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Weathering Preliminary Sandstorms - Week 0

Drivebase Freddie with makeshift bumper mounting undergoing a battery change in queue during the Week 0 competition held in Merrimack, NH.

On Saturday February 16th, The Force Team attended the Week 0 competition in Merrimack, NH, where FIRST® gets to test their field before the competition season actually begins. At this event, the setup mirrors a real event with qualification matches in the morning and elimination matches in the afternoon, but there are no awards and no inspection. The match play gave our scouting team an opportunity to test our scouting application. Matches also allow for drive team and pit crew to practice for real matches for Destination: Deep Space.

We brought two drive bases: 2018 Puzzles and 2019 Freddie. For all matches, these drive bases began on the 2nd level HAB platform, practiced cycles, and tried out defense with our strong drivetrains, as designed. Puzzles ran the first match, where we tested out software PID drive. Freddie, drive train only, with duct-taped bumpers was used for the second match, but without pneumatics hooked up, drifted all over the field. The third match went well with pneumatics hooked up and the bumper mounts in place, but the drive team learned quickly that this mounting design was faulty, and pit crew rapidly began brainstorming a new bumper mounting design. Freddie was captain of the 4th alliance, and played through to semi-finals with partners 501 the PowerKnights from Manchester, NH and 1729 Inconceivable! from Peterborough, NH needed to go home for repairs.

Scouters learned a lot through training, matches, and working with this year's app. Over the course of the day, some people took shifts, asked questions, and learned about the difficult sight-lines of the field. The Force Team made lots of notes for the software team to then make improvements for the system's use at real district events. The paper version of the scouting system is also available in the event the tablets are not working properly, which this year we are sharing closely with 3467 Windham Windup from Windham, NH.

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