FIRST has provided us an intriguing challenge yet again this year, named Ultimate Ascent. Teams were challenged to build a robot that could pick up frisbees, and shoot them into several elevated slots on the opposite end of the field. Robots could also climb a 10ft tall pyramid at the end of the match to receive additional points.
For more information, please read the Game Manual.
This year is arguably HVR’s best season yet. At the Hawaii Regional, we were hit with many technical difficulties, but after struggling with them, we fixed our problems and proved ourselves to be one of the best supportive alliance partners. Despite being the 12th seeded team at the competition, we were picked first by the 2nd seed alliance, and made it to the semi final matches before being eliminated. At this tournament we won the Innovation in Control award for our advanced programming that allowed our robot to sense the distance a goal was from our robot, and adjust the angle of our shooter to match that distance. We also won the Engineering Inspiration Award for our excellent outreach, teaching our community about the importance of robotics and STEM education. The Engineering Inspiration Award also qualified us for the FRC Worlds Championship in St. Louis. At the World championship, we were met with a whole new level of competition. However, we put up a good fight, with equal loses and victories. Regardless of the results of the games, the World championship was tons of fun, from meeting the other teams, talking to college admissions officers, and seeing other world class robotics teams, everything was an excellent educational experience. We are proud to have made it so far, all the way from our small club in the humble town of Hilo.
Our general formula for success is to start with simplicity, and build upon it. This year, our robot was able to receive frisbees through the feeding station, and shoot from halfway across the field. Once we solved a few technical difficulties, it was able to score consistently. Its small size relative to the rest of the robots allowed it to move very quickly, proving itself to be the best defensive robot at the competition, often neutralizing the best scoring robots.