On March 21 and 22 Team 2168 competed at the Rhode Island District Event in Smithfield at Bryant College. This was Team 2168’s 2nd district event of the 2014 season. After hosting the initial event of the season and not advancing beyond the quarter finals, the team felt added pressure, needing to do well to qualify for the New England Championship. 2168 looked at this district event as an opportunity to prove what this team and robot was capable of. The team was fueled by an outrageous spirit display and rocked the event all weekend.
The team and robot turned in one of our best performances on the competition field, in the pits and in the stands. Day 1 qualifications were a little unpredictable as we were still sorting out the robot. Also this was only the third day this year that the drive team had gotten the opportunity to operate the robot. Both the mechanical and programming teams worked to improve robot functionality throughout the day. As a result, the second day of qualification matches was much better. After getting the robot dialed in the team went undefeated in the final 4 matches. In our best match of qualifications 2168 with the help of 4048 Red Shift and 3719 STEM Whalers emerged victorious against 1519 Mechanical Mayhem, 4796 Dragon 1 and 2262 Hoppin Pantherz and set the high score for the event with a 220 to 101 win.
In all the Falcons participated in 12 qualification matches, winning eight, which ranked us ninth in the tournament going into the elimination rounds. We were the first team selected and allied with top ranked 1519 and 5163 Aluminum Warriors to create the “Aluminum Mayhem” alliance. The alliance was strong and stayed unbeaten until the 2nd match in the championship round. An unfortunate penalty negated an 8 point win. Needing a strong comeback performance the alliance was setback as 1519's autonomous failed in the rubber match. The alliance competed fiercely and were almost champions losing by just 2 points to 125 Nutrons, 78 Air Strike and 4761 Robockets. In addition to the team’s success on the competition field the Falcons won the Innovation in Control Award for our unique control system designed by the programming team.
Of special note was a team spirit that was loud, proud and unparalleled at the event. Although exhausted, the team performed well enough to qualify for New England Regional Championship at Boston University. The team has great memories of the event with both euphoric highs and devastating lows but its focus was on the future and expectations were running much higher after the turnaround in Smithfield. After packing up and although exhausted and hoarse, the weekend ended with one more 21…..68 and wishes for positive things to come.