FIRST Robotics Kickoff



Amanda Mathis, Staff Writer

For the next six weeks Triple Helix members, with students from 797 teams all over the world, will spend four days of the week designing, building, and programming a robot to complete the tasks designated to teams all around the world.  January 9th marked the start of a brand new robotics season with a new game, new designs, and new strategies to approach the challenge. This year’s game: FIRST Stronghold. “FIRST Stronghold is played on a 27 ft. by 54 ft. field. Each alliance (of three robots each) commands one tower, five defenses, and a ‘secret passage’ which allows their robots to restock on ammunition, called boulders. One defense in each alliance’s set of five, the low bar, is a permanent part of the field. Three defenses are selected strategically by the alliance prior to the start of their match. The final defense changes periodically by audience selection. Each FIRST Stronghold match begins with a 15-second autonomous period in which robots operate independently of human control. During this period, robots attempt to cross opposing defenses and score in the opposing tower to score points. During the remaining 2 minutes and 15 seconds of the match, called the teleop period, robots are controlled by student drivers from behind their castle wall at the end of the field. Teams on an alliance work together to cross defenses, weaken the opposing tower by scoring boulders in it, and finally surround, scale, and capture the tower.” Senior Connor Blair said, “This game will be the most thought provoking yet, due to the variety of challenges given. It had me standing in awe for at least two minutes.”  It surely is going to be an exciting game with the robots trying to breach the multiple different configurations for the defenses and score in the towers.

Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays the team will meet from 6pm to 9pm and on Saturdays they will meet from 9am to 6pm. It won’t be until the end of those six build weeks that the robot is placed in a bag and shipped to the competition location while the teams get a few weeks to relax and breathe before competitions, so teachers… please go easy on us as we work hard to build a proper team competitiveness before attending district competitions in April.

Go here to view the FIRST Stronghold teaser trailer.

Go here to view the FIRST Stronghold reveal video.