The LigerBots have just announced awards for our third annual 3D printing contest. Our first place trophy was awarded to Boston-based FRC team 125, the Nutrons, for two complex pieces of their Power Cube elevator mechanism. Our finalist trophy was awarded to a New York-based FRC Team 3624, the ThunderColts, for their creative use of 3D printed chains to substitute for more expensive metal links.
This competition was open to anyone using 3D-printed parts for a robotics project but was aimed primarily at FRC teams that used 3D printing in building their robots for the 2018 FRC season. We have seen some amazing uses of 3D printed parts, including teams that printed virtually all of their parts because they had no access to metal shops or other types of equipment, or because they wanted to save time, money, or couldn’t get what they wanted off-the-shelf.
We promoted this year’s competition extensively through social media and by handing out flyers at the pits at competitions we attended. This year we also enlisted the help of teams all over the world to share information about the competition during their regional events. These marketing partners included FRC teams 1058, PVC Pirates (NH); 1991, Dragons (CT); 2702, Rebels (Ontario); 3132, Thunder Down Under (Austrialia); 3146, Granby Grunts (CT); 4416, Skynet (Israel); 4571, Rambots (NY); and 5940, B.R.E.A.D. (CA).
Last weekend six LigerBots traveled to South Portland, Maine to compete (and win!) with our 2018 robot in a one day Power Up event, Summer Heat, hosted by FRC team 58, Riot Crew. This offseason competition highlights building relationships and having fun in a low stress environment. Organizers of offseason events often make the gameplay unique by adding minor, quirky elements to the rules. At this year’s Summer Heat, eight blow-up beach balls could be thrown onto the field during the last 30 seconds of each match. Robots could then put these balls through the Exchange, a slot originally intended for “Power Cube” game pieces, for a large number of additional points.
Our robot performed well even after a full season of play, breakage and repairs. Even when Chronos’ Power Cube intake nearly broke off during a game, we were able to quickly and efficiently perform a repair during the tight turnaround before the next match. This was also an opportunity for our postseason drive team to get some more game experience, and they did great. We lost only one match during the entire competition.
LigerBots FIRST mentorship and outreach continue into the summer. Several LigerBots are currently helping to run a new FLL team based in Waban. The team sprang from interest created among local families by our highly successful FLL Info Night back in June. The group of five Newton elementary and middle school school students has recently met at the house of our new CMO, Meredith, to make plans for the future of the team. LigerBots will help the new FLL team make its own FLL practice table and assist the group into the fall as it prepares for the 2018 FLL game, “Into Orbit,” which has an outer-space theme.