For the second year in a row, the Gearheads and the Blownfuses hosted middle aged students from across the Grosse Pointe Communities in a one day design challenge. The challenge, to conceive, design, build, test, the compete with a device to resolve a particular challenge. This year the challenge to design a "self propelled" rover out of household items. Autonomously drive a straight line, with points awarded for accurately stopping in defined scoring areas.
Invitations went out in mid-July and registrants recieved there first clues to the design challenge on Friday August 3rd, the contest was held Saturday the 4th. During the design challenge participants are judged on teamwork, creativity, application of design principles, in addition to the performance of their designs.
The second and final qualifying event for the 2018 season for The Gearheads was selected to be week four at Belleville High School. The event was attended by 42 teams who would pit their robots to "Face the Boss" and attempt to PowerUp!
After their performance at Center Line, the team came out of the gates with confidence and solid driving of a solidly designed and programmed robot. In their first match they with the help of their alliance team mates, Teams 6528 and 5907, The Terror Bytes and The CC Shambots, the Blue Alliance scored the first of two "Unicorn Matches" where the alliance complete the AutoQuest, Face the Boss (levitate 3 robots), and win the match. The second Unicorn match was scored by the Gearheads later on in match 63, with teams 2834 and 5577.
This years competitions kicked off at Center Line High School with the Center Line District Event, our home district event. We were off to an auspicious beginning, when Senior Ponette Rubio was selected to represent us by singing the National Anthem at the start of the day.
The qualification rounds were marked by one of the Gearheads all-time greatest streaks of sterling robot performance. In the 12 qualification matches, Triton and our amazing drive team only recorded 2 losses. Autonomous scoring was near perfect thanks to the coding efforts of Govin and the controls team. Teleop driving saw our team maintain control of our alliances switches and scale for most of the matches and successful levitation in the end-game.
The Gearheads finished qualifiers ranked 2nd overall with an average of 2.16 Ranking Points per match, and one of the highest statistical averages for scoring, Offensive Power Rating and Defensive Power Rating (OPR 205.04 and DPR 2.4 and CCWM 202.64 ).
The team breezed through the Elimination Playoffs to make it to the finals for the first time in a few years. Unfortunately, we were edged out in the finals by the number one alliance. So it seemed no blue banner for the team this event. But wait there is more.
After collecting their event finalist medals (runner up status is always a little anti-climatic after such a great day of competition), the team was starting to think about packing up and heading home when over the P.A. they hear something familiar, "We're all scholars, We're all makers, We're all ... We're all ... We're all ... GEARHEADS" The Gearheads took home the coveted Chairman's award for the event. Which means that among the 40 teams, the judges chose to recognize FRC 1189 the Gearheads as the team that most embodies the spirit of FIRST.
Bagday was a little more lively this year as we had 3 teams working in our shop toward bagging the bots before the clock strikes midnight and unbagged robots turn into pumpkins. Team 5225 The Shambotz and Team 7143 Cyber-Eagles joined us for many hours these last few weeks and especially as we sprinted toward the bag.
by Egan Kline
As the building season deadline is arriving, the Gearheads are finally finishing up their robot to compete in the 2018 FIRST robotics competition: FIRST POWERUP.
by Laila Panzenhagen
Last Saturday was the start of build season. Build season starts with kickoff, and kickoff is when the team finds out what the theme of this years game will be.
This year the game has a retro video game design with two main challenges and other components to those challenges. The two main challenges are the two switches on each side of the arena, and the scale in the middle. The goal here is to keep the scale and switch in your alliances control for as long as you can. To add to the main challenge you can get boosts which consist of boost, force, and levitate. Force gives you and your alliance control of the switch, scale or both for a limited amount of time. Boost doubles the points for anyone in control of the switch, scale or both, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you get the points. The enemy could get them as well. Lastly, we have levitate which mean at end game you get a free climb. At the end game (last 30 seconds) you have a climb, the rung your robot needs to grab onto is 7ft off the ground. Levitate makes it so only two of your three robots needs to hang on the bar. A successful climb earns you 30 points. No two boosts can be used at the same time.
Off season doesn't mean that the Gearheads have time off. It means that we get to build things other than robots. This off season, we hosted our FTC comrades in gears "The Blown Fuses" as they invited incoming and returning middle school aged students into our shared shop for a the Inaugural "Blown Fuses and Gearheads Summer Technical Challenge". Students starting in Middle School in the fall were invited to innovate an answer to a simple technical challenge. Using simple supplies built a Marshmallow Siege Engine which can hit specified targets at range.
In their second District Event and the last official opportunity to compete for qualifying points for the Michigan State Regional Championships, the Gearheads fell short of earning through pure robot performance. They completed the qualifying rounds ranked only 31st of 39 teams. Don't let that low ranking completely fool you, the robot performed admirably and the drive team wrung every point they could from Twister, but alliance and tournament structure kept the team from collecting as many wins as their robot might have warranted.
At the conclusion of this highly competitive District event the Gearheads were stunned and honored to be awarded the most prestigious award from FIRST, the prized CHAIRMAN’S AWARD. This award honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST. It is the first time the Gearheads have ever received this award. The Gearheads would like to thank their Alumni and Community for helping them achieve this success! The winning presentation was given by Ritika Pansare, and Ponette Rubio, and submitted by the Chairman’s team headed by Hannah O’Grady and comprised of Josh Rigotti, Claudia Dancy, Ben Sosnowski, DJ Mattes,Grace Cupolo, Garrett VanMarter, Evan Reickert, Ritika, Ponette, and with input and hard work from the whole team. We are all Gearheads!!!
“I thought we did an excellent job exhibiting gracious professionalism with other teams as well as our own. I also feel we were able to truly teach our new members what being a Gearhead is all about.” -Claudia Dancy after Centerline District Event
“As someone who has been a part of the team for seven years i have seen the worst the team has done and i also remember seeing the team go to worlds, so to say we are the worst would be a wild miscalculation, but to say we don't need work is a lie. I love this team and i know we will get better.”- alumni Dan Blohm on the disappointment of finishing 22nd of 38 teams and getting eliminated in the quarterfinals
Congratulations to everyone on Team 1189 for reaching the quarterfinals of the 2017 FIRST Robotics competition at Centerline High School! Although we didn't win, we reached a level some teams couldn't achieve and for that we are thankful. This was my first time attending the robotics competition and I was a more than a little skeptical at the beginning; but by the end of that day I was dying to get back into those stands. I started out scouting other teams robots which I really enjoyed. However, when pressed to scout two robots at once and eventually two bots at once on opposite alliances, I reached my limit sought other things to do.
It was then that I met an Alumni and former media captain Dan. Dan was down in the aisle area dancing his mind out, it looked genuinely like he was going to drop dead at any second from the pure energy he was putting emitting by being down there dancing to every single song. At first, I just hung down there as a spectator and was eventually pressured by my fellow Gearheads to join in. I didn’t know at all what I was doing in the beginning but after observing I got the hang of the spirit of competition, it got to be a ton of fun.
Our team was lucky enough to receive the prestigious “Industrial Safety Award.” We were both honored and proud to be recognized for our safety precautions by the First Robotics Community.
Personally, I believe we did an absolutely fantastic job and i’m proud of my fellow teammates for making it to the quarterfinals with our newly named gear collecting, fuel launching robot, rope climbing “Twister”!