2016 FIRST World Championships

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

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!)

Utah Regional

At our week 3 competition, the Utah Regional, Texas Torque competed in a series of thrilling, fast-paced matches that resulted in our position as captain of the sixth-seeded alliance. We partnered with team 3374, the RoboBroncs, and team 5933, JudgeMent Call, and were regional finalists. Additionally, we took home our first-ever Entrepreneurship Award.25922300792_c6c2d451d6_z

The reliable performances of all three robots on our alliance helped us advance to the semifinals, and then to the finals themselves. In the two finals matches we played, we faced the first-seeded alliance, which consisted of team 4334, Alberta Tech Alliance; team 3166, First Year Ravens; and team 2468, Team Appreciate. Team Appreciate, the alliance captain and a fellow Texas team at the Utah Regional, also received the Utah Regional Chairman’s Award. We congratulate our friends at 2468 for this prestigious achievement and look forward to seeing them again at the World Championships in April.

Congratulations to Team Appreciate, Alberta Tech Alliance, and First Year Ravens for their regional win. We can’t wait to see you in St. Louis next month and wish you the best of luck in upcoming competitions!

25922024142_b37f1a8c22_z

Our next competition is the Lone Star Regional, a week 6 competition taking place from April 6 to April 9 in downtown Houston. We look forward to meeting you on the battlefield, whether at Lone Star or World Championships!

Alamo Regional

This past weekend our team had a fantastic first competition at the Alamo Regional. Our team was extremely thrilled and honored to win the Alamo Regional Chairman’s Award and our first ever Industrial Safety Award!

IMG_6441

Our robot, Impulse, performed consistently well and we moved onto elimination matches as the 5th alliance captain. We had a terrific time competing alongside ausTIN CANs team 2158, and RoboWarriors team 2583, during the quarterfinal matches. Also, a huge thanks to Brooks Academy Robotics team 5754, for subbing us during the semifinals when our drive train broke down.

Congratulations to teams Robowranglers team 148, High Voltage team 231, and STEM ECHS team 5726 for winning the regional!

IMG_6309

We look forward to seeing teams out on the battlefield at the Utah Regional this upcoming weekend!

Something Special and NASA

This past Saturday, members of Texas Torque met at Something Special, a charity shop run by our local women’s shelter, to commemorate our continued partnership. After a group picture, we headed to the Robonauts’ lab at the Johnson Space Center to practice with other teams and make any necessary modifications to our robot.

IMG_5656

Members of Texas Torque, the Robonauts, Spectrum, CRyptonite, and the AwtyBots met at NASA’s Johnson Space Center to prepare for upcoming competitions. All team members worked together to simulate matches, watch broadcasts of live matches, and prepare for competition. Many of us gained useful experience through these endeavors, and some of Texas Torque’s newer members had the chance to befriend members of other teams. We were able to make some useful additions to our robot and get valuable practice time on a full competition field with other robots.

IMG_5672

We are very thankful for all the time and effort our fellow Houston area FRC teams put forth in coming together to practice, as well as 118 in particular for the Gracious Professionalism and Coopertition they displayed in inviting us over and allowing us to use their home field. We can’t wait to meet you on the battlefield, whether at Alamo, Utah, Lone Star, or beyond!

Armstrong, Bush, and Book Fair Demos

On Thursday, February 18, members of Texas Torque demonstrated our 2013 robot, Sonic, to crowds of elementary school students at Armstrong Elementary’s annual math and science night. We were able to give the kids an exciting introduction to robotics, as well as point them in the direction of Armstrong’s own FLL teams.

The next Thursday, February 25, we brought Sonic to the Bush Elementary Science Night. At this event, we were able to drive Sonic around the school’s gym, show the students and parents what Sonic could do and how those things were done, and spread the word about FIRST.

On Saturday, February 27, our county book fair was held at the same school in which our headquarters are located. Because of this, we were able to show not only Sonic, but also robots from other years such as Rev1 and Apogee. We spoke with students of all ages, from elementary to high school, and provided information about FIRST and its various programs.

We at Texas Torque greatly enjoy community outreach events and are grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in these demonstrations. The team looks forward to future opportunities to make FIRST loud!

IMG_5236