2015 Dallas Regional

After a long six-weeks of build season, Team 624 won the Dallas Regional with Team 118 and Team 2613. On February 26th, Team 624 made the trip up to the Irving Convention Center for our first competition of the 2015 game, Recycle Rush. We were excited to see many of our old friends and make new ones as well. After setting up the pit and unbagging the robot, the pit crew began making several modifications to Gravity in order to increase its capabilities, not limited to but including a faster gearing for the elevator and a system to ‘steal’ the recycling containers from the step in the middle of the field during autonomous. The robot was inspected, and we played a few practice matches before packing up for the night.On Friday, we struggled through our qualification matches. A few issues with autonomous and tote stability gave us something to work out, but before long, we were able to make a stack from the landfill. However, we soon found out that the can is not very stable within the frame, making it difficult to move around while constructing a stack. We began thinking of ways to solve the problem, but nothing came to us, so we decided to sleep on it. The day ended early due to some inclement weather, so the team went out for a snowball fight €“ an unusual event for us Houstonians.Saturday was a bit strange. Due to the weather, we started late and had a lot of qualifications left to get through. We were unable to figure out our can instability issues and were slightly worried at the time alliance selections came around, however, we had stumbled upon a strategy for loading from the human player station. We had been approached by Team 118, The Robonauts from League City, Texas, to ensure our strategy was compatible with theirs, and were consecutively chosen by them to join the number two alliance for the playoff matches. Thanks to the help of their experienced drive team, 118 was able to iron out a lot of our issues and turned us into an effective human loading machine capable of scoring multiple stacks with recycling containers on top €“ we were even able to score 92 points in the second semifinal by ourselves while our partners fixed some major robot issues.We endured a tough set of 4 back to back matches (the last semifinal (SF6) and a best of three Finals set) against the number one seeded alliance, consisting of captain Team 148, the Robowranglers, from Greenville, Texas, Team 987, The High Rollers, from Las Vegas, Nevada, and Team 3802, RoboPOP, from Carrollton, Texas. Thanks to the help of our other alliance partner, 2613, Protobot, from Van Horn, Texas, we were able to come out on top as the 2015 Dallas Regional Champions. We would like to congratulate the finalists who really showed why they were the number one seed and for the Gracious Professionalism they demonstrated after some controversial events in the playoffs – we wish them the best of luck at their next events and will see them in St. Louis for the World Championships. Congratulations to Team 987 for winning the Chairman’s Award; extremely well deserved by a team that has inspired us many times over the years. Team 624 also won the Imagery Award, which celebrates attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration from the machine to the team appearance. We will be competing in Utah from March 12 €“ 14, so stay tuned!