Lindsay Rose-bot propels DP Robotics to LA Regional title
By Malika Agrawal | Features Editor | March 18, 2012
It was March Madness indeed for the Dos Pueblos Engineering’s Team 1717 which overcame multiple first-day setbacks to battle back and capture first place Saturday at the FIRST Robotics Los Angeles Regional tournament in held in Long Beach.
Team 1717 joined with teams 987 from Las Vegas and team 3512 from Orcutt to go 2-0 in the finals to win the title and advance to the World Championships in St. Louis to be held April 25-27.
This year has been an emotional year for the D’Penguineers. The team, made up entirely of members of the class of 2012 are competing without Lindsay Rose who died in a surfing accident in 2009. To honor her passing, they named their robot Lindsay Rose. Rose’s parents attended the competition in Long Beach.
Team member Phoebe Bradbury was thrilled with the D’Penguineers’ triumph.
“Winning the competition made everything finally worth it,” Bradbury said. “All the long nights in the machine shop, the 40 hours of not sleeping and my life pretty much going away, in that one moment–everything was finally worth it.”
On Thursday morning at 7 am, Team 1717 assembled at the closed doors of the arena eagerly waiting for their robotics season to finally begin.
Unfortunately, Team 1717 had not completed their robot in time for bagging but during the little time they had before their first competition in the Long Beach Arena, they had prepared many fixtures that would make the Lindsay Rose Robot the highest scoring robot in any of the regional tournaments so far.
The team also faced another setback because they left a box of parts in the DP Engineering building, but luckily Dos Pueblos senior Mattea Stalie came to the rescue and brought the parts all the way from Goleta to Long Beach.
After 11 hours in the pit of non-stop working on the robot, they finally had the finished product up.
“A bunch of stress has been completely lifted,” said Gwen Archambault. “I feel rewarded for all the work I put in. Initially we were pretty downhearted. The day we bagged everyone was in a bad mood, but on Thursday night when we saw that the robot was 119.1 pounds I think everyone got a lot happier.”
Still the first day of competition saw the Chargers face more adversity as an overload of coding and technical difficulties caused the robot to be inactive for two of the seven matches.
“[It] was frustrating and pretty embarrassing especially because everyone knows Team 1717,” said Nicky Perez. “it was a rookie mistake and we are a rookie team so we didn’t know that our laptop would crash because of all that overload of code.
“That was really frustrating because we couldn’t do anything about it but luckily we won both those matches but it felt bad because we didn’t help contribute.”
But after fixing the glitches, the D’Penguineers were practically unstoppable, especially after the qualifying round when the tournament’s top-ranked team (987) selected them for their alliance.
Archambault, a member of Team 1717 was thrilled, but also relieved when the team overcame the early difficulties.
Perez, one of the drivers of this year’s robot credits the team’s success to the work they put in before the matches.
“We normally go over our matches and strategize before and that helps relieve the pressure,” said Perez. “If you have the game plan it’s a lot easier to work with your other team members but [the tension] is definitely built up to the final matches… working with [director Amir Abo] Shaeer and Lane [Fuller] they’re pretty focused too so we’re able to handle it.
It came down to the final two alliances, but Team 1717 was up to the challenge.
The first match of the finals began with one of Team 1717’s alliance members getting tipped over, effectively making the match a two-on-three situation. Team 1717 and Team 987 kicked it into high gear to pick up the slack, but due to unknown issues, Team 987 lost communication with its driver station, leaving Team 1717 to compete versus three other teams — Team 294, Team 973 and Team 1836.
The D’Penguineers were able to utilize their extreme mobility and shooting capabilities to keep the alliance in the game until Team 987 could get back into action and, together, they led the alliance to a close victory with a final score of 48-39.