Texas Robot Roundup

July 26, 2013 in Competition by Scott Rippetoe

Over the past weekend, Texas Torque traveled north to Austin, Texas for the third annual Texas Robot Roundup. Texas Torque was glad to have the opportunity to enter the tournament for the third year in a row, hoping to build on an incredible season and to reconnect with some of the best teams to have played Ultimate Ascent.

After prepping with some practice matches the day before, the team was ready to face the challenge of qualifications on Saturday. And our team certainly did not disappoint; Texas Torque won all six of its qualification rounds to enter eliminations as the the second seeded team (between  fellow undefeated teams FRC 3310 and 624). In a reversal of roles from the past weekend at IRI, Torque decided to choose team 359, The Hawaiian Kids, to join their alliance, along with teams 4587 and 3735. After breezing through the quarterfinals, the second seeded alliance lost once to teams 118, 2936, and 148, but then came back to win twice in a row, setting the high score for the event with 228 points. In the final, our alliance was finally defeated by the first seeded alliance, going home with a second place finish and the Gracious Professionalism award.

Texas Torque would firstly like to congratulate teams 624, 3310, and 2848 for their finish as the event champions. We would also like to thank team 2158, the AusTIN CANS, as well as Anderson High School, for hosting this amazing event for the third year in a row. Without the efforts of the Austin area FIRST volunteers and the Alamo FIRST organization, this event could not have been quite as enjoyable. Texas Torque definitely enjoyed the opportunity to compete with all of the fantastic Texas teams here and cannot wait for next year’s event.

For the Texas Robot Roundup news story on KVUE: http://www.kvue.com/home/Robotics-teams-square-off-in-Austin-217244531.html

Indiana Robotics Invitational

July 21, 2013 in Competition by Scott Rippetoe

From July 19th to the 20th, Texas Torque competed in the Indiana Robotics Invitational, an off-season event held in Indianapolis, IN. We were very pleased to have been one of the 69 teams competing from all of the United States and Canada. Texas was well-represented at the tournament, as teams 118, 148, 624, 2468, and 3847 also attended.

Qualification rounds began on Friday with two amazing matches by Texas Torque early on, setting the bar high for the top qualification score in the tournament. However, as with any highly competitive event, anything can happen. This was certainly evident in the next few matches, in which Team 1477 suffered a few disappointing losses. The day finished with a wonderful match with our historic alliance partner CRyptonite (624) and this year’s Championship Chairman’s Award winners, the Holy Cows (1538). All team members were glad to have a few hours of peace that night, and rested for the big day ahead.

Saturday brought a few surprises in the final qualification rounds, with two losses at the beginning of the day. However, Texas Torque finished qualifications with a bang, taking a victory in Match 95. With a strong finish, our team was chosen in the second round of alliance selection to be a part of the sixth seeded alliance, a fantastic alliance composed of teams 359, 148, 967, and ourselves. We were also glad to see that many of the Texas teams present at IRI were chosen in alliance selection.

In a heart-pounding first quarterfinal match, the sixth seeded alliance lost to the third seeded alliance by a difference of one point. And while the loss was painful, nothing could prevent such a powerful alliance from decidedly taking the next two matches, moving on to the semifinals. There, the alliance was defeated by second seeded alliance, composed of teams 67, 1310, 3476, and 862.

Texas Torque is certainly proud of its victories at IRI and is grateful for the opportunity to compete against some of the best teams in the FIRST Robotics Competition. We would like to thank teams 45 (TechnoKats), 234 (Cyber Blue), and 1024 (Kil-A-Bytes) for hosting such a brilliant event, as well as Indiana FIRST for organizing and streaming the competition. We would also like to congratulate teams 1114, 1334, 2056, and 2337 — this year’s Indiana Robotics Invitational champions.

Practice At Sonny Carter Training Facility

July 14, 2013 in Slideshow by Texas Torque

Yesterday, Texas Torque went down to Sonny Carter Training Facility to get some pre-IRI practice in before game day. The field and refreshments were graciously provided by Team 118, who also opened up their entire headquarters for several other teams. In addition to the Robonauts and ourselves, Discobots,  CRyptonite, and Spectrum were all in attendance.

Whether it was playing mock defense on each other, talking about the upcoming event, or getting another look at these incredible machines, we had a lot of fun and are excited to see everyone at IRI. Good luck to all teams competing!

Texas Torque at WOW

July 11, 2013 in Outreach, Slideshow by Scott Rippetoe

Texas Torque was delighted to spend July 8th and June 24th at the Wonders of The Woodlands Camp demonstrating our world champion robot, Sonic. Several students went over to The United Methodist Church to help get the word out about STEM and FIRST. Elementary and middle school students who were at the camp had the opportunity drive the robot and learn about electronics and engineering. We were also excited to get some information to students interested in FLL.

Link for those interested in WOW: http://www.wowsciencecamp.com/


Summer Robotics with Texas Torque

July 10, 2013 in Slideshow by Scott Rippetoe

Kids from grades 3 through 6 worked with team members of Texas Torque building and programming robots. Each camp lasted one week with the campers using the LEGO Mindstorms NXT system.

Fourth of July Parade

July 4, 2013 in Outreach, Slideshow by Scott Rippetoe

Texas Torque members took to the road this Independence Day to take part in the 17th annual South County Fourth of July Parade, held in The Woodlands, TX.

Torque students and mentors completed the 1.3 mile parade while talking to spectators about FIRST’s mission and the team’s accomplishments. There were quite a few questions about both the robot and FIRST as a whole, including a few inquiries about FIRST Lego League FIRST Tech Challenge. This year’s robot, Sonic, was also on display, shooting frisbees and maneuvering around while sporting patriotic colors, much to the thrill of the crowd.

The event as a whole was highly enjoyable for all who were present, and we hope that we will be able to participate again next year.

Texas Torque members Henning Skau (left) and Brian Wang (right) travel in the parade with Sonic in tow.