With excitement running through the night before the competition, as well as nerves, the Eagles managed to relax with some great events that were happening on campus with casino night and the spring fling. Before the team knew it, it was time to head out on Saturday, March 2, to their first VEX Robotics tournament.
The challenge the VEX team had to complete was to pick up sacks and move them into one of three different types of scoring zones. To place the sacks in the scoring zone the teams used two robots to carry the sacks to each scoring zone. The scoring zones included one on the ground, a 15-inch trough, and a 30-inch platform. The teams had two minutes complete this challenge, but half of that time had to be autonomous.
Once the Eagles arrived and set up at their table, the challenges started up. First, the Eagles had to pass inspection on both robots. This is used to make sure there are no sharp edges to damage the field, or any method that would purposefully damage other robots. When trying to pass inspection, The Eagles had forgotten to upload the competition file so the robots could be switched between driver control and autonomous. The main computer that had been used to upload all the programs in the past was having difficulties not opening the program language, so an easy fix became a very difficult fix.
Due to not being able to upload the program, the Eagles had to forfeit their first game. When the second game was up and running, the Eagles did well for their first match, having to really get used to the field and controls. The Eagles lost the match by only a few points. The third match one of the robots was being worked on to switch some gearing to remove some binding issues on the drive train. So the Eagles competed with only one robot. This was a very interesting game that should have landed the Eagles with a very big loss, but Bryan Rhodes, was able to drive the larger robot, Big Boy, to perfection during the driver control period to pick up enough points for a win. But due to some bad scoring it was considered a tie.
Through the first half of the day the Eagles were in very bad shape to place in the top two for the championship. The fourth match was played against the team they had to earlier forfeit against. This was the first match the Eagles had two completely working robots, and a solid strategy to finally run through. The Eagles played a tight round, but at the last minute the Kodiaks managed to pull out the win.
In the fifth match against Scottsdale Community College, the Eagles were on the livestream and were able to pull out a win with only a few seconds left due to a clutch play by Kellie Wallace. Wallace had forgotten to load up the robots with the pre-loads that each team was allowed, and with seconds winding down placed them next to the robot on the floor goal. This helped secure the first victory of the day.
In the final match against Arizona State University, the Eagles had taken a look at the ASU robots before and asked for a measurement, since it was looking like it was too large to compete. After a brief delay they accepted the request and measured. The robot was outside of the requirements and brought about a disqualification. The Eagles wanted all the practice they could get so the team allowed them to play in the final match of the day. While the ASU team had the advantage, the Eagles managed to take a large victory against their opponents.
Even though The Eagles did not win the entire tournament, all members of the team had a great time, and meet a lot of very cool and interesting people.