Thirty-nine teams including 31 from the Upper Peninsula competed at the Escanaba High School in the Michigan regional FIRST Robotics competition. This year’s theme is Steamworks. Sophomore Charlie Tackman, member of the Escanaba Robomos, tells us what the object of this year’s robotics competition is.
It’s a pretty exciting game. I’ve been in this for three years and I think it’s probably the most exciting game I’ve had.
It’s just a lot of robots moving fast, lot’s of different field elements that are moving around. I think the most exciting part is that we have people who are human players in the center of the field. We’ve never had anything like that before in FIRST Robotics.
The game is based on the theme of steampunk. If you don’t know what that is, it’s basically, what would the world be like if we never discovered electricity and everything is running on steam power. That’s the theme of the game.
There are a couple things you have to do in the game. You have to do to advance.
The main goal of the game in qualifications which is what we are in right now is to get ranking points. You can earn ranking points in a couple of different ways.
You win the match by getting the top number of points on your alliance. You get two ranking points for that. You can also get all four of those rotors spinning on your airship and that equals one ranking point. You can also score fuel which is little whiffle balls in the boiler and you get one ranking point if you fill it up to a certain point of how many balls equal 40 kiloPascals, unit of pressure.
Other points are just earned by doing autonomous stuff with your robot. Crossing the centerline, giving gears to people on the airship in autonomous period which is when you’re not allowed to drive the robot in that period. The robot does it’s own thing.
You get points for loading gears in the teleoperate period which is when you are controlling the robot. You also get points for climbing up the ropes over there.
It all just adds up and that’s how you get ranking points to win the game.
It’s just really fun seeing something that was in your head come to life. It’s like having a child but not. I’ve have never had a child so I can never explain it but it’s very special and you get to be very professional at a young age and you get to make cool things. That’s why I like it.