On March 17 we had our first competition of the season at Lone Star Central with 40 teams competing. Along the way we ran into big hurdles. However, with the help of our hardworking team and our high team spirits in the stands, we were able to overcome these hurdles.
Some of these hurdles were at pre-inspection, where the team discovered that the robot was overweight by 8 pounds. A major issue we faced was that the copper-clad aluminum wire we used turned out to be illegal. On Thursday, we gutted the robot by taking out every single wire and replacing it with the pure copper wire; the team brought 300 feet of copper wire, prepared to bring the robot back alive. The problem to the electrical issue was that we were adding more weight because the copper wire weighed three times more than the copper-clad aluminum. To make the robot go on a diet, we had to replace the aluminum belly pan and 2×1 tubing which were 1/8 inch thickness to 1/16 inch thickness. Also, to lessen the weight even more, we took off the climber mechanism. Within 8 hours the robot lost 21 pounds and now the robot was ready to run. On Friday and Saturday, we encountered minor issues with electrical and programming.
However, the we were successful and able to resolve the problem. Since Lone Star Central was our first competition, the programming team was able to test their autonomous code on a real field, fine-tuning it to perfection for the next competition! Although this was our first competition, we won an Entrepreneurship Award and got runner-up for Safety FIRST Award. Our alliance consisted of Team 2881 – Lady Cans and Team 3999 – Shadetree Robotics and made it all the way to the Quarter Finals!