Last year was our fourth year competing in FTC! We attended two qualifiers and one scrimmage, winning the Inspire Award at our second qualifier and qualifying for States. At the Massachusetts States competition, we received third runner up for the Think Award! 2020-2021 was a difficult year, but that just allowed us to learn a lot more about the FTC community, robotics in general, and what we wanted to bring with us to the next season!
The competition theme for the 2019-2020 season was Ultimate Goal. To score points, our robot had to pick up and toss rings, move a heavy goal, and travel to certain areas of the field.
Watch this video to learn more about Skystone:
We programmed with TeleOp which we ran in our opmode for FTC. We also used Vuforia as a distance sensor, allowing our robot to detect objects nearby. We were able to both collect and shoot rings using a spinning wheel-gear system, and pushed around the wobble goal.
Here are some photos of our robot from the 2020-21 season!
Even more than usually, it was a big learning year for us! We had a very iterative design process and went through numerous trials. We gained a lot of knowledge in using new techniques that we will be sure to implement next season! Additionally, the circumstances of COVID-19 helped us learn how to communicate more effectively and be more creative!
We also learned a lot about other aspects of FTC, such as cross-team communication and outreach.
This year we implemented team organization strategies using the team management software Slack. With these new methods of team communication, we learned the value of having a dedicated space to discuss robotics and are learning to communicate between sub teams efficiently and effectively. We also used an engineering notebook to document what each sub team did every meeting, making it easier to get a sense of what is happening.
Regarding outreach, we were able to set up multiple events despite COVID. We met with the Aluminum Cobblers, another Massachusetts FTC team. Additionally, we were able to participate in the Boston Greenfest, the Cambridge Science Fair, and set up an informative lesson about coding for all FTC teams! We also joined the Massachusetts Peer Review Coalition, helping us communicate with other teams. From these experiences, we realized how helpful it is to work with other FTC teams and to learn from and talk to them. Regarding social media, we have updated our Instagram regularly, post weekly vlogs on our YouTube, and are continuing to work on blog posts for our website!