2019 BLOG POSTS
April 17-May 9, 2019
We, FRC Team 2168, the Aluminum Falcons, would like to thank everyone who was involved with our journey throughout the 2018-2019 competition season. This season was an empowering expedition that definitely provided us with some of the hardest fun that we have ever had.
Thank you to the teams we met; whether they were top-notch teams we faced off against, keeping our wits sharp and competition exciting; or if they were the amazing alliance members that we worked alongside, synergistically operating to give it our best collective effort in every match. Every single team that we played with and against shaped the path that we took this season and created the experiences and memories we will carry with us forever.
Thank you to Fitch High School and the Groton Public Schools District, for helping us find our feet. It was thanks to the efforts of Groton Public Schools that we had access to as large and spacious of a workshop for the season that provided a launch pad for our success. It was our privilege to represent Groton as we ventured forth into the competitions.
Thank you to all our sponsors as their generous support enabled our team to reach for the stars. Special thanks to our Premier sponsors, Pfizer and UBS for providing financial support instrumental to our success. Thank you to Aluminum sponsors Groton Utilities, Department of Defense STEM and Charter Oak Credit Union and to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, Google, SolidWorks, MathWorks, Applied Physical Sciences, Constellation, Hampden Engineering Corporation, Mystic Women’s Club, Groton Walmart, and Davis-Standard for their investments in our team as we couldn’t have done it without them. Special thanks go out to our fabrication sponsors R-D Mfg. Inc., ETM Manufacturing, Hillery Company and J Steele Services for supplying robot components we did not have the ability to fabricate ourselves and help our innovation come to life.
Thank you to our mentors, alumni and parents, for all of the work and support provided throughout the entire year. Parents cooked dinners for us, transported us, and made sure that we were always keeping up with all of our other responsibilities. Mentors have taught us so many skills and fostered our growth, while also putting countless hours into this team. Returning alumni are helping to drive the team legacy. We are standing on a solid foundation and we hope to meet and exceed every expectation that comes of that, as we continue to pursue our dreams.
And last, but certainly not least, thank you to FIRST. Thank you for creating a program where the members can shed sweat, tears and laughter while sharing the strain of the challenge. Thank you for providing us with a platform to bring others into STEM, while also giving ourselves an opportunity to both broaden and deepen our own knowledge. And finally, thank you for everything you represent; expertise and empathy culminating into the pinnacle of competition, a true “gracious meritocracy”.
Thank you all for a great season!
April 4-16, 2019
The flashing lights. The roar of the crowd. the hiss-pop of pneumatics. The aching of hands from applauding. The burning of throats from screaming. New England Championships was a whirlwind, a bubbling, effervescent, collection of passion, expertise, and spirit, all packed into a single building at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Sixty-four of the best robotics teams in New England convened in Worcester, Massachusetts to compete, to try their hardest, to win. And when Team 2168 walked out of WPI, we held a trophy in one hand, and a blue banner in the other. We kept our heads down and our hands busy, and we competed with all our hearts. And in the end, it payed off, netting us an Innovation in Controls Award and allowing us to help our alliance win the New England Championships. We are now ranked first out of 210 teams in the 2019 New England District. But as we embark for World Championships in Detroit next week, we will keep striving to keep our heads cool and our hearts warm.
March 26-April 4, 2019
They say that the wicked get no rest, and if that is the case, our team has been quite naughty indeed. Our team has been preparing for NE Championships, working hard to improve both our strategies and robot while resolving several internal matters. During this timeframe, we also shared our facility with team 3719, the STEM Whalers, giving them access to both our practice field and resources for their unbagging. In addition, we also fabricated parts for team 6943, and assisted the Cyber Dragons in troubleshooting, systems implementation, and organization.
March 19-26, 2019
The Aluminum Falcons' third competition in a row began on a brisk, bright morning on the Bryant University campus. Within the confines of the Chase Athletic Building, a roiling mass of people effervesced with nervous energy as they alternated between fretting over their robot and eyeing their competition. Despite some issues during the early stages, we were able to make a comeback despite stiff competition from the top-tier teams present. Thanks to the considerable efforts of our pit crew, drive team, and general team body, we were able to win the competition, nominate one of our mentors, Kevin Brown, for the Woodie Flowers Award, and receive a Gracious Professionalism Award for assisting an under-resourced team, finishing the weekend ranked 3rd in the NE District.
March 12-19, 2019
When the team stumbled back to our workshop, tired and bleary eyed from competition and travel, they came home with the winds of victory swirling around their heels. We were doubly fortunate at the FMA District Springside Chestnut Hill Academy Event to be selected as a component of a winning alliance and win another award in Industrial Design
March 5-12, 2019
Our first competition of the year came and went with all the blustering fury of a Primus sandstorm. Our advance crew started off by marching upwards to Massachusetts to set up, with the rest of the team joining them the day after. Our first few matches didn't exactly go swimmingly, and it seemed that we were off to a rocky start due to mechanical issues. However, we managed to pull together,. Thanks to our drive team, our pit crew, and the students and mentors in the stands, we were able to end qualifications in third place, secure ourselves a spot in the winning alliance, and win an award in Industrial Design.
February 9-26, 2019
The last week of build season was a busy one for the entire team. The robot was overweight, several designs still needed to be calibrated, and bag day was soon approaching. But at the cost of many hours of sleep, many of the goals that needed to be met were achieved. After a short break after bag day, the team started work on the practice bot, in order to prepare as much as possible for competitions.
January 29-February 9, 2019
It was in the fifth week of build season that the work going on in the shop began to truly reflect the stereotypical image that many might paint in their minds when they hear the word 'robotics.' Metal bit into metal as the robot began to come to life, with lots of work on the robot being completed, whilst hands shook hands as members of the team met with PCC Structurals Inc. To top if all off, the the team's submissions for Chairman's Award and the Woodie Flowers Award were sent in.
January 15-29, 2019
They say the third time is the charm, and that four is an unlucky number. For our team, it seems quite fortuitous that the aforementioned sayings only came true in half. In the third and fourth weeks of our Build Season, many things began to come into fruition. The CAD team presented their design for this year's robot, Marketing oversaw the fruitful conclusion of several sponsor visits, and the shop was filled with the sound of milling, drilling and cutting as the physical building portion of Build Season rolled around.
January 8-15, 2019
The second week of Build Season has been a productive one for the team, with each subgroup working hard to stay on top of things and keep things on schedule. The Electrical team held classes on the finer points of manipulating plastic-insulated copper. Mechanical and CAD worked tirelessly to prototype various design concepts and transcribe ideas into reality. And Marketing reached out to sponsors to rake in a few much needed donations.
January 1-8, 2019
Between the arid absence of a water game, the second coming of gracious professionalism, and the sudden reductions in Autonomous Rights, this year's kickoff was an eventful one. Our team, with the bittersweet petrichor of Christmas break still wafting about us, gathered to watch FIRST Robotics shed light upon the void of Deep Space. Neurons crackled as the brain storms whipped themselves into Category 5 cells of excitement, melancholy, and creativity. Rules were peered at from all angles, puns were eviscerated, and design concepts were thought up. Presently, construction of our practice field is underway, and prototypes are already in the works.