The Aluminum Falcons competed at the New England District Championship from April 8-11 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute with the 60 best teams in New England this year. The level of competition at this event far surpassed any District or Regional event this year and was almost on the level of the World Championships.
The Aluminum Falcons came in ranked in the low thirties in New England and knew they would need a strong performance to move into the top thirty and secure a place at the World Championships in St. Louis. To this end Team 2168 had further modified their intake and tote gripper mechanisms to be a more effective scorer. While the team personally performed better than they had all season the Falcons only ranked 26th as a result of the extremely high level of competition. Furthermore, the team was not selected for Playoffs and watched the rest of the event from the sidelines.
Although this was a disappointing outcome for the team, everyone was still proud of the improvements made to the robot. The programming team continued working on a three tote auto that could be effective without the assistance of alliance partners and drive team improved dramatically over the course of the competition.
Team 2168 did not come away from the competition empty handed though, winning the Innovation in Controls Award. This award celebrates an innovative control system or application of control components – electrical, mechanical, or software – to provide unique machine functions. The award was given to the team as a result of many unique features implemented by the programming team. This was the second year in a row the team won this award at the District Championship, making the Aluminum Falcons the only team to win it at this event so far.
Winning the Innovation in Controls Award combined with their qualification performance also gave the Aluminum Falcons enough district points to move into 30th place in New England and qualify for the World Championships in St. Louis. The team is thrilled to have the opportunity to compete with the best robots from around the world.