Texas Robot Roundup

August 4, 2016 in Competition, FRC by Bella Le

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This past weekend, Texas Torque drove to Austin for the 6th annual Texas Robot Roundup. This year, the event doubled as the UIL Robotics State Championship.

We finished qualifications in the 10th seed and went on to become captain of the 7th seeded alliance, along with teams 3999 Shadetree Robotics, 3847 Spectrum, and 6171 Wildcat Robotics. Though our alliance was eliminated in the quarterfinals, we had a great time at the event and look forward to competing again in next year’s UIL Championship.

Congratulations to the winning alliance of teams 118 Robonauts, 148 Robowranglers, 5242 Robocats, and 5726 RHUMBOTZ for their stellar performance at the Texas Championship!

(Our own offseason event, The Remix, is coming up this October. We’ll have more information out soon, or you can contact us with any questions you may have. We look forward to seeing teams from the Houston area and beyond at The Remix!)

Houston Museum of Natural Science Demo

July 22, 2016 in Outreach by Bella Le

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On Friday, July 15, 10 members of Texas Torque brought our 2016 robot, Impulse, down to the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Children around the demo area were able to “feed” boulders to Impulse and then watch as it shot the balls across the lobby to Texas Torque members. During battery changes, spectators were allowed to come up close to Impulse and learn about the mechanics and electronics inside, as well as take pictures. In the 3 hours that Impulse was there, over 2000 museum visitors stopped by to feed boulders, take pictures, and learn about Impulse and FIRST Robotics.

This experience was enjoyable and educational for team members and spectators alike. We look forward to future demonstrations at the museum and hope to have have some other teams bring their robots as well!

Fourth of July Parade

July 5, 2016 in Outreach by Bella Le

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This past Monday, Texas Torque took part in The Woodlands Township’s annual Fourth of July Parade.

The team’s float was, once again, a very memorable part of the parade. The audience saw our 2016 robot, Impulse, shoot boulders to several members of the team, which drew the attention and admiration of children and adults alike. Stickers and trading cards were shared to the excited community as our team spread the innovation and message of FIRST Robotics. Crowds watched in amazement to see the accomplishments of a high school robotics team, inspired both by Impulse and the teamwork our members displayed during the trek.

This event was a fantastic experience for the team, and we hope to march again in the future!

Texas Robotics Invitational

June 29, 2016 in Competition, FRC by Bella Le

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This past Saturday, June 25th, Texas Torque had an awesome time competing at TRI. As our first offseason competition of the year, it was a great chance for the team to test out new drive teams and positions. We were eliminated in the quarterfinals, but our robot performed well overall. (After returning home, we will definitely make some improvements before the UIL State Championship later this summer!)

We thank FRC team 456 Siege Robotics for inviting us to join their alliance, and teams 2158 ausTIN CANs and 2881 Lady Cans for being such great alliance members in the elimination rounds!

It was an amazing event, and it only gets better every year! Many thanks to FRC team 3847, Spectrum, for hosting and running this event (as well as buying pizza after the event clean up)!

Comicpalooza

June 29, 2016 in FRC, Outreach by Charles Wallis

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From June 17 to June 19, Texas Torque joined Spectrum, the Disco Bots, the Leopards, the Awty Bots, Pearadox, and Jersey Voltage to demonstrate our 2016 robot, Impulse, at Comicpalooza in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center.

For the three days of the event, Impulse performed well for interested spectators, helping the team captivate the crowd. Some members of Texas Torque and other teams played a casual game of laser tag, demonstrating that robotics kids can have lots of fun while they work. Between speaking about FIRST, operating the robot, making repairs, and having fun with other teams, Texas Torque had a terrific time.

Throughout the demonstration, Texas Torque didn’t just show off an impressive robot; we showed the amazing teamwork it takes to build such a robot, the passion to spreading FIRST to a broader community, and the ability to create meaningful friendships with other teams.

We would like to thank team 3847 Spectrum for arranging the event and inviting us to demonstrate together!

2016 Banquet

June 10, 2016 in FRC by Brunon Walczak

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On Saturday, May 28th, Texas Torque gathered at College Park High School to celebrate the success of another season in FIRST Robotics. Amid plates of home-made dishes and cold refreshments, members of Texas Torque young and old came together for one final celebration of the team’s accomplishments across the 2016 season. With this year’s robot, Impulse, having a dedicated photo stage next to the team’s award shelf from this year (featuring the Entrepreneurship, Industrial Safety, and Creativity awards), team members could stop by to pose by the team’s award-winning creation.

After the festivities and eating had died down, the time came for the senior members to present their final well-wishes and recollections of time spent on the team. A brief introduction from the team’s president began a long line of dedications and thankings, before select seniors delivered speeches. For members and mentors alike, hearing the accomplishments of individual students unfold before an audience of peers and friends set forth a wave of emotion and realization that the season had finally ended, while the seniors’ futures were only beginning. It goes without saying that every senior on the team will be dearly missed, but their achievements and roles in shaping the team’s success will not be forgotten. To stem this sense of absence, seniors performed a set of “wills” by dedicating a specific cause or characteristic to younger students, so as to keep the chain of skill and knowledge unbroken within the team.

Once the seniors had finished reminiscing, awards were handed out to several members of the team in recognition of their hard work and effort spent in various positions, from drivers to presenters and everything in between. The ceremony reminded everyone present that every member had a role on the team, whether as an ambassador, a volunteer, or part of the pit crew.

At last, the time came to award scholarships. Mr. Landwehr of Subsea 7 presented “Being 7” scholarships to several seniors of the team as recognition of their outstanding excellence in certain fields. Team president and Chairman’s Award presenter Reagan Spexarth was awarded the Collaboration scholarship. Others, such as driver and electrical lead Ayesh Sondapperumarachchi and mechanical team member Anurag Chowdhury, received scholarships for Innovation and Integrity. The scholarships for Safety and Performance were given to Lexalee Flanagan and Emily Roth. Mr. Rippetoe, our team’s lead mentor, concluded the scholarship presentations by awarding his own scholarship to build captain Shray Mittal in recognition of his contributions to the team. This was accompanied by a well worded thank-you from Mr. Rippetoe, who went on to give a recount of the team’s achievements, current standing, and forecast for the future. With his and everyone else’s words of hope, the banquet ended, sealing off another successful season for Texas Torque.

(Several students and parents have requested that we share the banquet slideshow on our website. Click here to view or share the slideshow. For more pictures, please visit our Flickr, where we regularly upload photos of team happenings.)