Lady Robohawks impress at Create National Robotics Competition

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Lady Robohawks impress at Create National Robotics Competition

Special to Ka Leo 'O Nanakuli

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We are 2459C, Lady Robohawks and we won the Design Award for Create National Robotics Competition. After we won, we had a discussion with our mentor and that day we found out that the tournament for the competition will be held in Council Bluffs, IA. As we designed and built our robot, we had some difficulties. We faced so many problems such as weight and power issues. Our lift did not have enough power to lift up the caps, so we had to make some changes. Fortunately, we managed to solve all the problems and it works. After we built the lifts and the shooter, we mounted it to our base. The lift and the shooter were too heavy for the base and that time we realized that we had a weight issue. We made some changes mostly just shifted the weight so it was more center of robot and luckily our base works. We practiced and prepared for Create National Robotics Competition.

Days passed and it was time to head to go to Iowa and compete. We were nervous and excited at the same time. When the day came and it’s time for our competition, we faced some problems. We forgot the flash drive which carried our code for our robot. Therefore, we had to make a new code in order for our robot to work. We managed to finished the code before the competition. When we arrived at the tournament, we check our robot. We need to go to the inspection before we could do the skills.  Fortunately, we passed the inspection. We did our driver skills, but it didn’t turn out well. Our drivers were not used to the new code so she had difficulties to drive the robot. We manage to score some points and finished 132 out of 240 teams. Which was kinda disappointing as we had scored 17 points during our competitions in Hawaii, if we had achieved 17 points in Iowa we would have finished 90. This just proves that making the robot more capable is only half the battle, the other have is having time to practice driving the new design.

Day 2 of the competition, it’s time for the real competition which all the schools have to compete against each other. These are 2 team alliances against another 2 team alliance. During our first match, our drivers were struggling still getting used to the controller. We faced many problems as the competition continued. One of our matches, our robot did not work at all. We assumed that the battery was dead, however, it was not the problem. It was our battery but the problem was that it was overcharged which caused the robot not to move. We faced program issues which also caused the robot not to have any movements. We downloaded the code before our match because our programmer added the autonomous code. When it was time for our match, we were surprised that our robot did not make any movements at all. We managed to get some help and fixed our code. Thankfully, our code works. During the competition we faced the top teams in our division, we had the honor to faced the 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 13 teams according to the final rankings.  In all our matches we made the top teams work hard to beat our alliance.

What we learned at the competition was that we will always encounter new problems. We learned some strategies to win a match. What we really love about the competition was we met new people. They had this activity called Mega Alliance which really fun and exciting. Mega Alliance is basically about making new friends from different schools.  The challenge required the ability to analyze all 3 robots and determine which robot should do which part of the challenge, this required teamwork and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each design to determine the strategy to use, we had to make our decision in 2 minutes. This was very challenging as we had to define the problem and find a solution in a very short amount of time. Our alliance won this challenge.  

We had fun playing with other people. 2459C team had really fun in Iowa. Some of the local mentors have requested we come back next year to compete, they like our competitive spirit and that we always were respectful, unfortunately, to go back we will need to requalified and raise money, but we had so much fun we would love to go back. We did not win the competition but we learned a lot of things. Failure is part of success and we the Lady Robohawks are proud to make it to Create National Robotics Competition.  However, our goal for next year is to qualify for both the Create National Robotics Competition and Worlds.