This past Saturday, Texas Torque furthered our partnership with our local Women’s Shelter by demoing at one of their housing locations. While there, we demonstrated our 2012 robot velociraptor in front of many of the children living at the Women’s Shelter complex. We drove the robot, shot baskets, and answered the questions of all everyone in attendance. In addition, we advocated for FLL, and got many of the children interested in the program. Texas Torque is proud to have such an influence on our community. We plan on continuing our partnership with the women’s shelter and we will continue to strive for an even greater impact as our relationship with this charity grows and develops.
Texas Torque is well known for its active role in the community, and this summer has been no exception. Texas Torque students banded together this past tuesday in order to help the Angel Reach Foundation with a home renovation project. Starting early in the morning, members of the team could be found all over the renovation site, helping with everything from demolishing flooring to repainting walls and ceilings. All of the attending team members found the experience very rewarding, and Texas Torque plans to assist the Angel Reach Foundation with even more projects in the upcoming months.
Last weekend, Texas Torque traveled to Austin for the fourth annual Texas Robot Roundup. This two day competition proved to be a great testament to the skill and ability of Texas FIRST teams, of which Texas Torque was happy to be a part of.
After unloading early in the morning, Texas Torque soon began to prep for the afternoon qualifications matches. Texas Torque ended up with a 3-2 record by the end of the day, and was near the bottom of the rankings. However, Texas Torque was able to come back the next day and finish with a qualifications record of 7-3. This put Texas Torque in the 5th seed position for alliance selection. After the first and second seeds made their choices, Texas Torque was in position as the third alliance captain. Texas Torque chose 4587 Jersey Voltage as our first pick, and in the remaining rounds chose 3735 Klein Bots and 5287 Flare to round out the all-Houston alliance. After winning our quarterfinals matches, Texas Torque ran into tough competition in the semis facing off against the affectionately nicknamed “three cyclers” 1296, 3005, and 2158. After each alliance won one match, our alliance pulled of a victory in the rubber match winning 254-200. After a couple rounds of friendly rock-paper-scissors, the finals matches started and our alliance was defeated by the first seeded alliance, going home with a second place finish.
Texas Torque would like to congratulate our friends 624, 118, 2789, and especially pre-rookie team 9997 for their finish as the Texas Robot Roundup champions. We would also like to thank team 2158, the AusTIN CANS, as well as National Instruments, for hosting this amazing event for the fourth year in a row. We would also like to thank all of the Austin area FIRST volunteers and the Alamo FIRST organization for their phenomenal event running. Texas Torque was thrilled to have been a part of this amazing Texas event, and hopes to compete in it again for years to come.
The past two Tuesdays, Texas Torque students and alumni have been hard at work making a difference in the community. Team members have accomplished this through the dedication of their time at “Something Special”, a discount store benefiting the local Women’s Shelter. Texas Torque students were able to help out with many of the on-site projects that needed doing, such as packing and labeling inventory, reorganizing the store, and bringing in large donations of items. This volunteering has quickly become a weekly event, and the team hopes to continue it far into the school year.
From July 18th to the 19th, Texas Torque competed in the 15th annual Indiana Robotics Invitational, an off-season “All-Star” event held in Indianapolis, IN. We were thrilled to have participated as one of the top 68 teams competing from all across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. We were especially pleased to see Texas so well represented, with a delegation of six robots that included 118 The Robonauts, 148 The Robowranglers, 624 CRyptonite, 1477 Texas Torque, 1817 RoboRaiders, and 2468 Team Appreciate.
Qualification rounds began on Friday, in which Texas Torque competed in six matches. During the qualifications Texas Torque suffered a wide variety of mechanical malfunctions, leading to losses in four of our six matches. However, due to the quick thinking of our pit-crew, Texas Torque was able to fix and overcome these difficulties and go on to win matches 34 and 62. Match 62 in particular was a great testament to our abilities, because along with alliance partners 118 and 51, Texas Torque was able to win the match with the highest score of the entire competition (335).
On Saturday Texas Torque completed our final three qualification rounds, with a 1-2 record. With this mind, Texas Torque went on to prepare for alliance selection. In the second round of selection, Texas Torque was invited to join the 5th seed alliance, in which we were happy to have joined up with teams 2175 The Fighting Calculators, 368 Team Kika Mana, and 233 The Pink Team for the elimination portion of the competition. We were also glad to see our fellow Texas teams 118, 148, and 624 make it into the eliminations portion of competition.
In a heart-pounding first quarterfinal match, the fifth seeded alliance (playing 2175, 368, and 1477) lost to the fourth seeded alliance 153-322. The fifth seeded alliance (playing 2175, 368, and 233) then lost the second nerve-wracking quarterfinal match to the fourth seeded alliance 207-321, eliminating our alliance from the competition.
Texas Torque is grateful for the opportunity to compete against some of the best teams in the FIRST Robotics Competition, as well as to have had such a great learning opportunity to prepare the team for the upcoming build season. We would like to thank teams 45 TechnoKats, 234 Cyber Blue, and 1024 Kil-A-Bytes for hosting such the event, as well as Indiana FIRST for organizing and streaming the competition. We would also like to congratulate teams 2056, 469, 1625, and 4039 for winning this years IRI competition, with a special shout out to the third member of the winning alliance, 1625, whom we had the pleasure of partnering with earlier this year.
This summer, Texas Torque had the pleasure of hosting a visit for the CISD Superintendent, Dr. Stockton at the Texas Torque World Headquarters in The Woodlands College Park High School.
Team members took great joy in showing Dr. Stockton around our workspace, introducing him to the subteams that keep our organization running smoothly. The Superintendent also had the opportunity to talk to individual team members about their daily activities, so that he could better understand just how much of an impact Texas Torque has on its students.
Toward the middle of our meeting, outreach sub-team members Jeffrey Zhang, Reagan Spexarth, and Lexalee Flanagan gave Dr. Stockton a brief presentation over the possibility of a STEM center available to students of CISD. This STEM center would allow Texas Torque to expand past the constraints of our current lab, as well as to encourage greater participation in BEST, FLL, and VEX robotics. The team is currently working on location and layout, but still plans to present this STEM center proposal to the CISD Bond Committee this coming fall.
At the conclusion of our meeting Dr. Stockton drove our 2014 robot “Rev1″ around the field set-up, even getting the opportunity to help shoot game pieces into the goals.
Texas Torque looks forward to a continued relationship with the Superintendent, as well as the current potential of a CISD STEM center to be built in our district.