MEET POLAR EXPRESS.
This year's robot is competing in the FIRST Steamworks competition. It has the capability to collect "fuel" - or whiffle balls - from the ground and fire them into a goal eight feet high, collect gears from a human player station, deliver and peg those gears, and even climb a rope!
IT’S TIME TO CHILL OUT.
In January, the largest and most complex high school robotics competition begins. The FIRST Robotics Competition is where a team, no matter how large or small, builds a robot in six weeks and then competes against multiple teams. Teams are given the bare necessities and a rule book then, left on their own to innovate a new solution to the challenge. This means as long as it’s allowed in the game’s rule book, anything goes. FIRST Robotics Competition typically contains a fair amount advanced fabrication, complex design, critical thinking, amazing creativity, and demanding competition.
Unlike seasons before last, this team and organization of mentors and students have achieved a huge amount. Last year alone, the team made it to finals in the Mount Vernon District competition, finishing as part of the 2nd Alliance. The team then advanced to the Pacific Northwest District Championship, finishing a couple of positions shy of qualifying for the World Championship in St. Louis!
FIRST ® STEAMWORKS
The FIRST ® Robotics Competition 2017 Game
The adventure began January 7, 2017. Prepare to take flight!
FIRST® Robotics Competition is the ultimate Sport for the Mind,TM where imagination and innovation come together! By combining the excitement of sport and beauty of art with the rigors of science and technology, teams of high school students (ages 14 - 18/grades 9 - 12) are challenged to design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform tasks against a field of competitors.
Teams work together and build, program and test robots with the guidance of adult Mentors. Teams then compete with their robots as family and friends cheer from the stands at more than 140 events worldwide – all leading up to the 2017 FIRST® Championships April 19 - 22 in Houston, TX and April 26 - 29 in St. Louis, MO.
FIRST STEAMWORKS invites two adventure clubs from an era in which technology relied on steam power to prepare their airships for the ultimate long distance race.
Each three-team alliance prepares to take flight in three ways:
1. Build Steam Pressure.
Robots collect fuel represented by green balls. They score it in high and low goals in their boiler. As fuel is scored steam pressure in the tank on the alliance’s airship builds – the high goal builds pressure faster than the low goal.
2. Start Rotors.
Robots retrieve and deliver gears to pilots on their airship who then install them on the appropriate rotor. Once a gear train is complete the rotor can be started.
3. Prepare for Flight.
Adventure clubs want their robots to climb aboard their airships so they can assist the pilots during the race.
Robots operate independently from preprogrammed instructions for the first 15 seconds.
Adventure clubs score points by:
• Reaching their baseline
• Delivering gears to the airship
• Scoring fuel into the boilers
Operators take control for the final two minutes and fifteen seconds.
Adventure Clubs continue to score points by:
• Collecting and delivering gears to their airship
• Scoring fuel in the boilers
• Climbing the ropes on their airship to prepare for flight
• Populating gear trains to start rotors
• Defending against other Adventure Clubs
The adventure club with the highest score at the end of the match is best prepared for the race and wins.