Category Archives: Competition

CVR (Central Valley Regional)

The Central Valley Regional began on Friday, even though official matches didn’t take place until Saturday. On Friday, many changes were made to the robot. The entire robot was taken apart and put back together all in one day, and luckily the hard work paid off. The belly pan of the robot was much stronger, motors were running smoothly, and the entire robot weighed under the maximum one hundred and twenty pounds. Matches began on Saturday, and things were running smoothly until communication issues between the field and robot began to come up. Even though these problems arose, the team took them in stride and worked hard to fix the issue, learning and having fun along the way. At the end of the competition, even though the robot didn’t perform as well as the team had wanted it to, the team was rewarded with two awards for their hard work: the Imagery Award and the Safety Award. Even with the setbacks, the team had a great learning experience full of fun and competitiveness unlike anything else, connecting with fellow FRC teams throughout the event.

 

 

Miyo Imai

Class of 2018

CVR was a great regional once again and this year the team came home with two awards and a Dean’s List Finalist. These were all results of years of hard work towards team branding, safety, structure, and sustainability. When the robot was functioning, it performed amazingly well as it sped through defenses which fit in perfectly with our strategic vision. We did run into some communication problems but after intensive testing, we were able to identify the problem and are working to fix it. I got to bond with my teammates and make new friends which made the experience even better, especially when I got to see my friends get recognized for their achievements too. Can’t wait for SVR!

Minh-Chau Doan

Class of 2017

October Projects

The October project was a great way for me to get to know the rookies and to prepare my mind for build season. I was amazed to see the different projectors that each group came up with even when give the same goal. After interacting with the rookies and girls from other committees, I am definitely more excited to see how everyone’s unique and creative thoughts will be applied to this years game. This project benefited me as it was a tiny refresher of the process of build season.

Kimberly Zhang

Class of 2017

It’s not easy having a million ideas in your head and only one month to take one idea, build it, and make it work. When the team was told that we had three weeks to brainstorm and build something that could shoot a specific ball for a certain number of feet away, I was so excited. I was paired up with two other rookies and two veterans to shoot a ping-pong ball at least 4 feet away, and I immediately thought the idea of a catapult. Our prototype worked pretty well, so the veterans in the group suggested that we should rebuild it out of metal and maybe use a piston. Building the final was quite stressful since we almost ran out of time in learning about angle brackets to connect extrusions. Unfortunately our final presentation and run didn’t work as well as we hoped since the piston was a new concept; however, I’m still glad that I got to work on this project, because I made tons of great memories and friends with the other veterans and rookies. After October, I’m really pumped to learn and work more in the Mechanical Committee. I never would have guessed that robotics would be the thing for me, but now I’m sure.

Shreya Basireddy

Class of 2019

I had an amazing time working on the October projects. I’m new to the team and this was my first time. It really helped me adjust to being on the team. At first I was embarrassed that I didn’t understand what the veterans were actually talking about, but after working with them I was able to ask for help understanding things when I needed to. I realized later how important brainstorming is, because the machine would not have worked out as well without all of the planning. When we started prototyping, there were also challenges, such as constant testing, retesting, reforming, and at one point, we changed the method of how we were going to shoot the ball altogether. I feel this really prepared me for build season, because I’ve heard its really stressful and that week is so crucial because thats when most of the work is done.In the end our project turned out so well, and we even finished early.

Naomi Dasari

Class of 2018

CalGames 2015

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By Tamara Kawa, Class of 2016

On October 2-3, the Notre Dame Robotics Team attended CalGames, an annual off season competition held in the Bay Area. A replay of the 2015 FRC game, Recycle Rush, CalGames gave the Janksters an opportunity to improve their 2015 robot and relive their last season, while also introducing their newest members to the FIRST Robotics experience. The Janksters spent several weeks preparing for this event, repairing the robot’s mechanisms, programming new functions, and training the robot’s drivers until, finally, October 2 arrived. The Janksters could hardly wait to get back into action.

On Friday, Team 1967 arrived at Lynbrook High School and set up their pit alongside 35 other FRC teams, eager for the competition to begin. From Friday evening to Saturday afternoon, the Janksters competed against other teams to see who could stack the most gray totes and recycling containers in two minutes. The hours of robot repairs started to pay off; Emma Ryan, ‘18, noted that “It’s amazing how fixing some little things made the robot much better…our point average [was] way better than at some of our regionals.” By Saturday, Team 1967 had risen to 8th place – an all-time high for this season! – and progressed into playoffs. With Team 1868 (the Space Cookies) and Team 1072 (Harker Robotics) on their alliance, the Janksters blazed through the matches, making it to quarterfinals before being eliminated. Despite not winning, the Janksters couldn’t have been more proud of their robot and their hard work.

Then, the Janksters received a surprise – their mentor, Alvin Cheng, received recognition as “Volunteer of the Year”! One of the longest-standing mentors, Alvin is one of the team’s biggest supporters and motivators, and the students see him as a big brother. To all the students on Team 1967, Alvin is a hero who deserves recognition within the community. “Alvin getting this type of recognition is long overdue” said Tamara Kawa, ‘16, “because he’s been with our team almost since the beginning. Actually, he should get ‘Volunteer of the Decade,’ because that’s how long he’s been with us!”

By the end of the competition, everyone on Team 1967 had been able to try something new. Many of the returning students had taken on new responsibilities, such as drive team or teaching students. Nikita Jagdish, ‘18, tried drive team out, reflecting that “when I first joined robotics last year, I had no interest in joining, but now I’m proud of myself for trying it out.” The rookies, for their part, found themselves in an entirely new world, learning about game strategy, engineering and business, and how to dance the Cupid Shuffle. As Tani Pham, ‘19, said “I’m really tired, but it’s a good type of tired…I feel accomplished today.” No one left CalGames without a new story to tell, and the Janksters eagerly wait to see what the 2016 season has in store.

 

Silicon Valley Regional (SVR)

 

Friday was a really exciting day for everyone. The real matches were actually starting and we had a working robot. Grace moved in all of our matches and we even got to stack four totes. This was an improvement and got the team pumped up for more matches. Friday wasn’t just fun seeing our robot improve but it was also cool to see the other robots. We saw most of the robots before at the Central Valley Regional, but almost all of the robots had gotten better and it was nice to see different robots as well. It was great that the event was in the area as well because other people from outside of robotics came to see our work. Even our principal and vice-principal came to see Grace in the competition. It was a great experience and I know the whole team felt proud of what Grace did and what we did.

Gabby Davila
Class of 2018

Silicon Valley Regional (SVR)

Credit to Alvin

On the afternoon of Wednesday, April 1, Notre Dame High School’s robotics team, The Janksters, began to set up for the Silicon Valley Regional hosted by FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) at the San Jose State University’s Event Center. Here, the Janksters competed with 58 other high schools in stacking totes until Saturday, April 4th. For the first few days of Easter Vacation, The Janksters woke up bright and early to reach to the event and work on their robot, Grace.

On Thursday, the first day of competition, they were extraordinarily productive and able to add a new mechanism, update the programming, and so much more. The day was filled with practice rounds that aided our drive team in improving on their mistakes and preparing for matches the next day. Though only half the team was able to come in the morning, the short distance between ND and San Jose University allowed them to help out right after school.

Friday became extremely busy with qualification matches, though the Janksters remained productive both inside and outside the arena. They were able to pass out tape measures and safety maps to navigate around the many pits to other teams, while the rest of the team helped analyze other robots in “scouting” or worked on the robot . Additionally, two of our team members (Tamara Kawa ‘16 and Tiffany Ta ‘17) presented a powerpoint and video for our first attempt at the Chairman’s Award—an award given to one team at every competition to congratulate and reward them for their impact on their own communities outside of their own robot. Though the team did not end up receiving the award, we congratulate them on their tremendous effort.

By the end of the day, The Janksters had all of their major fixes to the robot completed,and were ready for our Team Social in the ND campus that night. For the social, Space Cookies Robotics (Girl Scouts), “Rockin” Bots (Carmel High School), Presentation Invasion (Presentation High School), Carrillo Cybernetics (Maria Carrillo High School), and finally a team from China, Mars Style, were all invited to dance, play frisbee, and enjoy a wonderful meal with The Janksters. It was fun to be able to relax during the intensity of competition.
After finishing qualification matches, Saturday was the day for alliance selections and announcing the winner. While The Janksters did not move on to the final, they are proud of their progress and remain excited for future events. It was a wonderful competition, in which the team was able to overcome many obstacles as well as accomplishments within the span of only a few days, making it a fun finale to a great build and competition season.

Friday was a really exciting day for everyone. The real matches were actually starting and we had a working robot. Grace moved in all of our matches and we even got to stack four totes. This was an improvement and got the team pumped up for more matches. Friday wasn’t just fun seeing our robot improve but it was also cool to see the other robots. We saw most of the robots before at the Central Valley Regional, but almost all of the robots had gotten better and it was nice to see different robots as well. It was great that the event was in the area as well because other people from outside of robotics came to see our work. Even our principal and vice-principal came to see Grace in the competition. It was a great experience and I know the whole team felt proud of what Grace did and what we did.

– Gabby Davila

Class of 2018

Team Social

 

The robotics team social was probably my favorite moment during the whole robotics season. It was a really nice to get to meet with other teams and get to know them! I had a great time dancing with the other teams (and learning new dances from the international teams) and playing frisbee in the dark. Our parents made greaCan’t wait for next year’s team social!!

Stephanie Boyer
Class of 2017

Central Valley Regional

 

Friday was the first actual day of competition where the team made a lot of changes and improvements to Grace.  We were able to finish building our sub-system mechanisms, which include the reorientation, singulation, forklift, and the boxlift. Drive team was even able to briefly test out all of Grace’s functions before the actual matches started. But Friday wasn’t all work and no play.  A lot of our members had a lot of fun pit scouting the other teams and getting information about their robots. The safety glasses table was especially fun for the team because it gave everyone a chance to unwind and relax from the busy competition.  We ended our chaotic day with a dinner at Sweet Tomatoes, where everyone especially enjoyed the unlimited ice cream sundaes available at our liking.

Paulina Robles
Class of 2017

The first few matches on Saturday went perfectly, and most of the pit crew’s work was tidying up the pit. However, at lunchtime, one of Grace’s ropes snapped during drive practice, and we had approximately 15 minutes to replace it before the next match. I was put in charge of that, and we replaced the rope in time. It was stressful to be working with a clock ticking, but at the same time, it was an exhilarating experience that helped me learn a lot about the weak points on the robot and how to counteract them. Unfortunately, all of the ropes decided that they had had enough, and they snapped one by one. Even though we played a match with our main mechanism inoperable because we had not had enough time to fix broken part, the drive team was still able to score points by pulling totes from the center field. At the end of the day, we were ranked 33rd. To me, our ranking didn’t matter much because we were able to get a robot onto the field that could play the game in some way for every match.

Julia Hunt
Class of 2018

Sunday was the last day of our competition and while we may not have won we had gained a lot. From the start we knew we were at a disadvantage because our team simply did not have the resources that other teams had. However, what we did have was spirit and determination. Even though we consisted of a team where most of its members had two or less years of experience, we still managed to build a robot that functioned. The robot made it out to every match and could participate in every match. To top that off we had enormous support for the drive team. Both of these showed that we are a team that is capable and still growing. I can’t wait for the next competition so that we can show off our Jankster spirit!

Natasha Palamuttam
Class of 2015

Central Valley Regional

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Written by Minh-Chau Doan (Class of 2017)

The Janksters had an amazing and productive weekend at Central Valley Regional this year.

On March 7th and 8th, the Janksters participated in the Central Valley Regional at Madera.However, some girls were in the city as early as March 5th, working hard to ensure that our first competition in the 2015 season would be a success.

On Thursday March 5th, 16 girls headed towards Madera right after school. We unpacked the robot and headed out for dinner at an In ‘N Out in walking distance from our hotel, La Quinta. After feasting on delicious milkshakes, burgers, and fries, some chose to do team bonding by diving headfirst into the cold swimming pool. The temperature definitely refreshed us for the next day.

While Friday March 6th was a preparation day, the Janksters got a lot done. From 8:30 in the morning to 7:00 at night, we made changes to our robot Grace. By the end of the day, we had shaved off approximately 5 pounds off her, a miraculous feat considering the fact that we didn’t removed any mechanisms from the build season. The programming committee also had time to play with the code for autonomous mode (the first fifteen seconds of a match where robots ran on pre-programmed code). We fit in one practice match and the drive team performed spectacularly. They had gotten very little practice and Grace had lost connection but they persisted and our human player threw litter for points instead.

Such flexibility was shown throughout the two days of competition. When one of the pulleys broke, the team pushed on and went for coopertition points instead. Whenever there was a lull for our human player, she would make use of the time by throwing the litter for points. During autonomous mode, Grace moved into the auto zone (thus qualifying for points) every match. Grace also arrived at all of her matches, no matter her condition. The team’s consistent performance was shown when towards the end of Saturday, we were able to reliable make one stack of four totes each match.

At Madera, the Janksters were recognized for our safety. Our safety captain, Gillian was Safety Star of the Day, despite this being her first year on the team. We manned the safety glasses tables throughout the entire competition. Gillian drew up a safety pit map that showed all the teams and what safety equipments they had. We also put up safety posters all throughout the competition.

From Central Valley Regional, we were able to learn a lot about strategy. We also saw the strengths and weaknesses of the team and the robot.

We are now planning and working on improvements for Silicon Valley Regional!

Friday was the first actual day of competition where the team made a lot of changes and improvements to Grace.  We were able to finish building our sub-system mechanisms, which include the reorientation, singulation, forklift, and the boxlift. Drive team was even able to briefly test out all of Grace’s functions before the actual matches started. But Friday wasn’t all work and no play.  A lot of our members had a lot of fun pit scouting the other teams and getting information about their robots. The safety glasses table was especially fun for the team because it gave everyone a chance to unwind and relax from the busy competition.  We ended our busy day with a dinner at Sweet Tomatoes, where everyone especially enjoyed the unlimited ice cream sundaes available at our liking.

– Paulina Robles
Class of 2017

The first few matches on Saturday went perfectly, and most of the pit crew’s work was tidying up the pit. However, at lunchtime, one of Grace’s ropes snapped during drive practice, and we had approximately 15 minutes to replace it before the next match. I was put in charge of that, and we replaced the rope in time. It was stressful to be working with a clock ticking, but at the same time, it was an exhilarating experience that helped me learn a lot about the weak points on the robot and how to counteract them. Unfortunately, all of the ropes decided that they had had enough, and they snapped one by one. Even though we played a match with our main mechanism inoperable because we had not had enough time to fix broken part, the drive team was still able to score points by pulling totes from the center field. At the end of the day, we were ranked 33rd. To me, our ranking didn’t matter much because we were able to get a robot onto the field that could play the game in some way for every match.

– Julia Hunt

Class of 2018

Sunday was the last day of our competition and while we may not have won we had gained a lot. From the start we knew we were at a disadvantage because our team simply did not have the resources that other teams had. However, what we did have was spirit and determination. Even though we consisted of a team where most of its members had two or less years of experience, we still managed to build a robot that functioned. The robot made it out to every match and could participate in every match. To top that off we had enormous support for the drive team. Both of these showed that we are a team that is capable and still growing. I can’t wait for the next competition so that we can show off our Jankster spirit!

– Natasha Palamuttam

Class of 2015

CalGames

Cal Games
Oct. 10, 2014

As a rookie attending Cal Games, I could not have imagined the level of energy present. Patches of colors, some big, some small, decorated the stands, as teams sat together anticipating the beginning of the competition. At first I was overwhelmed and thankful to have the rest of the team with me. The highlight of Cal Games was when some of the mascots ran across the front of the stands waving their team’s flag. The entire gym was alive with activity and there was never once a dull moment. I can’t wait for the next competition and a chance to be fully active and enthusiastic member of the jankster team!

Natasha Palamuttam
Class of 2015

I had an exhilarating experience at Calgames 2014. It was my second time at this off-season event, but this was the best off-season event I have ever been too! This time, I was able to take a leadership position. I had a group of rookies with me and I guided them over the course of two days. My most favorite part of Calgames was the mini spirit-off the Janksters had against the Wildhats. It was all fun and games but it was definitely a fun experience.

Anya Thakur
Class of 2017

CalGames

As a rookie attending Cal Games, I could not have imagined the level of energy present. Patches of colors, some big, some small, decorated the stands, as teams sat together anticipating the beginning of the competition. At first I was overwhelmed and thankful to have the rest of the team with me. The highlight of Cal Games was when some of the mascots ran across the front of the stands waving their team’s flag. The entire gym was alive with activity and there was never once a dull moment. I can’t wait for the next competition and a chance to be fully active and enthusiastic member of the jankster team!

– Natasha Palamuttam

Class of 2015

I had an exhilarating experience at Calgames 2014. It was my second time at this off-season event, but this was the best off-season event I have ever been too! This time, I was able to take a leadership position. I had a group of rookies with me and I guided them over the course of two days. My most favorite part of Calgames was the mini spirit-off the Janksters had against the Wildhats. It was all fun and games but it was definitely a fun experience.

–Anya Thakur

Class of 2017

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