The 2016 game was called Stronghold.
The objective of Stronghold was to breach opponent defenses, represented by various obstacles that our robot must overcome, and to score "boulders" (represented by dodgeballs) into the opponent's castle. The more boulders scored and defenses crossed, the more points the alliance gains.
During the first 15 seconds of the game, the robots run independent of the drivers during the autonomous period. Then the drivers take control of the robot for the remaining 2 minutes of the match. In the last 20 seconds of Stronghold, if the majority of opponent defenses have been breached and the castle has been weakened with boulders, an alliance can surround and/or scale the opponent's castle for additional points.
We competed at St. Joseph, Mi and were picked by the top alliance (StrykeForce 2767 and Average Joes 3620) and earned our first event win!
Our robot for FIRST Stronghold is named Bamm-Bamm, after the Flinstones character. Like Bamm-Bamm, our robot relentlessly hammered into obstacles to overcome them.
Our robot this year, Gunslinger, was named for its "holsters" on the side of the frame.
The 2014 game was called Aerial Assist.
The objective of Aerial Assist was for the robot to throw as many balls into the goal as it can in two minutes. It began with a ten-second autonomous period – which means we had to program the robot to recognize the goal, aim, and shoot the ball all by itself. After that, our drive team took remote control of the robot to compete in the rest of the game.
Teams got more points if they worked together, so our robot had to be able to throw balls to other robots in addition to successfully scoring goals.
Our robot stood out because our autonomous worked very well and we were somewhat versatile. It also had mecanum wheels.
Considering it was our rookie year, it was impressive that we were picked by some of the top teams at our competitions to work with them in the elimination rounds. By the end of the season, we finished in the top half of teams in the state. We were ranked 139th out of 277 teams in Michigan and had a record of 10 wins, 17 losses, and 1 tie.
Our robot, Ada, is named after Ada Lovelace, widely considered to be the world's first computer programmer.
The Iron Giant's robot stood out in competition as a result of our autonomous program and versatility.
The 2015 game was called Recycle Rush.
The objective of Recycle Rush was to make stacks of totes with a recycling container on top. The higher the stack, the more points scored. In the 15-second autonomous period, the robot ran independently using a student-built program to organize totes and recycling containers.
All of the objects on the field (totes, recycling containers, and litter, which was represented by pool noodles) were recyclable to fit with the eco-friendly theme of the game. One morning during spring break, the Iron Giants picked up trash along the roads in Edwardsburg. It was a great experience and it was definitely appreciated.
Our robot did incredibly well in the 2015 season. At the Kentwood competition, our alliance ranked seventh with 25 district points. At the St. Joe competition, our alliance ranked third with 43 district points, and we were presented the imagery award.
The Iron Giants qualified for the state competition in Grand Rapids. It was our first time qualifying and we did a phenomenal job. Our team enjoyed meeting FIRST founder Dean Kamen, Governor Rick Snyder, and Don Bossi, the president of FIRST.