Nemesis Takes First at Hatboro-Horsham
Hot off the heels of their six-week Build Season, Robbinsville FIRST Robotics Team 2590 Nemesis arrived at Hatboro-Horsham High School ready to impress.
Following the stream of students and robots, Team Nemesis made their way to the pits, down a hallway filled with the sounds of power tools at work amidst yells of “Robot coming through!” Saturday, March 1st marked the beginning of Competition Season, and forty FIRST Robotics teams from New Jersey, Delaware, and eastern Pennsylvania flocked to the Hatboro-Horsham District Event for a chance to show off their creations. This year’s game, Aerial Assist, would be played 3 versus 3, the objective being to place a ball into the floor goal or to shoot for the high-scoring goal. An emphasis was placed on cooperation, with 10 points added to an alliance’s score for each assist.
Nemesis’ new robot, Bellerophon, was designed by team members using CAD software, and then constructed using the student’s specifications. Sporting a claw and a spring-powered linear punch shooter, Bellerophon was designed to swiftly grab balls and launch them into the high-scoring goal.
The articulate design paid off, as Nemesis instantly shot to first seed during the beginning of Qualification Rounds. Bellerophon proved to be an unstoppable offensive robot, and Nemesis seemed poised to end the day with an undefeated record. Their winning streak came to a crashing halt, however, when Bellerophon’s claw broke after a run in with particularly zealous defensive robots.
In a rush of adrenaline, Bellerophon was raced back to Nemesis’ pit, where team members immediately set to work removing the broken claw. The good news: the team had the time and resources to build a second practice robot during Build Season equipped with a fully functioning arm. The bad news: swapping out the claws would take time, a luxury the team wasn’t afforded. While Nemesis worked diligently to fix Bellerophon, two of the team’s matches came and went. Short a robot, Nemesis’ alliances lost, and the team dropped to second seed with a record of 7-2.
Not all of the action was taking place on the field, however. Back in the pits, members from Nemesis’ Marketing and Finance Teams presented their Business Plan to FIRST judges, outlining the team structure, explaining their SWOT analysis, sharing the team’s exemplary community outreach, and offering a breakdown of the team’s budget and finances.
Despite the Saturday setback, Nemesis entered Day Two of the competition even more determined to claim first seed. By the time the team’s first match of the day was called, Bellerophon was fully functional and ready for action. Picking up steam once again, Nemesis won all their remaining Qualification matches, clinching first seed with an overall record of 10-2.
As the first seed, Nemesis was named an alliance captain and given the chance to pick two teams to join them going into Elimination Rounds. The first picked, Team 341 Miss Daisy from Ambler, PA, would add a strong defense, while Team 272 Cyber-Crusaders from Lansdale, PA was chosen to round out the alliance. The crowds cheered and roared as the alliance worked as a single, well-oiled machine, tearing through the Elimination Rounds undefeated, claiming first place.
Amidst the team’s celebration of their victory, the judges quickly transitioned into the Awards Ceremony. In addition to the coveted blue Winner Banner, Nemesis was awarded the Entrepreneurship Award for their comprehensive Business Plan.
“While winning the competition was an honor, it was nice to have the Business Team recognized for their continuous hard work as well. Horsham was definitely a victory for the entire team,” said Karla Dimatulac, the Director of Marketing.
Nemesis’ outstanding performance at Hatboro-Horsham will count towards their standings in the Mid-Atlantic Robotics Region (MAR).
Their next competition, the Lenape District Event on March 22-23, is free admission for all fans.