Today was the first day of qualification matches at the Midwest Regional competition. We finished the day 7-1 and ranked 12th out of 49 teams. Tomorrow we have three more qualification matches. The first starts 9:36 am. Alliances for the elimination matches are chosen immediately before lunch. You are welcome to attend the competition tomorrow at the UIC Pavilion!

Today was an impressive day! We demonstrated throughout the day how capable Lucy, our robot, is. We scored many points in autonomous (although we hope to improve this for tomorrow), we collected and scored many balls during the tele-operated period. We crossed the barrier easily, tipped the bridges to collect balls, and balanced on the bridge. We felt that we were in control of our own destiny due to the improvements that we made since the Lake Superior Regional.

One tremendous accomplishment from yesterday was the rework of our bridge-tipping arm. Early on Thursday we sheared the tab off the steel plates that mate to the drive shaft of our bridge-tipping device. We were able to recover from this failure by broaching a keyway in the steel plate and using a key between the steel plates and the drive shaft. Today, we replaced the old motor and planetary gear box with new ones that arrived yesterday.

We are perhaps even more impressive off the field over the past two days. Today, we had a dedicated team watching every match and gathering statistics on every robot. With this information, we can make a much more informed decision when selecting alliances if such an opportunity presents itself tomorrow. Today, we also presented to the judges as part of the Chairman’s Award. We have never submitted the Chairman’s Award before and we had a great interview. Perhaps the most impressive action of the team was how helpful we have been with other teams. We have been lending tools and sharing materials like all teams do, but we have exhibited incredible gracious professionalism by helping one rookie team specifically. Yesterday many members of our team spent the day helping them get their robot wired, inspected, programmed, and running. In fact, this other team only had one student; so, a couple of our students participated as field players! It was fantastic to see our team helping a rookie team get the most our of this experience.

We are looking forward to tomorrow. Come join in our excitement!