Walking into the Revere High School on the morning of March 25th, Billerica’s favorite robot, “Equinox”, had a brand new addition: a fully-functional cube shooter. Equinox now had the capability to now intake the cube game pieces and shoot them to their desired node during a match. Though we lost some matches, our victories ultimately landed us in 10th place by the time alliance selections came around.
During alliance selections, we were the first pick of the fourth seed captained by Team 4041, the Iron Tigers. Team 5735 Control Freaks were also invited to join our alliance, which they accepted.
The playoff tournament was thrilling, as the top teams of the competition took to the field to battle for the top spot. As the matches began, we scored a win against the 5th seed, but lost to the 1st seed in our next match, placing us in the lower bracket of the tournament. Tensions rising, the team entered the next match against the 2nd seed. Unfortunately, we lost the match 144-129 and were eliminated from the competition.
RIDE was the Bionics’ first official competition of the season, having won a pre-season event hosted by Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua, NH just a few weeks ago.
The gym at Ponaganset High School was packed Saturday and Sunday with tech-savvy teens, encouraging coaches, and vivacious volunteers, all watching the playing field as robots raced to score points. These robots, designed and built by the high school students, operate in autonomous and remote control modes, picking up and placing game pieces in precise locations in the game field. To score extra points, the robots can balance on a rocking platform called a “charging station”.
The second day also had some lows and highs for Billerica’s favorite robot. Near the end of a match, Equinox tipped over, damaging the robot. “It was a really scary moment,” said team captain Anuva Agrawal. “But it was great that we could count on our pit crew to fix the robot quickly for the next match.” The team discovered that a communications problem with the field delayed control commands, causing the robot to jerk forward unexpectedly and fall. The FIRST head referee allowed a rematch, which the Bionics’ alliance won 105 to 84, putting Billerica in 5th place for the playoff tournament.
The playoff tournament was thrilling at the top teams took to the field. The Bionics allied with two other teams to score a win in their first tournament match. Unfortunately, they lost their next two matches, eliminating them from the competition.
RIDE was an exciting event for humans and robots alike. The Billerica Bionics team is looking forward to the next competition on March 25th and 26th at Revere High School in Revere, MA. Attendance is free, and all are invited to attend and cheer on the team. “This was a tough competition,” said team member Abhinaba Goswami. “We’re going to do even better in the next game.”
To stay updated on the latest Team 4909 - Billerica Bionics news, please follow @team4909 on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, or go to team4909.org.
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