Ferradermis traveled to Milwaukee on Saturday, September 14, to compete in Robofest at the Milwaukee Maker Faire, an off-season competition for the 2019 Destination Deep Space game with 18 other teams from around southeast Wisconsin.
The competition gave Ferradermis and other teams a chance to try out new drivers in preparation for the 2020 season. The team played 7 qualification matches with randomly assigned alliances after which they were ranked 2nd out of the 19 teams.
With the first pick of alliance selections for the playoffs, Team 930, the Mukwonago BEARS, who were ranked 1st, invited Ferradermis to join their alliance. This power alliance of the #1 and #2 teams then had the final pick of alliance selections and asked Team 7619, The IllumiBOTi, from Manitowoc, a rookie team this past year, to join them.
The alliance received a bye in the quarterfinals, and then faced off against an alliance with their old friends Team 1259, Paradigm Shift, from Pewaukee. Each round of the playoffs is the best two out of three, and the Ferradermis alliance moved through the semi-finals with two straight victories. However, in the last match of the semi-finals, the joint for the collection arm (the part of the robot that picks up cargo balls) failed, and the team had no time to make the needed repairs before finals. Enter lots of duct tape and a brand new strategy for gathering cargo balls during game play! Gracious professionalism is a huge part of FIRST Robotics, and Ferradermis would like to thank Paradigm for sending representatives to the Ferradermis pit to try and help fix the robot just moments after Ferradermis’ alliance had knocked them out of the playoffs.
The team was able to quickly adapt to the new functionality of their robot, and the alliance went on to win the finals in a thrilling third match tie-breaker that was decided by a mere 3 points, the value of placing one cargo ball.