defenses, and did what my team needed me to do. I wasn't the only one who was having a good time out there. When the girls and mentors saw me, they were cheering so loud! After the match, the girls carried me back to the cart and brought me back to the pit to rest up until the next match. After each match, the drive team chatted about what happened and discussed strategy. For the rest of the day, I played in all of my qualification matches. While the strategy was a little different each time, the routine was the same. I did a ton of different things on the field, and I played with a ton of really cool robots! During the matches, two girls would control me, another girl would coach them and help with strategy, and a fourth girl would send signals to them from the opposite side of the field to help them out. In between matches, girls went to interviews and presentations, danced, sang, cheered, tested codes, and fixed my mechanisms. Whether I won a match or lost a match, the girls were proud of me. Of course, they loved winning a bit more, but what mattered was that they worked hard every match. A group of girls worked on scouting the other robots during every single match to see which strategies worked and which didn't. Tons of people came to visit me, from classmates to teachers to friends to Firebirds alum! It was a crazy day, and everyone was so anxious to see what would happen next!
This morning, the day started off with alliance selections. No one knew for sure if I would be picked for an alliance because there were a lot of really great robots at that competition. Waiting was tough, but eventually the time came for everyone to gather in the stands and watch the selections. Eventually, a fabulous alliance with my new friends, 193 Mort Beta and 4454 Artisanal Rocketeers, picked my team! The girls were so happy that they could have the chance to compete in the eliminations! Immediately, I had to get ready for matches. While the pit crew prepared me, the drive team met with their alliance members to discuss strategy. We decided that the best thing for me to do was to go over a defense in auto and again in teleop to defeat it first. Then, I needed to play defense on the other robots. In both of my quarterfinal matches, this went super duper well! My alliance even set a high score for the event! Everyone was so happy when I moved onto the semifinals! My alliance knew that these would be tough because we would be facing the first alliance. However, we did not let ourselves be intimidated. We went into the matches determined to fight for a win. In the first match, my alliance worked hard to get as many points as possible, but it just wasn't enough. We changed the strategy slightly and went into the next match with a fresh perspective. We won that match! Then, we had to play a tiebreaker. Even though we played hard on the field, we lost. While I was bummed that I was finished for the weekend, I was glad that I had such a fun time! During the awards ceremony, something really cool happened! One of the girls, Emma, won the Dean's List Semifinalist award! The team was so proud of her! It was so exciting to see all of her hard work recognized! After everything wrapped up, the girls packed up the pit and brought all do the stuff back home. I'll rest in my bag until the next competition in less than two weeks. Until then, Nox will keep you updated with all of his adventures!
If after reading this blog post, you are feeling like you wish you could have been there to experience the fun with my team, don't worry. One of the girls, Annie, was recording the action all weekend long! She made this fabulous video that I put at the bottom of this post. It has all of the fun packed into just a few minutes! I hope you enjoy it!