Robotics Club took the stage on Oct. 26th at the Rocky Mountain BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology) Competition. The group advanced to the semifinals, placing sixth overall and beating rival Chaparral by two places. Despite an excellent finish, the road to success was not, at first, so easily traveled.
About a week before competition day, the club decided to test their first prototype which “just twitched and did nothing. It was extremely discouraging, but we planned some new ideas and set to work,”junior Steven Ripple said.
With only a week to create the new prototype and the final product, robotic club members found themselves working before, during, and after school. The pressing time restraints forced the club members to have “probably spent about 18 hours that week on the new robot. On Friday alone, we worked on the robot for six hours,” Ripple said.
Once the robot actually made it to the competition, the technical difficulties did not stop there. “In the very beginning, our robot broke. Unfortunately, a line snapped causing us to lose round one,” Ripple said.
Luckily, the robot was up and running by round two and actually “performed better than expected. It all went very well,” Ripple said.
With the results in and the team placing sixth overall in their first ever competition, Ripple and his teammates took the day as both a learning experience and preparatory phase for the next year’s competition.
“I just learned that practice makes perfect. We only practiced basic functions on the robot for about an hour, so when we went to compete, a lot of functions seemed alien to us,” said Ripple.
Ripple would also “change the way we organized our work. I would designate jobs and allow fewer drivers to function the robot at the competition. There were just too many drivers of different skill levels, which ultimately hurt us a bit,” Ripple said.
While the team has several alterations to add to their future game plans, Ripple, among others, would agree “the people I worked with were great. I wouldn’t change a thing about that,” Ripple said.
At the end of the day, the competition took competitors on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and tribulations, while at the same time, setting the stage for future Titan robotics.
“Next year, we’ll have more people which means more work gets done which means a better robot. We got Legend’s name out and at the same time got to have fun,” Ripple said.