After three months of hard work, ingenuity, and persistence, it was all coming together for Jesuit Robotics at the end of Day 2 (March 30) at the South Florida Regional in West Palm Beach.
Working through a few technical issues early in Day 1 that had affected performance, Jesuit's Stealth Tigers Team 3164 had perhaps the best robot among the 64 teams competing during the final qualifying matches. The Stealth Tigers steamrolled to wins by a combined 147-76 in their final two matches, and were 4-1-1 in their last six.
They vaulted up the standings into the Top 20, and were in the Top 10 in the points rankings, making themselves a very attractive alliance selection for any of the Top 8 teams who had qualified for the elimination matches after qualifying competition.
Surprisingly, the Stealth Tigers were bypassed for an alliance, and their dream of returning to the FIRST Robotics World Championship – they had made it to Worlds for the first time last year by finishing 2nd at the 2018 South Florida Regional – came to an end.
But the furious finish over the final matches provided a fantastic conclusion to the season for the Stealth Tigers, who are comprised of students from Jesuit High School and the Academy of the Holy Names.
"We did so many new things this year that we've never done before, such as adding pneumatics and incorporating different coding techniques," said Robotics moderator Lauren Hescheles, who is the head of Jesuit's Engineering program. "We may not have made it to Worlds, but the team worked very hard and built a great robot. We've learned so much this year and gained a lot of experience that we will carry into next season."
Met with technical problems early in their nine-match series at the South Florida Regional, the Stealth Tigers were able to diagnose and repair the issues and end the competition 5-3-1 overall. Technical issues are the primary challenge for FIRST Robotics participants. The rules require robots remain untouched between events; however, during competition days, robots may be altered under the condition that no more than 30 pounds of new materials are added. Since this is the only time that modifications can be made, event days are filled with testing, tinkering, and repairing robots. In the Stealth Tigers' case this year it made a critical difference in performance at the South Florida Regional.
DESTINATION: DEEP SPACE, the theme of this year's FIRST Robotics Competition, launched in January. DESTINATION: DEEP SPACE presented several new challenges for the Stealth Tigers. For the first time, robots were required to carry two unique objects, orb-shaped cargo pieces and disk-shaped hatch pieces, and load them into receptacles to score points. This added a major dimension to the game, because teams had to decide whether to outfit their robots with one apparatus capable of handling both pieces of cargo, or two separate mechanisms specialized respectively for just one task. The Stealth Tigers opted to give their robot a multi-part appendage, with the bottom half designed to grasp release orbs, and the top designed to secure hatch pieces.
As an additional twist, a sandstorm was simulated for the first 15 seconds of each match, blocking the team's vision of its robot. Competitors had to decide to either program their robots to operate autonomously until the storm cleared, or to install a remote vision system. The Stealth Tigers chose to incorporate parts of each strategy by installing a remote viewing system and sensors that would help automatically align the robot to its target.
STEALTH TIGERS ROBOTICS TEAM 3164 – 2018-19 ROSTER
Daniel Guagliardo '19 - President
Maria Hurtado (AHN) - Vice President
Carson Reams '20 - Team Captain/Drive Coach
Daniel Prendes '20 - Team Captain/Drive Team
Colleen Duffy (AHN) - Electrical Lead
Luca Valenti '20 - Electrical Team
Dominic Newberg '20 - Electrical Team
Jack Wernet '19 - Mechanical Team
Kaden Wheeler '22 - Mechanical Team
Paul Gray '22 - Mechanical Team
Will Ankers '21 - Mechanical Team
Logan Kant '22 - CAD Team/Co-Safety Captain
Alex Wasylik '21 - Code Team
Madison Rooth (AHN) - Scout Team Lead
Owen Mackenzie '19 - Scout Team
Victor Anderson '19 - Scout Team
Audrey Gabbard (AHN) - Scout Team
Andrew Jung '19 - Communications Director
Olivia Scarpo (AHN) - Drive Team
John Barreto '21 - Pneumatics Team/Drive Team
Gabby Consalvo (AHN) - Safety Captain
Click below for a slideshow of the Jesuit Robotics spring 2019 season: