Bionic Brouhaha II: The Second One Recap

After a long time of preparing, yesterday, January 10th, brought us the Bionic Brouhaha II: The Second One Mid Hudson Qualifying Tournament for the Empire NY Region.

We could not have asked for a better tournament event! 21 teams from the Empire, NYC / LI, and Connecticut Regions were in attendance despite Friday’s snowstorm. Everyone seemed to have a great day, and our 9541 Xeno Gaels had an exciting first tournament.

Our opening ceremonies included comments from KCHS President Fr. Vaillancourt, Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino’s Chief of Staff  George Oros, and Somers Town Supervisior Rick Morrissey.  January 10, 2015 was proclaimed to be Technology Day in the Town of Somers to commend the Bionic Gaels and teams present for their hard work in FTC (check out around 7:30 to see it during the ceremony).

The game play was great, with scores reaching the 200’s. We saw successful autonomous modes drive off the ramp, move goals to the parking zone, and hit down the kickstand. During the teleop, there was lots of goal moving and scoring in the goals. Several teams made the 120 cm goal!

Our winning alliance was 28 PolyGnomes, 6081 i²robotics, and 7487 Super 7. Our finalist alliance was 9541 Xeno Gaels, 7094 Basementalists, and 36 Wyverns.

Finally, we had a wonderful closing ceremony with awards presented to very well-deserved teams.  The advancing teams were us, 5602 Bionic Gaels (for hosting), 6081 i²robotics for the Inspire Award, 28 PolyGnomes for the Winning Alliance Captain, 7890 Space Lions for Inspire Runner-Up, 7094 Basementalists for Inspire 2nd Runner-Up, 7487 Super 7 for Winning Alliance 2nd Pick, and 5017 RoboEpic for the Think Award.

All-in-all, it was a great day. Congratulations to our 21 teams, you played well and made the event worth it to us volunteers. Bring on Bionic Brouhaha 3!

Posted in Community, Events

How To Tournament: A Guide

Happy New Year everyone!

For some of you, like 9541 Xeno Gaels, there are but 9 days until a tournament. On January 10th, we will be hosting Bionic Brouhaha II: The Second One. This will be 9541’s first-ever tournament, so to help them out, we whipped up a guide for making the day run as smoothly as possible.

We call it “How To Tournament,” and we are posting it as a PDF for everyone to read. It is mainly aimed at rookies who have never “tournamented” before, but there might be some tips for veterans too. Feel free to comment with other things that might be of help that we can add in later!

Open “how to tournament” here!

Posted in Community

2014 in review

This year was fairly momentous for the Bionic Gaels. In January, we hosted our first ever tournament. In February, we qualified for the East Super Regional. In March, we were on the Winning Alliance of the Connecticut State Championship…. Well, if I keep going on it will just get boring. All in all, between the end of Block Party! and the beginning of Cascade Effect! we have had the great fortune of many successes, all of which we owe to our gracious sponsors and dedicated mentors. Thanks to everyone who has helped us along our FIRST journey!

As 2014 closes, we hope you had a wonderful year and wish just the same for 2015! To see how our blog did this past year, checkout a super cool annual report:

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,600 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 60 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in Uncategorized

Bionic Brouhaha II: The Second One

2014-2015 FTC Season Game: Cascade Effect

We’ll be hosting the 2014-2015 Empire NY FTC Mid-Hudson Qualifying Tournament on Saturday, January 10 at Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers, NY. The Bionic Brouhaha is the third of five qualifying tournaments for the Empire NY FTC Region (formerly known as the Hudson Valley Region). This is our second year hosting, and we’re looking forward to another fun tournament.

Please drop by to check out the competition!

Stay tuned for more information and schedule details.

UPDATE 1: We started a separate information page for the tournament.

UPDATE 2: Articles about the tournament in the Somers Daily Voice and on the Kennedy Catholic website.

Posted in Events

Sharkflake Qualifier

Yesterday, December 20th, five of us went down to John Dewey High School to compete in a qualifier for the NYC/LI Region.

The day was rather hectic as it got off to a late start and some teams didn’t come, but overall, it turned out to be a great day. The delay even corrected itself, and we were able to go home on time!

In competition, we won two matches and lost three. The ones we lost were either because we lost control during game play (which we learned was due to servo programming, not to electrical problems, if you caught our tweets) or our partner was nonoperational. In the matches we did win, we worked well with our partners. In our first match, our partner even scored in the center goal (which was something we hadn’t seen much of at the Robo-CATastrope IV)!

At the end of the day, we ranked 13th, coincidentally the same spot we ranked at in NJ. We were a finalist for the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award for the first time ever; we believe this was connected to our linear ball bearing lift design, although it could have been other parts of the robot. And, for the first time ever, we WON the Inspire Award! Other teams had told us throughout the day that they thought we might win, but we weren’t as confident. It was quite the honor, and we hope to keep up the hard work.


Huzzah! NYC championship here we come!

Posted in Events

Festival of Trees Day 2

Today concluded our two day demo at the Ann’s Place Festival of Trees. We had a great day, and we were named an Honorable Mention in the robotics competition, with a total of 192 votes.

We were better prepared for the knock down the kickstand challenge, with plastic tubs to sit under the center goal. Therefore, we could have a lot more kids (and adults, too!) come and try the activity. It worked well–something to definitely save for later Cascade Effect! demos. Besides the challenge, we were also able to explain to more interested people how our robot works and the real-world purpose of mecanum wheels. During the day, we even met Kennedy Catholic alumni, what a small world.

All in all, this was a wonderful outreach event for a wonderful organization. We are so lucky to have been contacted to do this, hopefully we can come back for more!

Posted in Community, Events

Festival of Trees Day 1

Today we demoed at the Ann’s Place Festival of Trees (Christmas trees, and not deciduous trees, which took me several months to figure out), a wonderful fundraising event for the organization. Ann’s Place offers support to cancer survivors and their families, something we’re very proud to get behind!

For today and tomorrow, we will be showing off our robot, PT-109 and the Cascade Effect! game. We also have Ranger built so that the youngins’ can drive a robot too. Although if you saw our tweets, you’d know the day quickly (and humorously) deteriorated into “Hey kid, try and knock down the kickstand!” as we ran around collecting wiffle balls.

So far we’ve had a lot of fun, taken advantage of the time to program our ‘bot, and met six other local robotics groups. We’re so thankful to be a part of this great event!

Check back tomorrow for photos and videos of the robot row. And if you’re in the area, come on out and see for real! (And perhaps drop your robot voting ticket at our station? *wonk wonk* 😉 )

Posted in Community