It is the first day of qualifying matches here at the “Seattle” Regional (held in Tacoma). The TRC substantially completed the new mechanism last night, but there wasn’t enough time to swap it onto the existing base and pass inspection before the start of qualifying matches today. The plan is to tweak the new mechanism throughout the day and then swap it in between 3 and 6pm this evening after matches have finished for the day. As with Portland, I will try to provide updates throughout the day.
Update 1: The TRC won its first qualifying match of the day 32-0.
Update 2: The TRC lost its second qualifying match of the day 0-52. One of our partners, team 1570 did not show up for the match and our other partner scarcely moved the whole match, so it was effectively 3 on 1. Our bot autonomously crossed 3 quarter field markers during hybrid mode, for what should have been an obvious 12 point bonus (4 for each line crossed), but we only got credited for 1 line. The field announcer even commented on this, but the score was not changed! We accrued two 10 point penalties during the match, which were well deserved. Jonathan seemed to be driving in a bit of a panic and was trying to really whip the robot around the corners to do laps quickly (our only way of scoring points). In the processes, he ran into the center divider and backed up in TWO cases, garnering a penalty each time. He really needs to take it easy and go around the field at right angles. This one was a legitimate loss, but I have been distinctly unimpressed by the quality of the ref’s scoring today. In one particularly memorable incident, team 1510 was knocked over with its arm fully sprawled out across the floor, which put it WELL over the 80 inch rule. It sat there for most of the game and none of the 8 or so ref’s caught the highly obvious infraction.
Update 3: TRC lost the third match of the day 30-40 in a strategically played match. Our team had no hurdlers and the other team had two, so our alliance largely played keep-away with the opponents trackballs. At one point, I felt like we might have pinned and compressed the opponent’s ball between our robot and one of the walls, but we didn’t get called for it. Unfortunately, with two of our robots guarding the opponent’s balls, it didn’t give us much of a chance to run laps. We did manage to keep one of our trackballs on top of the overpass at the end of the game, resulting in a 12 point bonus for our alliance, but in the end the opponent’s lapping did us in. The autonomous mode which worked very well in the second match resulted in us running into a wall this match. Pity too, as if we had crossed three lines we would have won.
Update 4: I believe the last match doesn’t count against us as it was our “filler” match, similar to the one we won at Portland which didn’t count for us. TRC tied its fourth match today with an official score of 28 to 28. I’m pretty sure we actually won it by a fair margin, as our alliance crossed 3 lines during auto, had 1 trackball up at the end for a starting score of 24. Our alliance accrued one 10 point penalty during the match, which would have brought our score to 14 not counting laps. Individually we made many laps during the match and also pushed a blue ball across at the end. I think our legitimate score should have been around 40. I am trying to keep my temper in check and be as dispassionately objective as possible, but this is a first year regional and imo it is showing.
Update 5: TRC won its fifth match today 28 to 2 in a well driven match. Jonathan seemed to have really good control of the robot this time around and managed to roll trackballs over our finish line twice under heavily contested conditions. The robot’s autonomous mode seems real inconsistent, with it again slamming into the wall. This was the last match before the lunch break. I’m off to get a sandwich. More latter.
Update 6: In our first match since the lunch break, the TRC squeezed out a win by I believe the slim margin of 22 to 18. Our alliance scored a lot more, but got hit with 20 points in penalties (thankfully, we were not the offending party). In an interesting chain of events, outgoing senior Erik Wells-Thulin ended up being one of the drivers (and I presume the defacto coach), as both Ian and Alex were giving their Chairman’s Award presentation at the time of this match.
Update 7: TRC won its final match of the day, squeezing out yet another victory by a narrow margin. Final score was 20-18. TRC finishes the day with an official record of 4 wins, 1 tie and 1 loss. Now the fun begins as the team works to completely remove the existing superstructure of the robot to replace it with a new one!