The robot’s out of the bag

Two at a time! Here the team is preparing for the weekend's competition. Where they went on to third place out of 39.
Two at a time! Here the team is preparing for this past weekend’s competition where they went on to third place out of 39.

This week was Bag Week for the robotics team. This is the time when the robot should be finished, or very close to finished, and put in a bag to be shipped to competitions. Once in the bag, the robot can be taken out for a total of six hours to receive final touches and tests. DHS’ team, the Charge, used four of those hours.

This year the robot was 90 percent finished when it was put in the bag, compared to last year when it was only 60 percent finished. A 30 percent improvement pleased the team, but there were still problems to be fixed. For an hour and a half, the robot suffered mechanical issues and wasn’t running. These problems were planned for though, and were able to be fixed without many issues.

Last year the robot hadn’t even been turned on when the first competition came around. With no time for testing, the team didn’t know what would happen when they powered it up. Everything worked out, but it had been a toss-up.

The first competition this year was held in Waterford, Michigan. The team felt prepared, but knew there would be stiff competition.

“Michigan is the hardest state to be a robotics team in,” sophomore Cameron Curtis said. “There’s a lot of veteran teams in Waterford.”

The Waterford competition started on Friday but the DHS team didn’t get off to the start they wanted. They finished 28th out of 39 with their worst score, but progressed as the day went on. By the end of the day, their average score had them into 12th place.

The next day alliance partners were chosen from the other team there. The Charge got an alliance they were pleased with and had success throughout the day. By the end of Saturday, they were in third place due to two losses to other competitors. Team Hot beat them, which has won three world titles, and team 1025, which had a “stack factory,” sophomore Avery King said, referring to the stacking challenge that each robot faces.

The competition went better than expected for The Charge, and they were pleased with the end result. They are hoping for a similar result in the next competition, which is on March 19 at DHS.

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Bo Brueck

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