Wednesday, March 29
Waking up at 4 in the morning is not something that everyone wants to do, but the sheer excitement that we would be in California in the next few hours was more than enough to bar that thought from our minds. After the team gathered at the airport, we boarded the plane and started our 4 hour flight to San Jose, California. Immediately after we landed and collected our bags and headed to hotel to drop our luggage off. Having convened at the Spring Hill Suites, we wasted no time in boarding the train to Stanford University. Not only were we familiarized with the gorgeous Stanford campus, but we were also able to eat in one of the campus cafes and visit the electrical engineering and computer science buildings. After a long day of traveling and college visits, we gratefully traveled back to the hotel for dinner and headed to bed, eager for the next three days of competition.
Thursday, March 30
We’re all up bright and early to head over to the pit area and get ready for inspection! After we are successfully inspected, out pit crew immediately gets to adjusting all of the mechanisms on our robot to make sure it can perform at its best for the practice matches. Since our main focus this regional will be gears, we make sure that all hands are on deck for improving the gear manipulator. After our practice matches are over, we get a good idea on what still needs improvement robot-wise and we are ready for the next day of qualification matches.
Friday, March 31
We kick off the first day of qualification matches by playing in the second match of the day. Although we are not able to win our first match, it was a close game and we are confident in our robot performance. As the day progresses, our robot performance greatly improves in terms of utilizing all match time and gear collection- we were able to pick up 6 gears per match in two matches! Meanwhile, our outreach pit members are busy visiting with many judges, some of whom had even asked to speak with us the next day. Although we didn’t end the day with an ideal win-loss ratio, we know that our robot and drivers have played excellent matches and we are certain we can make a comeback tomorrow.
Saturday, April 1
Our whole team is prepared and excited for the last day of competition in California! Not only do we have two of our alumni back and cheering along with us in the stands, but many of our team members are making new connections with the kids from Californian teams. We play our last three matches, winning one and we end qualifications in 52. Despite these numbers not being quite as high as we know we can do, we are more than satisfied with our individual robot performance. We are fortunate to be picked as a third choice for the 6th alliance, along with team 114 Eagle Strike and team 751 barn2robotics. We win one out of three matches, and unfortunately, our competition has come to and end. We are so grateful to have competed with several world renown teams at this regional, and we were able to watch teams 254, 604, and 4990 break the world record for STEAMWORKS. During the awards ceremony, we are awarded the Imagery Award! We head back to the hotel having seen what competition at Worlds will be like, and we are determined to keep improving until we reach that caliber. We spend a final night in San Jose, and, while we are sad to leave California, are glad to finally head back to Texas.