Last Friday, the TJ robotics team (a.k.a. 5404 Titanium Titans) traveled to Mountain Home, Arkansas. Despite exhaustion from the 5-hour road trip, the team members went to Mountain Home Junior High to set up their booth for the next day’s competition. Then, after a satisfying dinner, the team rehearsed a 15-minute presentation. You may be wondering: why is there a presentation? Our robotics competitions are not only about constructing the best robot, but also about showcasing team spirit and demonstrating gracious professionalism. In fact, the team that demonstrates all of these characteristics the best (according to judges) is granted the Inspire Award, the heftiest reward of all. That is why this year our team has dedicated much of our effort on documenting the journey in an “engineering notebook” and reaching out to the community.
The presentation went well on the day of the competition. The new members, Nathalie and John, faced the judges fearlessly. For the actual competition, the team’s light and agile creation did well holding up against the weighty contenders from other bigger, more well-funded teams. The Titans’ robot was simple but effective. Its primary goal was to be able to land soundly from a hanging position and to pull itself back up at the end of the game. This may sound underwhelming, but the team had in fact spent months prototyping and perfecting the mechanism. The mechanical beast worked so effectively and consistently that it brought the team into the third place among a total of 16 teams. Unfortunately, we were defeated in the semi-final match. Nevertheless, the effort did not go to waste for at the end of the day, the Titans yielded the “Control Award,” a proof of success in the robot’s software and programming. We want to also make a note to thank our helpful parents who helped to drive and support us throughout the weekend!
The team members will carry the momentum from this victory into their next competition at SLU this Saturday, December 8th. Please come witness and support the mighty Titanium Titans!
By: Matthew Ma, Class of 2019