On January 10th, 8:30 A.M. Central Standard Time, Texas Torque gathered in an LGI to witness the unveiling of the new 2016 FRC game. Our entire roster of members, alumni, and mentors came together to take in and plan for the exciting new challenge for this year. The new game, FIRST Stronghold, features many unique elements, from defense crossing and boulder shooting to spying and climbing. Teams everywhere are expected to meet a number of guidelines and build a robot that can perform a number of tasks for a variety of purposes. Several new game elements like audience and team selected defenses make for a uniquely dynamic and progressive match every time, and teams are certain to be faced with a different challenge every time they step on the field. Cooperation and point scoring are also modified for this year, with two separate scores: one to determine which alliance wins a match, and one for qualification.
The addition and implementation for all of these new elements has made our team more eager than ever to inspire, build, and conquer the field. With good wishes to every team out there, Texas Torque begins its quest to conquer the FIRST Stronghold.
We will soon meet you all on the battlefield at Dallas!
This last Saturday, November 14th, Texas Torque joined teams 624 CRyptonite, 2587 Discobots, 4082 RoboSpartans, 4587 Jersey Voltage, 3335 Cy-Ranch Cy-Borgs, 3847 Spectrum, and 4412 SST Steel Stallions at the 3rd annual Houston Maker Faire at the George R. Brown Convention Center for a full day of demo-ing and exhibiting. The Maker Faire is a convention that showcases “makers” (independent inventors, engineers, craftsmen, hobbyists, etc) and their innovations at one large, centralized location. Here, products and inventions ranging from simple DIY fabrications to hand-built completely wooden C&C machines are presented for public viewing and interaction. FIRST had a strong presence at this demonstration with all of the aforementioned teams exhibiting together on a model FRC field. All sorts of functions were showcased, including challenges and events from previous years, like 2013’s Ultimate Ascent, last year’s Aerial Assist, and this year’s Recycle Rush. Team 624 made a guest appearance of it’s 2012 Rebound Rumble Robot. All of the teams there had great fun demonstrating the variety and intricacies of robotics to all kinds of crowds, and team members enjoyed the friendly interaction between audience and robot. Many of us look forward to returning here next year to continue upholding the standard of local robotics capabilities.
It was announced Wednesday, November 4th, that the CISD school and education bond has passed with 69 to 31 percent in favor. This news heralds the advancement of robotics and STEM for years to come, and the whole team looks forward to seeing what new prospects this advancement will hold.
To support this bond, students from Torque went out to various polling locations and campaigned tirelessly for many hours, presenting flyers and helpful advice to any interested. It is without a doubt that the help from efforts like these went a long way in promoting the understanding and awareness of this bond and its importance for the future of the team.
More information can be found here.
On Saturday, October 24th, Texas Torque co-hosted and competed in the fourth annual Houston Robot Remix. We competed with our 2015.5 robot, an offseason build named “Rebel”.
Congressman Kevin Brady and CISD Superintendent Don Stockton came to the Remix and spoke at the opening ceremonies.
The team ranked 3rd in the qualification matches and went on to lead an alliance composed of teams 3478 and 3526, Lambot and Blue Ignition, into quarterfinals. Our alliance was successful in the quarterfinal matches and was able to qualify for semifinals, during which we were eliminated.
We at Texas Torque were glad to have competed with many of our friends in our last event of this offseason. We are also extremely grateful to all of the teams in attendance, having greatly enjoyed hosting this event and hoping to host it again next year.
We are pleased to announce the creation of a bond proposal by Conroe ISD to fund the construction of multiple robotics centers in the Conroe area. This news brings us one step closer to achieving a new space for the development and advancement of our robotics program. This new proposal will facilitate the growth of many STEM programs in the area, with spaces dedicated to more than just robotics work. Areas for electronic, mechanical, and group conferences have been proposed. With these resources at hand, more people will be able to find a place to explore and discover more about STEM, and will have the opportunity to interact with and observe Texas Torque’s robotics laboratory environment firsthand.
The Texas Robotics Invitational (TRI), hosted by team 3847 (Team Spectrum), occurred at Spectrum’s own Strake Jesuit High School on Saturday, June 20th. Texas Torque competed alongside numerous teams at this event, which served as a fresh, non-intensive place for teams new and old alike to compete in an official FIRST environment. During elimination matches, Torque allianced with teams 3335 (the Cy-Ranch Cy-Borgs) and team 3587 (the AwtyBots). Torque was eliminated in the quarterfinals.
The next event Torque participated in was the Texas Robot Round-up (TRR), hosted by team 2158 (the ausTIN CANs), and team 2881 (the Lady Cans) on July 31st in Austin. In this event, Torque allianced with team 4587 (Jersey Voltage) and the Lady Cans. Torque was once again eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Both of these events gave valuable practice time for Torque’s driveteam. The atmosphere gave an added element of realism to the event, letting all members feel the experience of a full-fledged season event. In addition, the presence of many robotics teams at one location allowed for members to explore interactions between various members, and learn the procedures and intricacies of a robotics team.