During the April break, Billerica Memorial High School FIRST Robotics Team 4909 competed at the 2022 FIRST World Championship in Houston, Texas! The competition was held in the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston from Wednesday, April 20 through Saturday, April 23. It was such an incredible and exhilarating experience for everyone!
454 FRC teams competed across six divisions of 75-76 teams each — double the size of a typical District event. Teams traveled from all over the world to participate, including Israel, Japan, Turkey, Mexico, and the Netherlands, as well as from all around the U.S. and Canada. The Championship event brought together approximately 35,000 people! Students and mentors took advantage of the opportunities to make friends with other teams. With just one world championship this year, teams that normally do not meet because they go to two different championships were able to interact, and everyone was thrilled to be playing in person again. The last championship event was April 2019, so it has been a full 3 years and the majority of current students on our team have never experienced one!
We were the 3rd pick of the 2nd seed alliance for the playoff bracket in our division. At the Worlds level, the 3rd pick is a 4th alliance member that the alliance captain can ‘swap in’ as needed. Watch us play in our division semifinals here! (We are in red on the upper left at the start.)
We are raising money to help subsidize our trip to Houston. Any contributions from the Billerica community would be greatly appreciated. Fill out the form below to donate! This final competition capped off our best season yet and while the official RAPID REACT game season may be over, FRC is a year-round experience for our team! After a little bit of a breather, we will be thinking about our summer and fall activity plans. Keep a lookout for information regarding community events!
Unfortunately, we did not receive any awards, but we did not leave disappointed as before we left, we received some incredible news: Team 4909 has officially qualified for the 2022 FRC World Championship! The World Championship will take place beginning Thursday, April 21st through Saturday, April 23rd in Houston, Texas. We are beyond grateful and excited for this opportunity, and cannot wait to compete later this week with teams from all over the world!
Next stop: Houston!
We have officially qualified for the 2022 RAPID REACT NE District Championships in Springfield, MA! This year, the event has 2 divisions (Titanium and Calcium) with 39 teams each. Team 4909 is in the Calcium division, playing on field 1. Watch Pandora compete on the field today and cheer us on!
Thursday, April 14, 2022:
- Qualification Matches: 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Friday, April 15, 2022:
- Opening Ceremonies: 8:00 AM
- Qualification Matches Resume: 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday, April 16, 2022:
- Opening Ceremonies: 8:00 AM
- Alliance Selections: 8:30 AM
- Divisional Playoffs: 9:30 AM
- Divisional Awards Ceremony: 12:30 PM
- Finale and Awards Ceremony: 2:00 PM
Stream links: https://twitch.tv/nefirst_red / https://twitch.tv/nefirst_blue
*Schedule subject to change. All times are estimated based on the flow of rounds.
This past weekend, Team 4909 competed at the Greater Boston District Event that occurred in Revere, MA from 3/25 to 3/27. Because of our success in the qualifying matches, we were given the opportunity to be the third seed alliance captain! We invited teams 2877 LigerBots and 2084 Robots by the C to join our alliance.
During the second semi-final round, our alliance successfully attempted a triple robot climb until our robot fell from the high rung in the final three seconds of the match. Nonetheless, we won the match by one point! View the semi-final round here (5:25:00). This victory necessitated a semi-final tiebreaker round!
Despite not making it to the finals, our team was recognized for other outstanding accomplishments. Two of our team members, junior Anuva Agrawal and sophomore Dhvan Shah, were recognized as candidates for the Dean's List award. After judging and being nominated by the team, according to FIRST, Dean’s List Finalist recognition is given to students who “demonstrated leadership and commitment to the FIRST Core Value and interest in and passion for a long term commitment to FIRST.” We also took home the Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors for our robot’s intake design, which “Celebrates the team that demonstrates industrial design principles, striking a balance between form, function, and aesthetics.” The judges commented that our team "jumped into CAD to design an effective linkage to deploy their rollers and stow them back inside the robot when necessary. The way their swerve drive maneuvers around the field in autonomous and teleop modes command the attention of an audience. And, that four bar intake just looks cool. "
We are currently ranked 24th out of 183 teams in New England. The team is so excited to get back on the field and compete again next week! Next stop: NE District Championships from April 13-16 in West Springfield!
Last weekend, Team 4909 traveled to Reading Memorial High School to compete in the NE District North Shore event. We arrived Friday night to have our robot inspected, and set up the ‘pit’ area, a 10ft-by-10ft space allotted to each team where the pit crew could work on the robot in between matches.
The competition began Saturday morning, with 39 teams from all over New England competing to take home a Blue Banner and title of ‘winner’. Matches are played with a “Blue” alliance competing against a “Red” alliance, each consisting of 3 randomly assigned teams. During qualification matches, all alliances are randomly assigned, and are different from match to match. Each team is guaranteed to play in 12 qualification matches. After the conclusion of this event’s 78 qualification matches, we ended in 5th place!
The elimination rounds began on Sunday morning, with the top 8 seeded teams picking 2 other teams to accompany them in the playoff matches. Since we were ranked 5th at the end of qualification matches, we were given the opportunity to pick members to be part of the 4th seeded playoff alliance. We invited Team 1073 The Force Team from Hollis, NH, and Team 509 Red Storm from Bedford, NH, to be part of our alliance, and they both accepted!
Unfortunately, we were not able to make it into the finals, after being eliminated in the quarterfinals against the 3rd seeded alliance. However, we did not come home in despair, since we were presented with the Entrepreneurship Award for the second time! The judges said that Team 4909 “makes their sponsors proud AND even let the sponsors in on their accomplishments. They have a safety plan, the support of their friends, a feeder pipeline, and they have packaged all of this in a clear and concise business plan.” Consideration for this award is based on the team’s ability to explain how their business plan reflects their day-to-day work as a part of the program, and affects their continuous contribution to FIRST. At our last competition, Granite State Districts, we were given the honor of winning this award for the first time in our history, and are so proud to have brought it home again this time!
Our second district competition of the season takes place today in Reading, MA! Due to Covid restrictions, the event will only be open for virtual viewing. We would love to have you all join us through the Twitch live stream! Here is the schedule for this weekend’s events:
Saturday, March 19, 2022:
- Opening Ceremonies: 10:30 AM
- Qualification Matches: 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday, March 20, 2022:
- Opening Ceremonies: 9:00 AM
- Qualification Matches: 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
- Alliance Selections: 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
- Playoffs/Elimination Rounds: 1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
- Awards Ceremony: 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
*This schedule is subject to change. All times are estimated based on the flow of rounds.
For more information about the event, click here.
To watch us compete on live stream, visit https://www.twitch.tv/nefirst_blue
Scouting field view: https://www.twitch.tv/nefirst_orange
Team 4909’s 2022 Robot Reveal Night was a success! Many of our friends, families, and sponsors took time out of their day to hear an overview of build season and see our robot “Pandora” in action. The night consisted of our team leads highlighting their specific responsibilities including managing the build process, building of the subsystems, programming the robot, and a Team Operations update. The audience was able to gain insight into what it took to build the robot and each of our subsystems; the intake, the shooter and singulator, the turret, and the climber. After we finished talking about the robot, we did a Granite State recap and conducted a robot demonstration by simulating an official match. We successfully scored cargo into the hub and climbed the hangar. Thank you to everyone who attended and we appreciate your support! Please see below for some pictures from the event.
This past weekend, Team 4909 traveled to Salem, NH to attend the Granite State District Event. We arrived at Salem High School on Thursday to get our robot inspected and set up the team's pit. The pit is the area where teams keep their robots between matches and is also where they hold all of their tools and spare parts.
The competition officially began last Friday with 39 teams from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Vermont participating. Matches are played with a “Blue” alliance of 3 teams competing against a “Red” alliance of 3 teams. All alliances are randomly assigned and alliance configurations are different from match to match. Each team plays 12 qualification matches over the course of two days. After the team’s qualification matches, we ended up in 12th place!
The elimination rounds began with the top 8 seeded teams picking two other teams for their playoff alliance. In regards to alliances, because of the team’s success in qualifying matches, we were given the opportunity to be the first pick by the 3rd seed alliance captain, Team 131 CHAOS from Manchester, NH! Their second pick was Team 6690 MV roboPride from Concord, NH. Unfortunately, we lost in the semi-finals against the first seed alliance.
Even though we were not able to make it to finals, we were extremely excited to bring home the Entrepreneurship Award! According to FIRST Robotics, the Entrepreneurship Award is given to the team that “develops a comprehensive business plan in order to define, manage, and achieve the team’s ongoing objectives. This team displays entrepreneurial enthusiasm as well as demonstrates the vital planning and business skills to ensure a self-sustaining program”. Evaluation is based on the team’s ability to explain to the judges how their plan helps to ensure the team’s continued participation in FIRST. This includes how their business plan is organized, how the team makes decisions and divides their workload, how the team keeps students, mentors, and sponsors actively engaged, how they recruit and train future team members, and how they celebrate success and document lessons learned to prevent repeating mistakes. According to the Judges, our team “Displays entrepreneurial enthusiasm as well as demonstrates vital planning and business skills to ensure a self-sustaining program. This team had an infusion of 8th-grade students last year and quadrupled in size. Students operate the team as a small business and they have a solid business plan to back it up. They make a point to create a safe and inclusive space for their members”. We are so proud to have won this award for the first time in Team 4909’s history!
The team’s next competition is the NE District North Shore Event, which will take place from March 18-20 at Reading Memorial High School in Reading, MA. We are excited to compete again and hope that you will join us!
Last week, members of the shooter group discovered that the shooter was not working the way they intended; each piece of cargo flew with a higher trajectory than planned, and shots made from farther away were inaccurate. To combat these issues, students added another flywheel opposite the first one. With this addition, the rotational velocity would be negligible and the ball would not spin as it traveled to the Hub. In the days leading up to Week 0, the members focused on mounting the new flywheel and began to fix the singulator, which connected the intake and shooter subsystems. At the Week 0 competition, students quickly realized that the limelight was not synchronized with the robot, allowing them to only make shots from the Fender (area by the lower exit of the hub). Before matches started, another issue arose - the cargo was touching the flywheel while being held by the robot. To compensate for this, the indexer wheel had to be run slightly backwards. Due to several other complications, the team was not able to make it very far in the competition, but the goal of Week 0 is to learn, and members have been making adjustments to the shooter subsystem all throughout this week.
Last Saturday marked the official end of the 2022 Build Season! Team 4909 is excited to show off our new robot to our sponsors, parents, and the rest of our supportive community. Every year, following our 6-week build season, the team hosts a Robot Reveal Night; a momentous event to celebrate our robot’s completion. During this event, guests are encouraged to meet the team, our mentors, and watch our robot in action. This is an exciting occasion for everyone, and it is a time for everyone to reflect on how much time, effort, and support it took to accomplish this goal. We also use Robot Reveal Night to express our gratitude to everyone who provided us with the resources needed to make this possible. We could not have developed our robot without all of your contributions, from financial assistance to helping fabricate robot parts and supplying meals on days when our students and mentors worked long hours. Team 4909 is truly appreciative of all the consistent support you have given us throughout the 2022 build season. For more information about Robot Reveal Night, please see the invitation below.
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