January 12, 2013, Bellevue, WA – Amid cheering fans and loud rock music, Swerve’s two robotics teams, Sigma and Alpha, competed at the Washington State FTC Championship alongside 20 other top-ranked robotics teams from the Puget Sound region and two dynamic teams from Oregon. Decked out in their pink fedoras, Sigma played strong defense throughout the tournament and in an interesting twist, won one of only two coveted spots representing the state of Washington at the FIRST Tech Challenge®World Championship in St. Louis this April.
As it turns out, King’s School team, the CyberKnights, won the tournament as Captain of the winning Alliance, and they also won the prestigious Inspire Award. Since CyberKnights had already captured two spots for the World Championship, the Inspire Award was then awarded to the second place finalist for that award, which was Sigma! The Inspire Award is awarded to the team that best represents all aspects of the FTC program. The team is evaluated in the areas of robot performance, community outreach, engineering, and gracious professionalism. Sigma was thrilled to qualify for World Championship.
Sigma also won the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award, an award that honors the team that not only thinks outside the box, but also has the ingenuity and inventiveness to make their designs come to life. This award recognizes an innovative and creative robot design solution to the game.
Sigma’s sister team, Alpha, was awarded the coveted PTC Design Award. This judged award recognizes the design elements of the robot that are both functional and aesthetic. All successful robots have innovative design aspects; however, the PTC Design Award is presented to teams that incorporate industrial design elements into their solution. Alpha also persevered in the robot competition to place fifth overall in the qualification matches. No doubt that their screaming green fedoras, decorated with flashing LED lights, must have blinded their competition.
“The students from both teams have worked hard,” said Heidi Lovett, lead mentor and team coach. Other team members agreed that “the whole point of this is gracious professionalism,” noting the value of the mentoring, fundraising, engineering and other skills that they are learning along the way.
Countdown to St. Louis
With the FTC World Championship fast approaching, both teams are busily preparing for the event. Sigma continues to refine their robot design and strategy and Alpha is working on a plan for the pit area. Both teams are focusing on fundraising for their trip to St. Louis.
Read about the history of Swerve Robotics Club here.