2024 Texas Robot Invitational

I know it’s been a while since we posted but WE. ARE. BACK. 

Two weeks ago, our team moseyed down to Houston, TX for our first off-season competition, Texas Robot Invitational or TRI. Although we did not perform great, we did get a bunch of fun experiences that I would like to share with you all!

TRI Student Photo – Silly Edition

First things first: we were a MUCH smaller group of 9 students than our 50 person team. We only had 3 mentors, so this event pushed our students to their full potential! This small-but-mighty group was able to rotate through 3 groups of driver/operator pairing, alternating between drive team and pit-crew.

  • Junior Shelby and Freshman Ainesh,
  • Freshman Arjun and Freshman Vishnu,
  • Junior Jared as a human player (even scoring 2 of 3 high notes in a single match!), and
  • Senior Jackson rounded out the drive team with his first experience as the Technician, giving us our first 4-piece scoring in autonomous!
One of our drive team members Ainesh earned his rightful title with the consumption of a Monster Energy Drink during matches.

We had a solid run of 5 matches, but Lowrider started testing our limit immediately after. To summarize some of our troubles:

  • During our 6th Qualification Match, our drivers-in-training had pressed the climber buttons out of order, making the ratchets holding the arms in place make a clack-clack sound which got us disabled after most of the people near the field started to panic because of the sound. No Biggie!
  • During the 7th Match, our Operator Quinn might have accidentally pressed the E-stop instead of the A-stop during auton disabling us for the entire match. No Problemo!
  • During a match, we shattered one of our rollers, so a full replacement was needed. Of course this mechanical swap led to a programming fix, but the programming fix worked too well! The original position wasn’t zeroed properly, so when we re-zeroed the robot, it tweaked our autonomous offset. Nothing we can’t solve!
Behind the Glass of our Drive Team

When Alliance Selection came around, many of us didn’t expect to be a first pick, or even picked. We wanted to focus on training during this event, so we weren’t aiming to be competitive. The Alliance 7 captain, 8808 Tech Pirates, was gracious enough to offer us the first spot on their alliance along with 324 Chips and 4639 The RoboSpartans. We did the best we could, and although we were eliminated during Round 2, we don’t regret a thing!

Alliance 7 Photo

We love participating in our off-season specialty competitions, so at TRI we had All-Girls Drive. During All-Girls Drive, we selected Driver Shelby, Operator Quinn, and Human Player Lydia to be our drive team. Simply put, THEY WRANGLED THOSE ROBOTS UP! Our Girls won three out of four matches, but sadly were beat before the Finals Matches. 

All-Girls Drive Driveteams

Regardless, we all had a blast! We got to teach our newer students that competition is not about victory or rivalry, but about having fun.

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