Build Season ended about three weeks ago. In that time, GRT has been to the week one FIRST Robotics Competition in Del Mar. The team sent a skeleton crew, including the drivers of the robot, subgroup leaders, and the leadership team, to the competition. This was the first competition for a few of the rookies in the crew and it was a very exciting experience. As this was a week one competition, many teams were still working out kinks in their robots and getting practice driving and competing. GRT was one of these teams. Del Mar was a good learning experience. Although GRT was working through some problems with the robot and the competition routine in general, being at the competition allowed the crew to get a feel for the competition atmosphere and provided them the chance to problem-solve and learn on the fly.
In the competition, GRT finished as the fourteenth ranked robot out of thirty-five total teams. Although the team didn’t finish as one of the eight alliance captains, we were selected as the second pick for the eighth seed alliance. This meant that GRT would be matched up with the first seed alliance in the quarterfinals. This was a difficult match for the team and GRT ended up losing. Still, the team saw great growth in Del Mar, both in learning how to compete and in the performance of the robot. GRT left Del Mar with a better robot than which it entered with.
The team also won the Autonomous Award sponsored by Ford! This was a huge accomplishment for our controls team. Though GRT is still improving its autonomous, the new and complex techniques implemented by the controls team led to the judges awarding us this award.
All in all, the Del Mar Competition was a great experience for GRT. In the coming weeks, we will be preparing for our next competition in Monterey, to which the whole team will be traveling.