3 min read

Wolfpack and Lupine win at First Tech Challenge Qualifier


Robotics update from Francis, First Tech Challenge (FTC) Coach:
I am happy to report that Waring School's two FTC teams had a great weekend at the recent FTC qualifier. Both teams had a great morning, during which they played their qualifying matches. Qualifying matches are the matches played in the first half of a tournament that determine each team's ability to become a captain of an alliance in the afternoon of the tournament. Lupine, one of Waring's two FTC teams, came in 5th in the qualifying rounds with a record of 5 and 1.  Wolfpack, the other team, came in 1st in the qualifying rounds with a record of 6 and 0.  Both teams had scrambles, breakdowns, and quick-thinking saves throughout the morning, but came through well.  
A particularly memorable example of quick thinking occured when Lupine's robot knocked into a pole and its claw was forced into a higher position, meaning it could not pick up cones from their bottoms any more.  On the fly, sophomore Evan made a quick adjustment and placed the cones onto the field by staking them one on top of the other so that the topmost cone could be grabbed by the robot's broken claw.  It was a creative and insightful decision that saved the match!  With the claw out of position, 9th graders Avery and Dylan drove the robot to the tall poles that they were trying to drop the cones on, but couldn't drop them from the typical low height due to the broken claw. There was much laughter and cheering in the audience as Avery and Dylan dropped the cones from several feet above the poles. It got the whole crowd going.  If you want to see this match, go to 3:15:00 at this link.  
Wolfpack's day was also bumpy, though they won every match. They broke a number of parts inside the robot due to the pernicious effects of putting LockTight on Polycarbonate. The LockTight eventually turns what is normally an indestructible plastic into dust over several weeks due to an adverse chemical reaction. Emergency manufacturing using tiny aluminium rods and a drill saved the day!  
In the afternoon, Wolfpack had the top position coming out of qualifiers and so could choose any team to join them on the first alliance.  They chose Lupine!
Lupine and Wolfpack at RoboStorm 7.2 at Andover High School on January 22 
Together the two teams won the elimination rounds.  During the first match of the finals Wolfpack had a partial breakdown, but Lupine stepped up, scoring cone after cone and saved the match.  During the final match of the Finals, both robots were in good repair and set the highest score of the tournament and won the match.  If you want to see that match, watch from 5:33:30 at this link.  
Both teams won multiple awards.  Lupine won the Think Award, which honors the team with the best Engineering process.  They also won the Second Place Inspire Award.  Inspire recognizes the top overall team.  They also won Winning Alliance First Pick.  
Wolfpack won the Connect Award, which recognizes the team that does the most in terms of internal education and the best work with STEM professionals.  They also won the Winning Alliance Captain.  Wolfpack was not eligible to win the Inspire Award because they already won it at the Glen Allen Qualifier in Virginia in December.  
Both teams are looking forward to more events in the near future!
Visit the link below to see Wolfpack's favorite match of the tournament, and check out the other Wolfpack and Lupine videos on the YouTube channel


Francis Schaeffer
Written by Francis Schaeffer