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A Winning Machine

The Irish Robotics team have pleasantly shocked everybody by being competent.

Robotics is a unique competition. Each year, the game teams have to complete changes, necessitating new solutions for every new season. This year, the game was simple. Teams were tasked with storing foam hoops in either a slot in the wall or shooting them into a slot about 10 feet in the air. At the end of the round, teams can score extra points by suspending their robots on a metal chain. 

The competitions are made up of a series of 3v3 rounds, with one side being the Red Alliance and the other being the Blue Alliance. If your alliance wins, you are rewarded with “ranking points” which decide the rankings at the end of the competition.

Realistically, no one robot can do it all, so teams focus their expertise to be best at just a few aspects, relying on their allies to fill in the gaps. This year, the Irish Robotics team (7256), decided to focus on scoring on the slot in the wall. By doing this, they could boost how much their teammates could score. 

After setting up their pit late Friday night, Irish Robotics started Saturday with a rough first few rounds. Shortly after the remote-controlled portion of the competition began, the robot would shut itself down and reboot, “browning out”, or pulling too much energy, on the field. 

After a couple of frantic hours of troubleshooting, the team decided to cut their losses and reduce the bot's power, running at 70% speed in exchange for longevity. 

At the time that their solution was found, Irish Robotics was in a dismal 29th/37 teams. Round by round, the team fought their way back up the ranks, and after a fantastic five-win streak, found themselves in 13th by the end of Saturday!

Sunday morning continued 7256’s successful streak, bringing them up to 12th place at the end of the qualifier matches.

Irish Robotics was selected for an alliance in the finals. However, they lost both rounds of the finals, ending the weekend.

The Irish Robotics will come back better than ever in Muskegon on the weekend of March 15.


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