Unforeseen circumstances, involving some programming errors and an unreliable field network, caused the senior students’ robot to be inactive for two full matches out of the seven that they played the first day. Despite these early difficulties, Team 1717 proved themselves in their later matches, scoring far more points in the teleoperated period than any other team at the competition in the Long Beach Arena.
After scouting feverishly late into the night Friday, Team 1717’s Strategy and Game Analysis team went into the final day of competition with a set of clear requirements for robots to join its alliance. Traditionally, ranking high in the qualifying matches is essential for succeeding at competitions, because the top eight robots choose their alliances for the elimination matches in a round robin-style selection process. But unlike previous years, Rebound Rumble has a unique ranking system in which two robots from opposing alliances can score two qualification points — equivalent to winning a match — by balancing together on the field’s middle bridge. This twist changes the game, because robots that may not be able to score balls can still contribute to gameplay and seed high in the ranking system.
After the alliance selection process is complete, these eight alliances compete in a best-of-three elimination tournament until one alliance emerges victorious. The members of this winning alliance will move on to compete at the national level.
The first match of the finals began with one of Team 1717’s alliance members getting tipped over, effectively making the match a two-on-three situation. Team 1717 and Team 987 kicked it into high gear to pick up the slack, but due to unknown issues, Team 987 lost communication with its driver station, leaving Team 1717 to compete versus three other teams — Team 294, Team 973 and Team 1836. The D’Penguineers were able to utilize their extreme mobility and shooting capabilities to keep the alliance in the game until Team 987 could get back into action and, together, they led the alliance to a close victory with a final score of 48-39.
The second match started with Team 987 already battered and bruised. The D’Penguineers again stepped up to the platform and swished both shots in the hybrid period — scoring 12 points for the alliance. Despite heavy defense from Team 294, the D’Penguineers’ superior drive train allowed them to maneuver against the defensive robot and earn the alliance another win.
When the final score of 52-30 flashed on the screen, the crowd erupted in a torrent of cheers.
Each of the students put in hundreds of hours of work to create their 120-pound robot, dubbed the Lindsay Rose and dedicated to a teammate who died in a 2009 surfing accident. On Saturday night, they were rewarded with a win at their first regional competition of the year and drove home to Goleta bearing the title of 2012 Los Angeles Regional Champions. They compete next in Madera on April 5-7 before moving on to the FIRST world championships in St. Louis on April 25-27.
— The Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy Public Relations & Event Reporting Team includes Jeff Gau, Phillip Hodgson, Justin Morris, Parker Olson, Sepideh Parhami, Danielle Tisdale and Chloe Warriner.