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.
Earlier this summer, Texas Torque performed not one, but five demonstrations in our area. These demonstrations were done at local Primrose Preschools, for children from the ages of 2-6, as a way to give the children their very FIRST look at robotics. Team members distributed themselves among the five events around our community, promoting science and technology at the various presentations. Our 2013 World Championship robot “Sonic” was demonstrated at two of these events, while our 2014 robot “Rev1″ had its very first showing at the three others. Our students took pride in explaining the function of our robot to the children.
Texas Torque is proud to be such an influential factor in the scientific growth of our community’s youth. We are continuing these efforts with more demonstrations in the near future and we will certainly continue to strive for an even greater impact.
In addition to the Houston Astros vs. Detroit Tigers game, there were FIRST teams all around Minute Maid Park this past Sunday. Texas Torque joined forces with robotics teams from around Houston to demonstrate their hard work and “Make it Loud”. Texas Torque was pleased to have organized this event for the second time in a row, and hope to establish this as an annual off-season event for all of the teams in the Houston area.
Starting early in the morning, robots could be seen everywhere in Minute Maid Park. 1477 Texas Torque and 624 CRyptonite demonstrated their 2013 robots from Ultimate Ascent in Union Station, much to the entertainment of the crowds. Our team members were happy to encourage the young children in attendance to join FIRST robotics teams in their schools. Just outside the entrance gates, robots from Aerial Assist performed alongside eachvother, propelling the 2014 game pieces into the air. As the Astro’s game spectators walked along the park’s inner rim, all of the teams had booths set up, playing release videos, showing off 2012 robots, and handing out stickers, buttons, and brochures. All of the teams in attendance were happy to answer the questions from the crowds and were proud to promote FIRST in our community.
FIRST Pitch was a huge success thanks to support by the Astros’ administration and management. We hope to continue our partnership with them, so that we may promote FIRST in the years to come.
A huge shout out to the other teams in attendance, 624 CRypotnite, 148 Robowranglers, 3847 Spectrum, and 2587 Discobots. Texas Torque would like to thank these teams again for their time, support, and participation in this event.
Texas Torque had a very successful demo this past week at the grand opening of the Microsoft Store in The Woodlands. While there, Texas Torque engaged people of all ages by speaking about FIRST, FRC, and our team as the crowds waited to enter the store. We then showed off our 2012 Rebound Rumble robot and handed out stickers to the attending children. In addition to these normal demo activities, Texas Torque also had the opportunity to meet with James “The Beard” Harden, an olympic gold medalist and professional basketball player for The Rockets. Students were able to “Make it Loud” by talking to Harden about both FIRST Robotics and Texas Torque. Harden then signed our 2012 robot, Velociriptar, and in return Texas Torque offered him one of our iconic t-shirts.
This past Fourth of July, Texas Torque team members walked the 1.3 mile stretch for this year’s city parade held annually in The Woodlands, Texas. Between the South Pacific musical and the firetruck, kids watched in awe as our robot, Rev1, shot 2 feet in diameter exercise balls to the crowd of Torque following behind. Proudly wearing it’s patriotism, Rev1 performed at its highest, mounted where all could see. Stickers and smiles were shared throughout the crowd as Texas Torque displayed it’s patriotism and spread the enjoyment of FIRST to an excited community.
We hope to participate in this wondrous event in the upcoming years, continuing to Make It Loud!
This past weekend, Texas Torque took part in the Texas Robotics Invitational, a new off-season event hosted by FRC 3847 (Spectrum). A total of 32 teams attended the competition, including several pre-rookie teams. The main objective of the event was to give local teams some play-time and practice. Texas Torque assisted in this goal by providing one of our one of our bots, Bravo, to the pre-rookie team FRC 9999.
The team performed well throughout the qualifying matches, finishing 3rd from from all of the teams participating in the event. Texas Torque was thrilled to invite teams FRC 57 (Leopards), FRC 5287 (Flare), and FRC 4639 (Spartan) to our alliance. Unfortunately, the team lost in the quarterfinals to the first seeded alliance, led by FRC 2468 (Appreciate). Torque is excited to congratulate FRC 624 (CRyptonite), the alliance captain of the winning team, and its partners FRC 3847, FRC 1429 (KAOS), and FRC 5070 (Gearnotics).
Texas Torque would like to thank FRC 3847 for planning, organizing, and hosting TRI this year. We also greatly appreciate the numerous volunteers and Lone Star Regional Committee for making the event possible. Torque also would like to thank our alliance partners for their much-valued efforts.
The event was essential to helping us learn and prepare for next season’s regional competitions, and enjoyed seeing our fellow Texas teams hard at work. Overall, this competition was a great experience and was important for fostering close relations with the other teams in our community. We look forward to seeing both our traditional friend teams and the new pre-rookie teams at next season’s competitions!