On May 23rd and 24th the Aluminum Falcons competed at BattleCry@WPI in Worcester. Battlecry is a very competitive event and had 55 teams this year, so it is almost as large as the District Championship. This was also the final robotics event for the ten seniors on the team, many having played a pivotal role on the team for the past 4 years.
After months of continued mechanical improvement on the robot Team 2168 was fully prepared for Battlecry. On the first day of the event the Falcons were flying high, holding their own with some of the best in New England and being ranked second by the end of the day. The team even had several successful 20 point autos. The Falcon’s autonomous had evolved to a point where the robot could spin the recycling bins out of the way without the help of other robots and then intake and stack the three yellow totes. This success was the culmination of months of work by the team’s remarkable programming crew. Team 2168 held their rank at second through the conclusion of qualification matches the next day, coming in right behind Team 195 The Cyberknights. For their first pick the Aluminum Falcons selected World Championships partner Team 2067 Apple Pi to be on their alliance. The second pick for each alliance at Battlecry was out of a hat, but because the event had 55 teams there were two "blank slips" in the hat to even out the alliance. 2168 ended up with one of the blank slips. This meant that for the “eight-finals” the Falcons could pick essentially any team that was not an alliance captain. After the eighth-finals the Falcons would then pick a non-captain from any eliminated alliance to compete for the rest of the playoffs.
For the eighth-finals Team 2168 selected Team 228 GUS. The alliance scored 218 points in both matches, setting high scores for the day. Because Team 228 was selected by the other alliance with the blank slip the Falcons selected Team 4564 Orange Chaos to round out the alliance. In the first quarterfinal match the alliance once again set a high score with 234 points, and the Falcons advanced into the semifinals and then moved into the finals against the top ranked alliance of Team 195 Cyberknights, Team 125 Nutrons, and Team 716 Who’sCTEKs.
In the first game of the finals, the #1 alliance got all 4 of the recycling bins off the step. However, the Falcons and their alliance partners worked furiously to build stacks with the cans they had and then kept stacking. Coupled with mechanical problems with the Cyberknight’s robot the Falcons won the first match decisively by a score of 209-116. In the second match Apple Pi was able to secure 2 bins off the step and the other alliance only got 1. Utilizing this advantage the Falcons and their partners cruised to a 213-132 victory.
This was Team 2168’s second consecutive win at Battlecry and their third in four years. The seniors on the team were thrilled to end the season and their time on the team with a big win, and it was a thrilling conclusion to an up and down season for the Aluminum Falcons. While many team members are graduating, the Falcons now look towards next season with high hopes and large goals, and it is certain they will continue to soar to new heights.