[1,000th post] Thank you!

I’ve been competing in VEX for three years now, since Skyrise. In those three years, robotics has become an integral part of my life; I spend more time on robotics each day than I do sleeping. It’s fitting that this, my 1,000th post as a member of this community, comes just days before I compete with the best teams in the world, the most difficult competition in all the land. But I would not be here without one person.

When I joined my school’s robotics club three years ago, I was a parts monkey. The club had existed one year prior, but they did not compete. We set our sights on a scissor lift, and struggled to finish it before our first competition. As it neared, we realized that I, the parts monkey, was the only one available that day. Realizing that I alone would be representing the team, my mentor tried to convince me that the competition was a fruitless endeavor, that I had better things to do that Saturday than embarrass myself with a heap of scrap metal. The Friday before realized something had gone horribly wrong with the cortex. Our drive no longer worked, as our joystick could not connect to the cortex. I went home, determined to fix it.

At home, I spent hours swimming in a mess of outdated forum posts and firmware downloads. I eventually updated the firmware, fixing the problem, then set about finishing the lift. I fell asleep, against my will, at 3:30 the following morning, in a bed of keps nuts and steel c channels, the bot still unfinished.

My family drove me two hours out to the competition, only to find that we had no pits. My mentor, assuming that I wouldn’t actually compete, had withdrawn my team from the competition by email. Fortunately, the event was a small one, and they were overjoyed at having another competitor. I worked frantically to get my scissor lift working. Seeing the opening ceremony approach, I went to talk to who I thought was the EP. I told her that my bot wasn’t working, that I was there alone, that it was my first competition, that I was better off just watching and learning. She did something I am still grateful for.

She refused, denied me. She insisted that I compete, pointing out several who would be glad to help me pass inspection, loan me parts, check my code. I ended up competing, going 2-4 in qualifiers ending up at 11th out of 17. Picked in the 6th alliance, I was eliminated in quarterfinals. However, I did one skills run, a 2-line programming skills that drove forward. By chance, it scored 1 extra point, bringing me to a score of 5, and second place. I went home dejected, but on Sunday I received a forwarded email from my mentor informing me that my team had qualified through skills for the state championship. After that, I was team captain.

It’s just one sentence on one day mid-January in 2015, but without Patty Smith, the regional RECF correspondent at the time, I would not be posting this. I doubt I would have stuck with robotics past that year.

If there was any other person who helped my team as much, it would be @JustinM. As long as I’ve known him, he’s been willing to go out of his way to help out and give advice, even helping us above his own teams. He’s bought parts for us, contacted EPs and officials on our behalf, and has answered every single Q&A I’ve asked long before it got an official answer. Without him, I’d still be doing robotics, but I very much doubt I’d be taking a trip to Louisville in a week.

The year that Patty Smith refused to let me quit, we went to state. The year after, we went to the US Open. And now, we’re going to worlds.

At the beginning of this season, I told my team that we should name our bot “The Charm.” I told them that we were going to worlds, after all, third time’s the charm. I was mostly joking at the time, but it turns out that I was right. We’re going to worlds. 5 days. 5 more days, and we’ll be there. 5 more days to prepare for the toughest competition.

So thank you. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. Thank you for showing me this new world of aluminum and wires. Thank you, to everyone who made this possible, @Patty_Smith, @JustinM, for changing my life.

Now, I continue what you started. Now, The Charm is coming.


Reveal coming by Monday.

:slight_smile: lots of good memories with you lol. I remember your robot in Skyrise at states and it is MUCH different than what you have been able to build today

Also that time your robot single-handedly turned a tournament into a meme at Prescott

Wow, thats cool. Here is my story:

My dad is the technology engineering teacher here at Boone-Apache Schools. I still remember the day he started doing vex. They were up there constantly, trying to figure out the mess of metal and wires they put together. They went to their first competition, with me (then in 2nd grade) insisting i tag along. They totally bombed it, but they loved it, and all the kids insisted they continue. I have went to every competition with my dad, and 3 years ago, was old enough to compete. My teammate and I worked countless hours to get a simple 8 bar and auto level device working. We improved a lot, and made State, Nationals, and Worlds, our first year! I look back though, and realize how much better we are now. Our second year, we had a flywheel design, with a servo that put our flywheel at different angles. We also had a program where we would push a button once, and the flywheel speed would increase by and increment of 5. Then we could push another button, and it would decrease by an increment of 5. We also made State, Nationals, and Worlds. This year has been bittersweet for us. Our original guy, who started Vex with my dad, is a senior this year. He has been undefeated in local tourneys for 3 years straight. He has been super successful at this, and will go on to major in Structural Engineering at OU. This is our last year as a middle school team, and we have made State, Nationals and Worlds 3 consecutive years. I will be taking over his position as one of the best, if not the best, in the State. Our entire team will miss him. But look how far we’ve come. I went from going to competitions with my dad, to competing at competitions with him. Our original team will graduate this year, and I will step up to start filling his shoes. (though I am pretty sure that the 4004A will become a retired letter) I also want to thank everyone, whom I will not mention, for all you guys have done for me. I have received a lot of crud about not being able to do vex, just because I am a girl. You guys have kept me going through the storm, and I have come out victorious. I want to set out to prove all the haters wrong. Girls can be just as amazing as guys at robotics!

As a newbie, I can relate. Or to the new program stuff at least.

Seeing stories like this inspires me. Keep being awesome, to all the elites out there.


Just out of curiosity, what did he say about the later invitation?

He didn’t think we’d go anywhere, but he was excited that we made it to the next level. To this day he remains skeptical (with good reason) of any claim about how well I can/will do. It seems I either undershoot or overshoot horrifically.

Story of my nothing but net days…

Is it me or it’s very sad that I’m past 800 posts and I just joined last year? Do I REALLY spam that much? :L

I joined the forums two years ago (end of Skyrise season) and had long periods of inactivity.

Here’s my story:
A little bit more about me; My name is Connor(Full name can’t be given) and I am diagnosed with Asperger’s, also known as Autism.
My dad is military so we do move a lot until he retired here, in Texas. But during the beginning of the robotics thought time I was in another state. In 5th grade in this very weird school with the name of Gaudet, and I just heard that a new robotics program was going to be introduced to the school. This new robotics program was only LEGO’s, and I REALLY wanted to join. In 6th grade, I asked the principal if it would be fine to join. He suggested that I must take a test in order to join the robotics program. As an Asperger kid like me, I didn’t really do too well (I had straight A’s in the school, but yet I failed the test). When the next year came, my family moved to Texas, and found an awesome school that I’ll never regret leaving. Mrs. Leeson, the teacher of my robotics team, immediately let me into the class to do LEGO NXT. When she saw good hope in me, she actually let me join VEX Robotics as the first ever middle school team in Westbury Christian. In NBN, we’ve gotten more awards in just one year as a middle schooler than all of the VEX years combined of our school. On that year, the time I just couldn’t forget is by losing a tie-breaker match by only 10 points by Disco. So close. But at least we were able to qualify for nationals :slight_smile: This year, we lost one person because he was rather more interested in theater, so now we are a 2 person team. Even though we are only a 2 person team, we have been one of the most competitive teams in the world now, and qualifying for worlds as a 2 person freshmen team is VERY astonishing of even what we can even do.