The Enumclaw High robotics team has done it again, repeating a performance from last year and gaining a berth at the FIRST state championships, to be held Feb. 10 at Kent’s ShoWare Center.
If successful there, the team will move on to the FIRST World Championships.
The FIRST robotics organization hosts two competition seasons for grades seven through 12 every year. The fall season (FTC) is played with smaller bots in a 2-versus-2 format, whereas the spring season (FRC) is played in a 3-versus-3 format on a basketball sized court with bots that can weigh up to 120 pounds and cost up to $4,000.
This year, more than 400,000 students will build in excess of 34,000 robots and compete at FIRST events worldwide, culminating with world championships hosted in both Detroit and Houston.
On Dec. 15, the Enumclaw High robotics team travelled to St. Martin’s University in Lacey and participated in the Watt Interleague playoff. Coming in as the No. 1 seed, after two qualifying events during November, the “Clawsistency” team from EHS held on to its ranking and finished in first place.
The season started in September when the team split into three subteams, comprised of six students each. Each subteam strategized, constructed and programmed their bot, and then competed aggressively at FIRST qualifying events, refining their strategy and design as the season progressed.
At the interleague event, “Clawsistency,” picked two other teams to join them for the playoffs – team “Geared Reaction” from Vancouver and team “Four Eyes” from Maple Valley. Together the alliance swept the playoffs in straight matches and won the event. All three teams advanced to the state championship.
The fall robotics season is called FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) and the current FTC challenge is “Rover Ruckus.” The format is round-robin style, two-on-two matches using a field specific to this year’s challenge.
Teams must build a smaller bot that can unfold after start and accomplish tasks in cooperation with a random alliance partner. The first part of a match is 30 seconds where the robot can use sensors and accomplish tasks on its own. The second part of the match is a two-minute, driver-operated period where the last 30 seconds allows a finishing power move for bonus points.