Atlantic Coast Championship

I spent Saturday at the Atlantic Coast Championship at Coppin State University. Over 40 teams were there with some pretty incredible robots in some hard fought contests. I was only there for day three (last qualifying matches and finals) of the three day even.

My favorite robots were:
*]Team 44 - Green Eggs - One of the most complex robots there, but one of the smoothest moving. Blocks loaded by light chain entered a swinging box that lifted to place them into the goals. They used rubber bands in a unique way to add extra power to the lift cycle. They also had a mechanical / rubber band gripper that locked the robot on to the loaders. All in all a very cool robot.

The team also drove the wheels off, and they ended up leading the winning alliance and pulling down a number of other awards.
*]Team 24 - (24 and 24b) Super Sonic Sparks - Conveyor robot that had one end of the gather mechanism fixed to a pylon, the other end could pull from floor or loader then lifted by a linear slide acting as the force in a Class 2 lever up to the goal. Smooth, fast, agile.

This team also had super drivers, the racked up high scores on the driver challenge.
*]Team 934a - Towson High - OK, so I’m a sucker for the clawbots. Picture a base with a central tower. Put dual tank treads on the tower so the treads run up and around the tower. Then put a claw between the treads so the treads lift the claw up and down (and up and OVER!). Snag blocks from the floor, from the loader and in seconds wheel to a goal, adjust the height, drop and go. They were also able to store blocks on the robot eliminating the multiple trip issue around clawbots. This is another team that clearly showed they had spent some hours on the field in practice. In their matches they were at the right place at the right time capping goals.

These three are just a small smattering of the top teams there and hopefully others that were there will post their comments. I neglected to write the awards down, so the event people will need to post them.

Coppin State did a credible job in pulling this off. The presidents wife Ester Avery was there for most of Saturday talking to the teams in the pits. The four fields set up in the Coppin Center Gymnasium were all elevated to give the fans a clear view of the action.

Kudos to Dr. Doswell of Juxtopia and to Brad Lauer and his team of all star robotics volunteers for a cool event.

But the best part was all the roboteers that were there having fun, learning new things and keeping safety in mind. Everyone that I met I was amazed by what they had done.

I wish green eggs some luck. We won with them last year in FTC. Boston State Championship.

I would like to thank Brad, Coppin State and all of the volunteers who put together a great event. The two day format (actually 3 but we could not make Thursday) was great. All 9 of my team members will able to operate the robot at least twice in the qualification matches. Thanks to team 768 and 76 for being a great alliance. Division 2 Champs!. Hats off to Green Egg Robotics for building such a great robot.

While I missed most of my team’s matches due to being pulled in as a last minute volunteer, I know my team (Super Sonic Sparks, 24 B and 24C) gained quite a bit from the event. We qualified for Dallas last fall and have been attending events to keep our skills honed and find ways to refine our rather simple design. There were some great robots and teams in attendance and we thank everyone for the tough competition. The excellent designs and drivers gave our team a good feel for what they will experience in Dallas. We meet tonight and I am sure we will have a good discussion on how we need to adjust as the bar is raised in Dallas.

It was great to see Svartmetal, from Sweden, at the event. We met you in LaPlata last year. I was really hoping you would find a way to get to Dallas! Hopefully we will see you next year at an event. You had a great design and did awesome for it being your first event of the year. It can be tough to work out all the bugs until you get a competition or two behind you and really get a feel for the game, but you guys did great!

To the teams headed to Dallas, we will see you there! Stop by in the pits and say “Hi”.

Dave Franc
Teams 24 (A, B & C)

On behalf of Green Egg Robotics, thanks for the kind words. Congratulations to all the teams at the Atlantic Coast Championship. We had a great time and enjoyed the hospitality in Baltimore. Thanks to Brad Lauer and the volunteers who put it all together. We also want to thank our alliance partners 929 from Hereford and 1748c from the Lab Rats team for a great job in the playoffs. Praises to all our opponents and their great robots in the divisional playoffs. Technowarriors (768), Driven Nuts (76) and Radnor Robotics (101) presented us with a formidable challenge in the tournament finals as the Divisional winners from the other group.

Congratulations to all the award winners and it was a pleasure meeting teams from the mid Atlantic region and from Sweden. We’re looking forward to Dallas. Please stop by our table to say hello.

Team Mentor, #44

PS. Hello to Stephen from the Mustangs. Please say hello to the rest of your team as well. See you in Dallas?

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Hello Green Eggs. I will say hello to my other teams members i have seen you guys have been very successful. 3 Championship tournaments wins, 3 excellence awards and i think 2 drivers challenge. I and my team cant wait to see your robot. Hopefully we are in the same division again.

Driven Nuts also wants to express our appreciation to Brad and all the volunteers who helped run the Atlantic Coast tourney. Our team had a great time at the event. It was great that they had so many opportunities to run their robot; they learned quite a bit. And had a fun time doing it, as always!

We were very glad to be on the alliance with 768 and 101 – two teams who really know what it means to be partners! Kudos to Green Egg and their winning alliance. You guys made an amazing robot – unique, efficient, and well-built – it impressed our whole team. We’re looking forward to seeing you all in Dallas.

I was also very impressed with the 1748 team that sucked up cubes from the field using the zipties sweeper in the front and the rollers in the back. That sweeper was very effective! And the control sequence of the claw arm was wonderful to watch…seeing it pick up cubes from the front or the back of the robot.

Can’t wait to see what you guys invent 10 years from now!

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Matthew, team-leader of Svartmetall (the swedish team)

Thank you all very much for all the kind words of encouragement. I would like to thank Brad, Coppin State and all the volunteers at this event, it was a pleasure to be a part of it. I would also like to thank our elimination alliance partners (teams 2528 and 1894) as well as all our other alliance partners throughout the competition for helping us do as well as we did, most notabely in rounds where we forget to plug the RF receivers into the microcontroller! (Thanks 768)

Unfortunately I will be off to university in the summer (pending results, fingers crossed) but I am confident that someone will be able to step up and lead the team once more across the Atlantic to be just as competitive.

I wish everyone at this event who will be travelling to Dallas all the best of luck and I hope everything goes well and you enjoy your time there!

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