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Terrorbots and Minibots

This story is a testimonial provided by FIRST Robotics Team 3623 – Terrorbots, written by Robotics Coordinator Jake Janssens. When New England’s minibot challenge rolled out, The Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leomister would soon realize that this small robot would create such a big impact within their team.

When we opened the box and I first saw the Romi, I honestly chuckled a little bit. “This thing is so simple, what are we going to get out of this thing?” Six months later, I can tell you with certainty that the reaction was so, so wrong.

In the first challenge, Mondrian Madness, we looked at the challenge and said “Why not?”. We found out it was actually programmed the same way we programmed the FRC Robot, and that’s when the lightbulb lit up . The Romi opened up an avenue for FRC specific programming that wasn’t an option before; being able to send team members home with their own robot, which they can safely learn and experiment with programming that directly translates to our competition robot

By the time Alliance Antics was unveiled, the team had already translated and modified the FRC Robot code for a path following system that an alum had created several years ago. It took some trial and error to get it to work perfectly, and many fine adjustments, as many autonomous programs do. When we competed in Alliance Antics, it felt great to watch our Romi collect the balls, herd them into the goal and park every match; a fantastic progression from our simple time-based routine from Mondrian Madness.

Alliance Antics was a great event experience, even from home, and it was wonderful to see how many different ways to approach the game teams came up with, from a simple bulldozer front like ours to the magnificent contraption our eventual alliance partner, 4905 Andromeda One, brought to the table. Our strategy was simple; bulldoze balls into the goals and cycle as fast as possible, and we were pretty successful at it.”

We would like to thank FRC-3623 for providing this testimonial to us about our challenges. We look forward to sharing more stories with the New England FIRST Community for all four programs to enjoy.

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