Over Spring Break, the Griffitrons competed in the Las Vegas Regional Robotics Competition where they wowed judges, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, earning the coveted Engineering Excellence Award sponsored by Delphi. The award celebrates “an elegant and advantageous machine feature, including design, wiring methods, materials selection, programming techniques and unique machine attributes.” The team that wins this award must be able to demonstrate and describe in concise terms this chosen machine feature. It was a great follow-up to the Industrial Design Award they won in San Diego in March.
The team finished in second place in the qualifying rounds and made it all the way to the semifinals of the elimination rounds. Its robot was the only one to successfully balance with two other robots on an alliance bridge during the quarterfinals, demonstrating the ease in which a successful triple-balance can be accomplished.
“Having already experienced a competition in San Diego, we came into Vegas strong and focused on new strategies,” said Team Advisor and Science Department Chair Dr. Kathy Griffis.
“Prior to the Las Vegas competition, Dr. Bryan Smith worked with the team captains to develop a scoring sheet to collect data, thereby allowing the team to strategize from round-to-round, as well as having data which would aid in choosing our alliance teams going into the elimination rounds,” said Team Mentor and Middle School Science Teacher Rich Edelen. “The judges were thrilled by the conversations they had with our captains discussing the engineering of ‘Dog,’ the robot. It is amazing what our students can accomplish with the right guidance and support. All of the mentors, Dr. Smith, Dr. Griffis, and I are very proud of our FIRST Robotics Team and in awe of the commitment and determination the Griffitrons demonstrated this season.”
According to senior Captain Ethan Hobel, “If we performed like we did in Las Vegas, we would have won San Diego!”
View CAD drawing video of the robot here.