The ChallengeWhat is the Tech Challenge? It isn’t just building a robot… In a team of 6 to 15 members the challenge is to build, program and operate the robot in a challenging match between 4 teams, working in 2 alliances. By working on the competition, contenders learn problem-solving skills, gain useful connections with local instances such as universities and learn to work together in a team format. Besides that skills such as market building, programming in useful languages, such as Java, and reach out to their community by showing what you can achieve in the competition.
Relic Recovery 2017-2018A team consists of two drivers, a coach who can guide the drivers and a robot on the field. The two drivers must control their robot and guide it to perform actions which will gain them points. The match is divided in 2 periods, the first 30 seconds are autonomous, the robot can’t be controlled and is working solely based on pre-programmed instructions. After this, the last 1,5 minutes are driver controlled. Two teams work together in an alliance, a "team" that lasts for the length of the match. Every point you score counts for your alliance, not for your team. There are multiple ways to score points on the field:
Autonomous:- Prior to the start of the match, teams can balance their robot on a balancing stone.
- 2 jewels (plastic balls) are positioned on the side of the field. If a team manages to only leave the jewel with its team colour standing, they gain points.
- Placing a glyph (a foam block) inside a box will give points. A box is 3 by 4 blocks in size, so a total of 12 blocks fit in the box. If a robot manages to scan a randomised, but predetermined, image, and place the respective glyph inside the corresponding box, you gain extra points.
- If your robot is parked in a safe-zone (a taped off zone on the field, in front of the box) at the end of the period, you gain points.
Driver:- Per glyph in a cryptobox, the alliance gains points. Extra points can be gained by filling an entire row or column. There are also patterns you can make with the two colours of glyphs, creating a predetermined pattern scores you more points.
- Personnel has placed “relics” along the field wall, foam shapes looking like play dolls. If a team has filled an entire cryptobox they can move this relic over the field wall, the further the relic, the more points you can get. If you haven’t filled the entire box yet, a team must wait until the ‘’end game,’’ the last 30 seconds of the game, before they can score points with the relics. Extra points are gained for an upright relic.
As you can see, the match itself offers numerous ways to score points. Our task is to figure out how we can work our way around this and score the most points.
We’ve been working on the robot for almost two months now, and we are getting closer to a multi-purpose robot every single day. It seems the more problems we solve, the more problems arrive, but that doesn’t matter, we see new things every day. It’s a learning process! For now we need more time, but we hope we can have a scoring robot before 2018!