Every year, starting in January, FIRST Robotics students across the globe are given a challenge; they must build a robot that is capable of performing and completing various tasks. Students are given only six weeks in which to design, build, program, and finally test their robot. The North American Eagle team is a major supporter of these programs, particularly because of the invaluable skills that it provides to students. The FIRST Robotics Competition helps to prepare these future industry leaders for a career in their chosen field. This year, the North American Eagle team has partnered with FRC Team #2927. Two of our team members, Brandyn Bayes and Andrew Kirk, are heavily involved in the team, having both been involved for four years. If you have read some of the recent NAE project updates, you have likely seen posts regarding this competition. Now, the Robotics team would like to take the time to tell their story, and to thank everyone who has helped to make their endeavor possible.
Though a small team, we have made incredible strides, all while under student direction. During the 2013 season, we were a part of the alliance that set the second highest score in the Pacific Northwest. This 2014 year, in our first district competition, we placed 10th out of 32 teams, and were the Alliance Captain of the 6th seed alliance in the finals. In our second district competition, we placed 3rd out of 36 teams, and were again able to lead our own Alliance into the Elimination matches! We have done so well this year, that we were invited to Portland, OR, to participate in the first ever Pacific Northwest District Championship! Some of our seniors have been with this team for four years, with our President, Brandyn Bayes, being selected in 2013 as one of the two Dean’s List Finalists for Washington State. He was given the opportunity to go to St. Louis to attend the Robotics World Championship. Our team is active in mentoring FIRST Lego League teams, demonstrating at district events, and helping our competitors; continually striving to improve, both technically and professionally, on and off the competition field.
AERIAL ASSIST is played by two competing Alliances of three Robots each on a flat 25’ x 54’ foot field, straddled by a lighting truss suspended just over five feet above the floor. The objective is to score as many balls in goals as possible during a 2 minute and 30 second match. The field is divided into three separate zones. The alliances score points by passing the ball between their partners, across the different zones, and then by launching it into the goal.
With the challenge in hand, we set about building the robot. This year, our robot went through numerous iterations, until we found a design that we felt really fit the challenge. When finished, the robot weighs over 150 lbs! For this 2014 competition, the game challenge was to pass an exercise-like inflatable ball to alliance members on your team, and ultimately launch the ball into an 8-foot high goal, similar to basketball! Our team built a robot capable of launching the ball with a kicker-like mechanism, making it easy for for our alliance partner to catch the ball and score points. We also had a very efficient robot in terms of defense.
This annual endeavor would not be possible without the support that we receive each year from our Sponsors. We would like to thank our great supporters, including the Bethel School District! We greatly appreciate the support of SPEEA, BEZOS, PIH, North American Eagle, and National Instruments. We would also like to thank our recent sponsors who helped us to have the opportunity to participate in the Portland, OR regional competition: FIRST WA, Bethel School District, RV Solutions, Linn Larson, Dennis Folden and Konrad Schuman. Thank you again to everyone who has helped to make this possible.