Finalists In Florida
West Palm Beach: seventy-eight degree weather, an ocean view, and robots galore! On Wednesday, March 30th, Robbinsville High School FIRST Robotics Team Nemesis 2590 hopped on a plane and headed to the Sunshine State for the South Florida Regional.
Proudly representing Central Jersey, Nemesis was one of sixty teams to arrive at the Palm Beach County Convention Center early Friday morning. There, an international showing of talent included teams from Turkey, the Dominican Republic, and Columbia. Team 2590 was lucky enough to play in the opening match of the competition. Their alliance scored an impressive 120 points, setting the bar high. The robot's success continued throughout the day, going undefeated throughout qualification matches and holding a strong grasp on the crucial number one ranking. Meanwhile, the Entrepreneurship Team and Pit Crew were busy in the pits conversing with judges about this year’s robot, the team’s award winning business plan, and community outreach.
Friday night, after a long, but successful day of qualification matches, Nemesis returned to the hotel to hold a crucial scouting meeting in which a list of teams was identified as potential alliance partners. Continuing their dominant performance into the final day of competition, Team 2590 held the first seed for the elimination rounds and chose to ally with Team 179, The Children of the Swamp and Team 5472, the Stallions, who had both made names for themselves in the qualification rounds.
Following alliance selection, Finance Team member Jared Glassband represented Nemesis 2590 in a friendly team mascot dodgeball game in the spirit of friendly competition. Clad in a toga to represent the Greek origins of Nemesis, he was supported not only by members of Team 2590, but by many others as well. A cheerful chant of, “Neme-sis! Neme-sis!” rang through the crowd. Of the game, Jared said, “I was impressed by the positive energy and friendly competition that I experienced not only in dodgeball, but all over the South Florida Regional. This place really has a great atmosphere.”
Returning to actual competition, as the matches wore on, Nemesis’ alliance faced some capable competitors, but was able to battle their way to the finals against the third seeded alliance: Team 1065, The Moose, Team 180, S.P.A.M, and Team 3932, The Dirty Mechanics.
The last three matches were among the most intense of the weekend. Vigorous play led to the field being damaged, which required the gameplay to stop, and the match to be discarded and reset-- not once, but twice! The third repeated match spelled disaster for our heroes. Team 5472’s robot, who played defense for the red alliance, took too many hits to its frame, and became so bent out of shape it was crippled for the remainder of the competition. Worse still, the Children of the Swamp’s robot succumbed to the increased stress of playing without a full alliance, and the sensory system fried itself completely. The game was paused while Nemesis and Swamp team members worked feverishly to repair the smoking robot. In the end, power was restored to the systems, but the dead sensors rendered the Swamp Machine blind during autonomous mode, and practically eliminated its shooting ability. As the match began, the Swamp Machine rolled to a dead stop on the field, and it didn’t move again. Battered and alone, Daedalus stood against the third seeded alliance, and were only able to score 94 points against their opponents’ combined score of 159. While Nemesis’ alliance managed to overcome adversity to take the second finals match, further technical difficulties in the deciding third finals match meant a disappointing end to Nemesis’ time in Florida.
Nevertheless, Robbinsville was ecstatic to receive a wild card slot at World Championships, as the finalists. The team also took home the Industrial Design Award recognizing a team with an efficiently designed machine that addresses the challenge of the game effectively.
Drive Coach Parth Mandrekar reflected, “All else aside, our performance here in South Florida has been our best by far. Our high goal shooting has improved drastically, as has our autonomous mode. We will certainly be a force to be reckoned with at FIRST Mid-Atlantic Regionals and at the World Championships!”
From the opportunity to meet and compete with teams from all over the world to the chance to escape the bitter cold of the Northeast for a few days, All members of Nemesis thoroughly enjoyed the competition in Florida. Despite losing the finals, everyone is incredibly excited to compete at the World Championship in St. Louis on April 28th-30th, 2016!
Nemesis would like to thank its generous sponsors for their continued support: Robbinsville Board of Education, NAVAIR, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CCL Label, NY Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Siemens, Lockheed Martin, Investors Bank, RAS, Robbinsville Education Association, EAG, Princeton Sports & Family Medicine, McGraw-Hill Financials, Robbinsville Education Foundation, Gilbane, Coldwell Banker, Carfaro Fencing, DesignTree, Triangle Copy, & GrabCad. For additional information, please contact FRC 2590 at firstname.lastname@example.org.