Article and Photos Submitted by Laura Masbruch
Ferradermis Advisor and Banner Volunteer
Ferradermis, Whitewater High School’s FIRST Robotics Team, has been named the Skills Competition Finalist (2nd place in their group of 30 teams) for Infinite Recharge at Home! When you rank all of the teams in the world together who submitted for the challenge, Ferradermis ranks #71 out of 1,302 teams.
FIRST divided all of the teams who opted into this competition into groups of 30, naming each group for an element. Ferradermis competed in the Oxygen Group with teams from 16 states, Turkey, and Mexico. Teams first had to submit technical information on their robot and complete a virtual presentation and interview with a panel of judges before they were allowed to enter the skills portion of the competition. Teams then could select any three of five challenges to record on video and submit for judging. Ferradermis elected to participate in the Power Port Challenge, the Interstellar Accuracy Challenge, and the Hyperdrive Challenge.
For the Power Port Challenge, the team was given 1 minute to score as many points as possible by shooting power cells (yellow dodgeballs) into the circular inner port (3 points) and hexagonal outer port (2 points) of the power port. The team was only allowed to use 3 power cells during the challenge, and only 2 team members could retrieve the power cells and return them to the robot. Many team members took turns practicing as the human players for this challenge, but eventually, team members Drew Swartz and Sterling Truesdale set record time rebounding and delivering the power cells back to the robot while drive team members Reilly Aschenbrener and Elijah Grall operated the robot. Ferradermis’ final video submission showed the robot completing 10 cycles of 3 power cells in 60 seconds hitting 29 out of the 30 power cells in the higher scoring inner port, with the 30th cell hitting the lower scoring outer port. The final score of 89 tied for 12th place in the world.
The Interstellar Accuracy Challenge required that the robot shoot 3 power cells from 4 different distances in less than 5 minutes. Ferradermis was one of 93 teams in the world to score a perfect 45 points on this challenge.
The final part of the skills challenge submission required driver Elijah Grall to traverse four different obstacle courses (barrel race, slalom, bounce, and lightspeed circuit) in the fastest time possible. Elijah’s final time was 49.6 seconds total, placing the team in the top 12% of teams in the world for this challenge.
Ferradermis’ combined final score for all 3 skills was 438.87 out of a possible 450. Many team members spent countless hours fine tuning the robot, running the video camera, and resetting course markers over the course of the skills competition. It was truly a team effort!
For a list of the winners and finalists from all groups, visit the FIRST blog. It is interesting to note that the teams are listed in numeric order by their team number with a smaller number generally meaning an older team. Ferradermis is the 5th youngest team on the list.
Ferradermis thanks all of its generous community sponsors for making this experience possible.