Our Mascot: the Fighting Calculator
FIRST® Robotics Competition Team 2175, the Fighting Calculators, is a robotics team consisting of students in grades 9-12 from the Math and Science Academy in Woodbury, Minnesota. Since its founding in 2007, the team has had about 20 to 25 members. In 2010, we were joined by two new teams in Woodbury: Team 3130, the ERRORs, from East Ridge High School, and Team 3206, Robo-Sapiens, from Woodbury High School. In 2011, Park High School started Team 3883, the Data Bits. We share shop space with the ERRORs and work together on various projects.
In our debut year of 2007, the game was Rack and Roll™. The objective was to strategically place inflatable rings on a metal rack and/or lift robots off the ground to score points. Our robot was primarily defensive, preventing other teams from placing rings. We were very successful at the Wisconsin Regional Competition. Our team placed 2nd out of 52 teams with our alliance partners 930 an 2039, winning the Regional Finalist Award. We also took home the Highest Rookie Seed Award.
The 2008 game was Overdrive™, and involved racing around a track and lifting 40" trackballs over a 7' rack. Our robot was very maneuverable and could move the trackballs up and down with a pneumatic arm. We competed in the first ever Minnesota regional, in Williams Arena at the University of Minnesota. We went 3-5-1 in the qualification matches and were selected to join the 6th seeded alliance with teams 2472 and 1756 in the elimination matches. We defeated the 3rd seeded alliance and then lost in the semi-finals.
In 2009, FIRST® surprised us with a unique game called LUNACY™. Every robot was required to use the same hard slippery wheels on a hard slippery floor called "regolith", simulating the Moon's low gravity and traction. Our robot, aptly named "Box o' Rocks", was built out of plywood and shot the moonrocks from the top into the opposing alliance's trailers. That year, the number of teams in Minnesota nearly doubled, so there were two regional events in Minnesota: 10,000 Lakes and the North Star Regional. We participated in the North Star Regional. Teams 171 and 525 picked us to ally with them as the 8th seeded alliance. We defeated the 1st seeded alliance and then lost to the 4th seeded alliance in the semi-finals.
BREAKAWAY™ was the 2010 FRC® game. The field was divided into 3 sections by two large bumps. There were 12 soccer balls which could be scored in goals at each corner. In the center of each bump was a tower from which robots could hang at the end for extra points. We built a six-wheeled robot that could cross the bumps safely, score soccer balls with a roller and kicker mechanism, and hang from the tower with a pneumatic arm. It was named "The Multiplier" in reference to the large structural X on the back. We again competed in the North Star Regional, this time joined by our new friends, Teams 3130 and 3206. We also applied for the Chairman's award for the first time. Team member Aren Siekmeier was named a Dean's List Finalist at the North Star Regional.
In 2011, FIRST introduced us to the new game LOGOMOTION™®. The goal was to bring triangular, circular, and square tubes across the open field and place them on a rack to make FIRST logos. At the end of the match, teams deployed minibots to race up poles for bonus points. Our robot featured an elevator with a pneumatic gripper that could reach all rack positions and pick up tubes from the floor. For the drivetrain, we tried something new, called "Slide Drive," with four omni wheels in a standard tank configuration plus a fifth pointed sideways in the middle, giving us 3 degrees of freedom. Our minibot deployment had a spring-loaded fork for self-alignment on the tower, and it's appearance lent itself to our robot's name, Scorpion. We competed at the North Star Regional, where we were semifinalists as the number 5 seed with 1816 and 1652, and the Championship in St. Louis, where we came in 52nd place out of 88 teams in Archimedes division. Mentor Will Preska recieved the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award at the North Star Regional.
The game for 2012 was Rebound Rumble, which had the robot shoot basketballs into hoops, and balance on bridges at the end of the match for extra points (with the bridge in the middle having to be balanced by both alliances in qualification matches). The team only won two of the nine matches, but was chosen for the elimination rounds, where they lost both of their quarterfinal matches. However, the team was able to balance the coopertition (middle) bridge seven times, which led to the team earning the Coopertition award. At the North Star Regional, the team improved to a 6-3 record and finished out in 15th place and was selected for the 6th seed alliance, along with our shop partners, 3130. Here, the team also won an award, though this time it was the Creativity Award sponsored by Xerox. The team also won the Best Bridge Balancer (B3) award from Team 111, Wildstang, and the Coopertition Award from Team 2220, Blue Twilight.
The game for 2013 was Ultimate Ascent, which had teams shoot flying discs into goals and balance on a three tiered pyramid. The team once again competed at two regionals--the Northern Lights Regional and the North Star Regional--and did well at both. They went 7-3 at Northern Lights and were chosen by team 3130, the ERRORs, to be on the second seed alliance. While they lost in the quarterfinals, the team managed to bring home the Entrepreneurship award for their excellent business plan. At NorthStar, team 2175 did much better. They started off very well by not only going 7-1, but also by winning the team spirit award and being recognized for their excellent safety multiple times, including the bestowing of the hard hat pin. The team was chosen to be on the second seed alliance by team 967, the Iron Lions, and also allied with rookie team 4607, The Coalition of Independent Students. It was with this alliance that team 2175, for the first time in their history, were the Regional Champions. team 2175 will now be competing in St. Louis at the World Championship! While there, the team did moderately well. The finished with a 3-5 record and was chosen by the 2nd seed alliance - 2169 KingTeC and 3284 4H Laser. They did well, advancing all the way to the division finals! That tied the Minnesota record set by 1816 - The Green Machine - for the farthest a MN team has gotten at the World Championship. The team then competed in the Minnesota State High School League State Tournament. In their first birth in the tournament they went 4-4 and was the first pick of the tournament. They were selected by 2052, KnigntKrwaler. As an alliance they then chose team 4607, The Coalition of Independent Students. Their alliance went 2-0 in our semi's then 2-0 in the finals. The team is sponsored by 3M, Boston Scientific, Hubbard Broadcasting, JR Computer Associates Inc, and the Society for American Military Engineers.