2016 Banquet

June 10, 2016 in FRC

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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.)

Sci:// Tech Demonstration

February 16, 2016 in Slideshow

On January 30th, Texas Torque joined a score of other science themed activities at the Lone Star Convention Center for a day of exhibitioning and demonstrating. Holding a spot next to the Elementary Science Fair, our team brought out our 2012 robot Velociriptar and our 2013 world championship winning robot Sonic for a total of 6 hours of demonstration. We explained functions, mechanisms, and processes behind the robot’s construction and operation to scores of young students, parents, and interested individuals. We also drove the robots around to show how they worked in action.

Our space, which was shared with FLL, VEX, and BEST, showcased the benefits of robotics and engineering and all the opportunities that our district offered. With our layout, we managed to demonstrate and explain an optional progression through robotics programs as kids went through their schools and educations.

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Many eager young minds found inspiration to begin their explorations into science through this demonstration, and we look forward to coming here again next year.

Kickoff 2016 (FIRST Stronghold)

January 9, 2016 in Slideshow

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 Alamo!

Houston Maker Faire

November 15, 2015 in Slideshow

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.

More info and a comprehensive maker participant guide can be found here and here, respectively.