Columbus, IN – On Saturday, December 16th, the Wildcat Robotics Club (WRC) travelled to Columbus, Indiana for a VEX Robotics Competition Tournament. This was the first time the WRC has participated in competition. After forming the WRC at the end of last year, seniors Reggie Reuss, Alex Hedges, and Alex Hodapp, as well as team mentor, Mr. Herbert, were ready to make a run for a tournament championship. As soon as the team entered Faurecia North America’s new digital plant, the excitement mounted. In the background, large industrial robots made welds and manipulated materials at a pace humans could previously only dream of. In the front of the tournament space, two robot arenas sat prepared for two teams of two robots to battle it out. Two more arenas were being used as general practice fields, and several tables lined in rows served as pits for the teams to grind away at getting every single ounce of power they could from their electronic motors.
In a VEX Robotics Competition, each team plays 8 matches with randomly assigned partners. Teams are awarded 2 Win Points (WP) for a win, 1 WP for a tie, and 0 WP for a loss. After the qualifying rounds, the first place qualifier can ask another team to join their alliance. Teams can either join or decline the alliance. During the knockout rounds, teams play to the best of three matches. During the first match, the alliance can use two of the three robots in their alliance. During the second round, the robot that sat out must play. If there is a third round, any robot may participate.
Typically, the tournament will consist of 8 alliances. Due to the low number of teams, the tournament was cut to a field of 3 alliances, but was still considered a state qualifying event.
Considering this was the first competition for the WRC, the result were favorable. WRC has scored their first points, wins, and tournament seeding. All these are huge milestones for the newly formed team. WRC finished 16th out of 22 total teams during the qualification round. WRC was drafted to the 6th seed team for the tournament where they were eliminated in the quarterfinals.
The future looks bright when you consider FCHS’s Robotics Club boasts nearly 40 members, and a batch of incoming freshman with robotics experience will be ready to build on the foundation of the founding members. There is just one more shot to participate in a tournament this year in Seymour, IN, although WRC has not yet made a commitment to participate as of the time of publishing. Be prepared to see more out of the Wildcat Robotics Club in the future.
Wildcat Robotics Club Team – 12/16/17
Reggie Reuss (2018), Alex Hodapp (2018), Alex Hedges (2018)