Last week, our four VEX Robotics teams headed out for our tournament at Newmarket High School. We started the day by working hard on our robots, making sure that we could drive and turn in different directions. There were many aspects of driving. You needed to organize and build your chassis, and also program all of the wheels to turn at a certain speed and duration.
After the opening ceremony, there was the driver’s meeting where all of the drivers who were driving that day would learn about the rules in specific detail. Shortly after, the qualification matches began.
VEX is different from the FRC (First Robotics Competition) robotics we are used to. For example, VEX does not wait for you if you are a minute or 40 seconds late. They will simply begin without you. Some of us missed our first matches trying to get the robot through inspection. Finally, we had our first match, where all four teams realized that some of our original designs weren’t be functional. We kept going to our matches and coming back to improve or fix our robot. When it was lunch break, we gathered our four teams together for some pizza. It was good to just take a break from all of the busyness.
Next up, the afternoon qualifications took place and, according to Mr. Wappel, our scores were impressive. “As a team that only has robotics for one hour at a time, I am amazed that you guys got this far,” he told us. Out of the 39 competing teams at the tournament, all four of our teams placed around the 20th to 30th mark. Not bad for a fairly new team!
We all agreed that we learned a lot at this competition. We saw robots that worked and those that didn’t. It was a great experience for all of us. On behalf of the team, thank you Mr. Wappel and Mr. Simmonds for managing the logistics of the competition. And thank you to all of the parent volunteers who helped us out.