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.)

2016 FIRST World Championships

May 19, 2016 in Competition, FRC, Slideshow by Bella Le

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From April 27th to April 30th, Texas Torque competed in the FIRST World Championships in St. Louis. We were thrilled to attend the event for the sixth year running, having qualified with our Regional Chairman’s Award at the Alamo Regional.

One rather long bus ride, a mild delay due to a tornado warning, and a healthy dose of team bonding later, the team arrived in St. Louis, Missouri and, along with some 900 other FIRST teams, took the city by storm. We split our time between work and play as we scouted matches and explored the city. The Edward Jones Dome was a mecca of scientific knowledge and excitement, and all members of Texas Torque greatly enjoyed reveling in the sights and sounds of the Championship.

In the qualification matches, we were able to practice with and adjust our shooter, allowing us to fine-tune our shot and practice aiming for the high goals. We finished qualifications in the 48th position and were selected by the third seeded alliance, headed by team 67, The HOT Team. The other members of our alliance were team 5172 Gators and team 3481 Bronc Botz, and we very much enjoyed competing with them and The HOT Team during elimination matches.

After a series of intense quarterfinals matches, our alliance advanced to the semifinals of the Newton division, where we were eliminated after two matches against the eventual division champions. Despite this elimination, the team is satisfied with our performance at the 2016 Championship and throughout the 2016 competition season as a whole. Congratulations to the new FIRST Robotics Competition World Champions, team 330 The Beach Bots, team 2481 Roboteers, and team 120 Cleveland’s Team! We would also like to congratulate team 987 High Rollers for their Championship Chairman’s Award and induction into the FRC Hall of Fame.

We are extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to compete in this year’s FIRST Championship and look forward to the adventures ahead!

Lone Star Regional

April 21, 2016 in Competition, FRC, Slideshow by Bella Le

From April 7th to April 9th, Texas Torque competed at the Lone Star Regional in downtown Houston. This was our home regional, but many teams from outside of Texas came as well from places such as Louisiana, Mississippi, Mexico, and even Turkey.

The team finished qualifications as the ninth-seeded alliance and was invited to join the 4th-seeded alliance along with team 1421 Team Chaos and team 1642 Techno-Cats. Our alliance played several playoff matches before being eliminated in the quarterfinals.

Congratulations to the Robonauts, Jersey Voltage, and the Klein Bots for their regional win!

We were glad to practice with and make improvements to our robot before Champs in late April, as well as to take home our first-ever Creativity Award for our flywheel. (The Creativity Award completes our “quinfecta” of engineering awards, which we are also excited about!)