And we’re off! The 2016 FIRST Robotics competition entitled “Stronghold” started today with the congregation of robotics team from all over San Diego County to learn the objective of this season’s challenge. While the medieval theme of “Stronghold” was revealed months ago, teams have only been able to speculate as to the actual obstacles our future robots will have to overcome. Today the theme of the middle ages made sense, as the competition was announced to consist of an obstacle course that teams will have to conquer in order to storm the opposing team’s castle. Some of the trials include a drawbridge, a mini-moat, uneven terrain and a portcullis, combined with other obstacles that change and alternate between each round. Upon defeating these mechanical monsters, the robots must then shoot “boulders” into their opponent’s tower, getting into either the windows above or tunnels below. While initially surprised and slightly alarmed at the thought of such a challenge, our team was soon excited to get started on designing such a versatile robot. Even before kits of parts were passed out, the Top Hats began brainstorming ways to survive the technological gauntlet that awaited them in March.
After gathering supplies and studying a mock-up of the field, the team gathered with other North County robotics teams, from Trade Tech, Mission Hills, and San Pasqual High Schools to review the rules and restrictions. This soon turned into a collaborative brainstorming session between teams.
The collective of creative minds eventually dispersed, and the Top Hat Technicians began to discuss as a team what their limitations and ultimate aspirations for this competition were.
Although the season is just starting, we know the time will fly by all too soon. Discussions will shift from clarification of rules to new ideas, and we will work as a team to ensure that we are safe and productive as we start creating a new and multi-functional robot. We’re eager to conquer these competitive trials and the challenges that await us as we design and build.
Check our site as we draw closer to the competition date for updates, photos and information about our team. We are excited to work together with our community to build a robot that will cultivate the minds of the future engineers of our world. Thanks for supporting The Top Hat Technicians!