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D’Penguineers Robot Ranks 7th After First Day of Competition at FIRST Robotics Regional

Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy's Team 1717 is feeling optimistic after ups and downs in Los Angeles event

The Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy’s Team 1717 emerged triumphant after an eventful two days at the Los Angeles Regional FIRST Robotics Competition. The D’Penguineers managed to quickly unpack their robot in the pit and set to work, well aware of the immense amount of work that lies ahead of them.

“We have to know the right time to go work on what we are responsible for,” senior Shandeep Ahdi said about the status of the pit, the D’Penguineers’ headquarters for robot repair.

Tensions were running high as they tried to rapidly and efficiently remove dated components, make repairs and upgrade mechanisms where needed.

Several mechanisms have changed drastically over the course of the post-build season leading up to the Los Angeles compeition. The robot’s means of transferring the balls from the collection area to the shooter, which initially relied on a system of pneumatics, was replaced with a curved ramp and a length of polycord to move the ball to the shooter with greater efficiency than ever.

“We managed to get it working, and, hopefully, the real robot works as well as the practice (robot),” said ball collection team member and D’Penguineer Kelvin Noronha.

The transmissions on each of the wheels were modified, enabling the D’Penguineers to remain under the weight limit. The shooter, which initially weighed about 20 pounds, was significantly lightened and its platform modified. The bridge compression device, which the team christened the “battering ram,” was removed completely at the last minute and replaced with an arm that was lowered using a pneumatic piston.

It was replaced in light of new data being collected from both the live streams of the San Diego and Alamo regionals as well as empirical tests that indicated that, despite FIRST’s assurance, the bridge required about 20 pounds, rather than 10 pounds, to lower.

The 11th match of the day Friday, the first for Team 1717, was met with great cheers from the crowd. Lindsay Rose, Team 1717’s 2012 robot, burst out of the gate with guns blazing, scoring all but seven of the 31 points during the match, clinching the team’s first win, 31-6.

“I expected us to do very well, and I think we are coming through with that promise,” D’Penguineer Nihal Singh said.

During the second match, Team 1717’s alliance emerged victorious, but the robot lay dead on the field because of a coding issue that resulted in the entirety of the code on the robot to be wiped. During the third match of the game, Lindsay Rose sat docile, an error on the end of FIRST in regards to the communication between the robot and the driver’s station. They managed to win the third match with aid from their alliance members, and the match has been rescheduled for Saturday morning. Team 1717 hopes to strengthen their position in the rankings in the rematch.

Team 1717 rallied in their fourth match with Teams 696 and 580, scoring six points in the autonomous period of the match, and going on to score 24 more of the alliance’s 53 points in a landslide victory of 53-12. In the beginning of the match, 1717’s ball collection system became backed up but was quickly corrected thanks to the skill of the drivers, Lane Fuller and Nick Perez, as well as the “troubleshooting” nature of the design (which enables poorly collected balls to be successfully shot). Team 696 managed to balance on the coopertition bridge, giving the D’Penguineers and their alliance members credit for an equivalent of two wins.

“What a surprising turn of events — gee willikers!” senior Esther Nam said.

During its fifth match of the day, Team 1717 was unable to clinch victory, being forced to face the opposing alliance outnumbered three to one because of idle robots. The score was 33-42. The sixth and final match ended 52-12, an overwhelming victory for Team 1717. The robot scored two baskets in autonomous and made almost every shot, eliciting cheers from jubilant spectators.

The D’Penguineers are feeling optimistic after a day of ups and downs and hope to consolidate their position at the top of the leaderboard. The successful nature of their performance Friday will undoubtedly breathe new life into their ambitions not only at the Los Angeles Regional, but at the St. Louis Championships where they hope to compete.

At the end of day two, Team 1717 won five matches and lost one for a ranking of seventh out of 66, with the most teleoperation points of any other team at the competition.

» Click here for more information on the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy on the campus of Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta.

» Click here for more information on the DPEA Foundation. Click here to make an online donation.

— Parker Olson, Sepideh Parhami, Jeff Gau, Phillip Hodgson, Justin Morris, Chloe Warriner and Danielle Tisdaleare members of the Team 1717, the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy’s FIRST Robotics team.

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