Knights of Alloy compete in Waterloo (11 photos)Sunday, March 25, 2012 by: SooToday.com Staff
KNIGHTS OF ALLOY
4:30 p.m. March 25 Update
Sault's robotics team eliminated in the quarter finals in Waterloo
Team 1535, the Sault’s robotics team, spent their lunch break working with alliance partners from Sudbury and North Bay to plan some strategies to tackle the challenge of facing the #2 ranked alliance team.
A new strategy in autonomous mode would attempt to try to feed the North Bay machine and allow it to make six shots in auto mode instead of the normal limit of three.
However, an electrical fault stopped Chuck’s auto routine and North Bay’s shooter tossed all three balls over the backboard.
During driver mode, Chuck struggled with control problems and could barely move along the floor, contributing little to a 49-9 loss and putting the team in a must-win for the next match.
With 45 minutes to fix the glitches, Chuck went back out in a last-ditch attempt to score the win.
Their alliance opened with 12 points in autonomous, a great start, but trouble hit Chuck immediately, when the driver’s station computer faulted out and killed the joystick controls, leaving Chuck dead on the field.
It could not have happened at a worse time, with Chuck blocking the bonus ramp.
North Bay ’s machine attempted to push Chuck up the ramp to try a double bonus, but Chuck was too heavy, and was now stuck on the ramp and off balance.
At the bell, it was a 28-18 loss, and the Sault team was eliminated in the quarter-finals.
The local ADSB team will head to Cincinnati in 10 days to compete at the Queen City Regional, their final opportunity to try to qualify for the World Championships in St. Louis.
(Knights of Alloy photo shows the 4-person team consist of driver Peter Larue, drive coach (and alumni mentor) Matt Tramblay, shooter operator Nasa Nguyen, and Human player (shooter) Noah Janzen.)
12:25 p.m. March 25 update
Knights of Alloy in the Playoffs in Waterloo
The morning round robin matches continued for Team 1535; “The Knights of Alloy” at the Waterloo Regional FIRST Robotics competition. The Sault team had two matches remaining to finish the 11-match schedule.
Match 10 would see some of the lower ranked machines together, and the Sault had time to attempt 6 shots. 5 went high and no other robots were able to shoot. In the final seconds, Chuck lobbed a long 3-pointer from outside the key to score the only basket of the match and allowed their alliance to post a 3-0 win.
The final match would be a tougher battle with 6 robots all capable of scoring. Robots were shooting all over the field with baskets scoring back and forth on both sides. Chuck added a 3-pointer to create a very close 13-12 win.
This brought the ADSB squad to a 7-4 record and a final ranking of 9th after the round robin series.
Top 8 teams would become team captains, but in a twist to most normal playoff picking routines, this league allows top teams to also invite other top teams to form alliances, which bumped the Knights of Alloy into the 7th captain position.
During alliance selections, team captain Emily Vaillancourt put out the call to team 4069, a rookie team from Sudbury, and team 1305, from North Bay, forming the first ever playoff alliance team consisting of all Northern Ontario teams.
This alliance group meets against the number two seeded alliance in the quarter final opening rounds at 1 p.m.
This alliance will stay together until they are either eliminated or proceed to the finals. Playoffs are best two out of three format.
March 23 update
Knights of Alloy compete in Waterloo
It was the opening day of competition at the Waterloo Regional FIRST robotics competition.
The Sault’s “Knights of Alloy” took to the floor in the morning, with their robot “Chuck” playing in three matches in the morning portion.
An electrical gremlin took hold early – leaving the Sault machine unable to run for more than 1-second bursts.
The local ADSB team opened with a a 34-24 loss, with Chuck unable to score. In match 2, the sluggish machine scored their team’s only basket in a difficult 48-3 loss. In match three Chuck scored once to assist in a 21-4 win.
Back to the pits and a long lunch break, which allowed programmer Peter Larue to reprogram drive motor sequence to prevent an overheating problem and Chuck started match 4 all ready to rumble.
However, a broken wire left Chuck’s shooter crippled and the Knights went on the defensive, helping the team to squeak out an 8-5 win.
At the half-way point in the day, the team stood 22nd in the field of 30 robots, with five more matches to follow in the afternoon.
Round 5 and Chuck was running on all cylinders, able to run and shoot.
Six shot attempts but none went in, while two strong teams dueled it out.
While attempting to balance on the bonus ramp, Chuck was almost up, but lost traction and slipped, flipping upside down off the ramp.
At the bell, a close 33-31 loss and the local team slipped down to 26th overall, with need of some minor repairs.
Round 6 had Chuck shooting short of the basket but their alliance still posted a 30-12 win, followed by another win in round 7 when they teamed up with the #1 ranked machine.
Round 8 saw the Sault’s machine in a bumping match, with Chuck being hit several times in mid-shot, throwing off its aim.
A successful balance with an opponent robot on the co-op bridge added two bonus seed points, though the Sault’s alliance lost the match 52-14.
The final match of the day had the Knights teamed up with North Bay, and a top-5 contender against some weak opponents.
All three of alliance machines were able to score baskets, with NBay and the Sault attempting but just missing a double balance bonus to finish with a 30-0 win.
The ADSB team climbed up to 9th overall, it’s best showing so far in the competition.
Going into the final 2 rounds of the round robin series on Saturday morning, the Sault team now stands a chance of qualifying for a playoff position, but this will be decided over those final two seed matches.
Top eight teams will become team captains and will choose their two partner teams to enter the playoffs for tomorrow afternoon.
Knights of Alloy and Chuck in Action in Waterloo March 22, 2012
The ADSB high school robotics team “The Knights of Alloy” arrived at the University of Waterloo this morning to compete with 29 other teams in the Waterloo Regional FIRST Robotics competition.
This event, one of three such events in Ontario, and over 50 regional qualifiers in the world, will see the local robotics engineering squad do battle in a 3-on-3 basketball-type game this year.
The ADSB students began with a full day of practice matches, allowing them to work out the kinks with “Chuck”, this year’s basketball-throwing machine.
And plenty of kinks it had, along with many other teams as many machines missed their morning matches due to faulty wireless modems and communications problems.
Chuck was D.O.A. in his first match, with no communications and required some modem adjustments.
Further matches showed a damaged transmission that left the robot with minimal maneuvering and required a transmission overhaul.
As matches progressed, Chuck began scoring and showed better maneuvering ability.
A further problem developed when, during inspection, it was revealed that Chuck was 7.6 pounds over the maximum 120 lb weight limit.
An instant diet of hacksaws and hole-saws and various trimming cuts brought the chunky court crusader back down under the weight limit and the team wrapped up the day with a clean inspection report and a 119.8 pound machine to get ready for the start of competition tomorrow.
Robots will play off in round-robin matched during Friday’s play, forming random teams of 3-vs-3 to gain valuable win/loss/tie points.
Round robin play will continue into Saturday morning, where overall tournament status will determine the playoff qualifiers for Saturday afternoon.
24 of the 30 teams will move on to playoff rounds, with teams attempting to score the gold-medal in the afternoon playoffs and secure an invitation to the World Robotics Championships in St. Louis next month.