By Liam Martin ’10
The Brophy Robotics team took sixth place out of 56 teams in the statewide First Robotics Competition March 11-13 at Phoenix Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Despite early technical difficulties they were able to come back to make the “best showing the club has had,” according to Brophy Robotics Team President Danny Hintze ’10.
“As president, I was enormously proud of everyone on the team this season. We pulled together and did some things I thought were impossible during the tournament,” Hintze said in an online interview.
The team had to ship their robot two weeks prior to the competition, and they weren’t certain whether everything was working when they put it in the crate, according to Robotics Team Moderator Mr. Andy Mazzolini.
On Thursday, March 11, the first day of the competition, the robot “still had problems, and they got worse throughout the day,” Mazzolini wrote in an e-mail.
Thursday was the practice day, and although the team missed all of their bouts, they were able to repair the “kicker,” the mechanism that allows the robot to kick the soccer ball in order to score points. For more information regarding the rules and nature of the matches themselves, go to www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc.
On Friday there were further problems, this time with the programming, but they were straightened out and by the end of the day the team had advance to 14th place, and by Saturday to sixth, according to Mr. Mazzolini.
Moving into the finals, the top eight teams are able to choose other teams to form their “alliances” of three teams each.
These alliances compete in best two out of three matches.
The Brophy team’s alliance won the first match, winning two games in a row.
They then advanced to the semifinals, tying the opposing alliance the first game, but losing the remaining two “by a few points,” according to Hintze.
The alliance that eliminated the Brophy team went on to win the competition.
“We were the only ones to give the championship alliance any competition,” Hintze said. “The match we were eliminated in was effectively the championship, because the (actual) championship match was nowhere near as close.”
Hintze added that the team is always looking for new people.
“Being on the team means solving complex problems with an amazing group of people. There’s no better time to be had,” he said.