Three NKN Robotics teams recently took on 12 other teams from across Northwest Oregon, demonstrating their creativity, problem-solving skills, and determination in the FIRST Tech Challenge competition. The goal of this international robotics competition is for teams to design, build, and program a robot that can score points during a 2:30-minute competition round. Working in alliances with another team, the objective is to outscore the opposing alliance.
The Menacing Muffin Dragons had an exceptional start to their season, earning the 3rd rank out of 15 teams at the meet. Partnered with the NKN Argonauts, they accomplished an impressive feat by completing the season’s first mosaic, strategically placing three tiles on the backdrop. This seemingly small accomplishment earned them 47 points and set the stage for a strong performance.
The Argonauts also made their mark at the meet, finishing 6th among the participating teams. Although their unique Gecko Grabber didn’t perform as fast as they had hoped, other teams praised its innovative design. The Argonauts have already built a replacement grabber, ready to be swapped out. Their enthusiasm and ability to connect with other teams to learn and exchange strategies were commended.
Facing notable challenges, the World’s smallest Team (TWsT) fought hard throughout the competition. Despite ranking as high as 5th at one point, they ultimately secured the 12th position out of 15 teams. Notably, considering the obstacles they encountered, such as a new member with only one practice session and several missing competitors due to illness and scheduling conflicts, TWsT persevered. They caught the attention of other teams with their impressive paper airplane launcher design, showcasing a simple yet effective mechanism powered by a servo motor and rubber band.
As with any competition, there were memorable moments and lessons learned. The endgame period of 30 seconds proved to be a challenge for TWsT, and launching their planes within the designated time was difficult. On one occasion, a misfire resulted in the plane landing on an opposing alliance member’s lap, underscoring the importance of safety precautions and the use of eye protection. The support of families, friends, mentors, and sponsors played a critical role in the teams’ success, and NKN Robotics expresses gratitude to all who cheered them on.
NKN Robotics owes much of its success to its generous sponsors, including the Eugene Schmuck Foundation, The Tillamook County Creamery Association, ORTOP, and the Mudd Nick Foundation, whose financial contributions make the program possible. In addition, the continuous and generous provision of pizza by Upper Crust Pizza in Rockaway has fueled the teams during various team events.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the FIRST Tech Challenge competition?
The FIRST Tech Challenge is an international robotics competition that requires teams to design, build, and program a robot to score points during a 2:30-minute competition round. Teams work in alliances, aiming to outscore opposing alliances in each match.
What did the Menacing Muffin Dragons accomplish at the meet?
The Menacing Muffin Dragons ranked 3rd out of 15 teams at the meet. They were the first team in their league to complete the first mosaic of the season, earning 47 points.
What was unique about the Argonauts’ robot design?
The Argonauts impressed other teams with their innovative Gecko Grabber design. Although it wasn’t as fast as desired, the team has already built a replacement grabber for future use.
How did the World’s smallest Team perform?
Despite facing challenges such as a new member and missing competitors, the World’s smallest Team showcased resilience and creativity. Their paper airplane launcher design garnered attention from other teams.
How did NKN Robotics show gratitude to their supporters?
NKN Robotics extends its appreciation to the families, friends, mentors, and sponsors who showed up to cheer them on at the competition. The team acknowledges the support received from sponsors such as the Eugene Schmuck Foundation, The Tillamook County Creamery Association, ORTOP, the Mudd Nick Foundation, and the continuous pizza provision by Upper Crust Pizza in Rockaway.