The LigerBots had their best performance yet at the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) World Championship in Detroit this weekend finishing 6th out of 68 teams in the Daly division and advancing to the Division Semifinals before falling to the eventual world champion team. This is the LigerBots’ tenth season and the fourth time they have advanced to the World Championship, each time advancing farther than before.
Thirty-three LigerBots students plus a number of coaches, mentors and parents made the “LigerTrek” to Detroit this weekend to compete with over 400 FRC teams from around the world. The FIRST World Festival also included 128 teams competing in the FIRST Tech Challenge and over 100 FIRST Lego League teams including the Day Dragons, a team of four students from Day Middle School and and two from Pierce.
The FRC competition consisted of two full days of qualification matches in which each team competed in 10 matches. The LigerBots lost only one match, finishing with a 9-1 record which put them in 6th place overall in their division. This was the third best showing for the New England delegation which included 37 teams that advanced to the championship out of over 200 teams in New England.
The LigerBots captained the 6th alliance for the division playoffs on Daly, adding Team 188 Blizzard from Toronto, Canada, FRC 1024, Kil-A-Bytes from Lawrence, IN and FRC 4308 Absolute from Mississauga, Ontario. They won their quarterfinals match and advanced to the semifinals, but did not move on to the finals. The alliance they lost to in the semi-finals won the Daly Field competition and ultimately the entire competition.
A lot goes in to these matches: a skilled and level-headed “drive team,” the ability to partner with other teams to decide what each of the 3 robots on an alliance will do in a specific match and of course a capable robot. Also critical is the scouting that team members do by watching matches and identifying specific robots with complementary abilities at alliance selection time.
Alongside the competition there were seminars, a “scholarship alley” with tables from colleges all over the country, and an innovation fair with self-driving delivery vehicles, advanced medical technology and other exhibits from companies interested in engaging students interested in STEM.
Newton’s Day Dragons FLL team presented a seminar on “Applying Agile Principles to Your FIRST Lego League Team” which was well-received, and the students impressed the audience as they took part in a panel discussion following the presentation.
The LigerBots spoke to teams around the world about the ways they inspire and engage their community in learning about (and having fun with) STEM. In addition, they spoke to teams about their use of 3D printing and encouraged submissions to their 3D printed part competition which they created 3 years ago to celebrate the creative ways teams solve problems with 3D printing.
The LigerBots were excited to be a part of this event, and appreciate the community and corporate fundraising support that allowed the team to include as many students as were able to go. After some sleep and catching up on homework, the Team will be competing May 19th in BattleCry at WPI (a post-season competition).