After Stop Build Day, we took a few days off to catch up on our sleep and school! During the weeks leading up to our first competition in Greenville, we finished our robot cart, made some spare parts for our robot, and started packing up.

Like all other competitions, our first day of the Pitt County District Event was spent setting up our pit. Afterward, we went to dinner with our long-time friends Team 2640, HOTBOTZ. In 2012, our two teams got extremely close, and ever since, we try to arrange socials between our two teams whenever we can. These socials give us the opportunity and time to catch up with each other. The social this year was no different, and we spent the night laughing and theorizing about what the next day would bring!

The next day, ready or not, it was time for the start of qualification matches! It should come as no surprise that the first two matches of the day were rough for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that our Drive Team was still getting used to Grunthos. Driving Grunthos in practice is just not the same as driving him on the real field. The second reason is that our PID (Proportional–Integral–Derivative) was fighting our robot. Fortunately, we were able to fix the PID in time for our third match. After that problem was fixed, we performed quite well for most of the matches and got our auto super consistent!

Near the end of the day, we noticed that we could never manage to drive the robot up onto the platform at the end of the match. We thought we just put a dead battery in one match, but the same problem happened a couple more times. Our last match, in particular, we were having all sorts of problems. Finally, we discovered the problem; we had forgotten to check our batteries with a load. What this meant is that our battery voltage would always drop drastically during matches. Needless to say, it was a lesson learned and a mistake that we were not eager to repeat! Besides the robot performance, everything else was smooth sailing. Scouting went well, our Chairman’s interview was successful, we had many judges visit our pit throughout the day, and we ended the day ranked 4th.

The last day of competition dawned bright but a little too early. Due to daylight savings, we lost an hour of sleep. Despite that, we were ready for the day to begin! Our first match went well, but we knew that we could do better. Unfortunately, we had problems during our last two matches. During our second-to-last match, the knot holding one of our ramps in place came undone. This slip of the knot caused that ramp to fall down early on in the match, and we had to spend the rest of the match like that. In our last qualification match, our auto did not work. It was strange because we had not changed the code once we got it working. We concluded that some unknown thing was still wrong with our electrical because we were still getting dips in power despite testing with a load. At the end of qualification matches, we kept our 4th rank.

Finally, it was time for Alliance Selections, and what an experience it was! The rankings got messed up three times. While everything got fixed before any damage was done, it was a stressful time for all the teams because it had the potential to ruin plans. At the end of Alliance Selections, we moved up to the position of Captain of the 3rd Alliance with Team 2642, Pitt Pirates, and Team 6215, Armored Eagles, as our alliance partners!

After a quick lunch and a strategy meeting, playoff rounds began. Due to a few electrical and mechanical problems, our two quarterfinal matches did not go as well as we knew they could, but we still managed to pull a win. We fixed our problems and did extremely well in semifinals, making it to finals! During both of our finals matches, every second was a battle for the scale and switch, but in the end, our alliance ended up taking home the blue banner! We were also awarded the Innovation in Control Award for the first time in our team history!

Next up: UNC Pembroke District Event!