2015 Palmetto Regional

I am pretty sure that last year the practice field was full width - seems like I remember there being two of the top goals. So hopefully there is room for that.

If you totally were asking for strategic reasons, I would tell you how much I was looking forward to watching the 4 container grab :wink:

I hope that the snow hitting most of the tri-state area doesn’t cause too many travel problems for people come later in the week. Be safe folks.

Team 3489 “Category 5” is excited and (almost) ready to compete! Hopefully we’ll miss most of the freezing weather.

Also - here’s a link to the live video feed for those who can’t be there:

Has anyone heard when the match schedules are being released?

Good luck to all teams! I will definitely watch the livestreams since there are 6 teams playing in Palmetto who we will see in Virginia! And of course some old friends from the North Carolina regional! :slight_smile:


Super pumped to have been in the first match!

A bit disappointed that the schedule still has not been posted online.

3824 wants to thank Palmetto for an amazing event. All the teams were phenomenal and gracious. Lots of Southern hospitality! We had an elderly couple who were retired and living in the area just show up and adopt our team. We have great pictures of the grandpa cheering for the teams. The finals were wild, probably the most exciting match was the 150-133 finals. Many thanks to our alliance partners 4454 and 4073. 4454 was amazing under pressure and 4073 saved the alliance with stacks from the field and canisters from the step.

We also are always impressed with 1261 who put together an amazing alliance but was also very gracious and supportive of 3824 during the heat of competition. The mentors for 1261 should be very proud of their students!

Edit: the ROBOTZ Garage is team 4451.

What a great event! I want to thank all the Referees, Judges, Volunteers and staff for putting together a great regional event! That legendary “Southern Hospitality” was clearly shown during our time there!

A big shout out to Jack Moore and his team! Thank you for all your hard work!

To our very good friends - **3824 HVA RoHAWKtics **and 4451 ROBOTZ GARAGE - You guys were amazing! We are witnessing the rise of two new powerhouse teams! Congratulations on your win! I can’t wait to see you again in St. Louis!

Congratulations to 2655 Flying Platypi for your Engineering Inspiration award! You have a great program, and are a role model for all teams in FIRST! See you at Champs!

To our sister team 4514 Calvert STEAM works, I am so proud of what you have accomplished so far! To 4505 McDonogh Eagle Robotics, you make Maryland proud! We’ll see you both at the Chesapeake Regional!

A very special thank you to 1102 M’Aiken Magic - we had struggled all weekend with one gremlin or another, yet you took a chance on us! It was a thrill and an honor to compete with you! I look forward to playing with you in the future! You will always hold a special place in our heart!

Lastly, to every member of my team who embodied the belief of - Never give up, never surrender! Go Bees!!!

I look forward to returning to Palmetto soon!


Wanted to take a moment to commend one of the FTAs at the regional, Jerry, who really took the time to explain everything that was going on and why. Additionally he understood that teams had taken the time over six weeks to build a robot and would not allow something small, such as a suddenly restarted laptop, to keep a team from playing a match. He even was ready to provide a Classmate for the team to use. Additionally he helped our team get past issues with network tables in smart dashboard and always stopped by before each match to ensure we were ready to go. Furthermore he even reached out to the FTAs at our next regional to ensure we would not face any problems there.

Hats off to Jerry for really understanding what FIRST is all about.

I’d like to echo Jay’s comments in that Jim and Juan (FTA) supported us on Friday with network tables issues from Smartdashboard writes. We finally had to remove that bit to resolve the issues because of other problems with the robot. Both were willing to go the extra distance to help.

Jay, was there a single “ah ha” item that helped you resolve your problems? We would like to come to grips with the problem.


Walter Everett
FIRST Robotics Team 1758

The Palmetto Regional was great, thank you to Coastal Carolina University for making two practice fields possible this year. Team 343 would also like to thank team 4451, Robotz Garage, for giving us their “Best Pit” award it was quite an honor coming from an great team with an amazing pit.

I suppose it’s time for me to chime in a little bit as well. Good thing I can type it!

First, because it’s how I spent the bulk of my time in Myrtle Beach, I have to thank the Palmetto Regional planning committee for entrusting me with the mic as a game announcer. I first tried my hand at it during a few matches at the 2005 Capitol Clash. Then it was Cal Games in 2006, working alongside David Black under the master that is Mark Leon. After that, I’d actually done the training to announce at the 2007 Florida Regional…but a scheduling snafu derailed that, and life and teams kept me away from the role until I dusted off the Hawaiian shirt for the first SCRIW tournament in 2011. Four of those and the past two FTC state tournaments were a lot of fun, but both of them are still relatively small affairs. Announcing those two thrilling finals matches in front of a white-hot crowd was a treat I couldn’t begin to describe to that rookie kid on 1293 that sat in the Colonial Center twelve seasons ago. I can’t thank you all enough for the kind words.

While I’m at it, I also have to thank the rest of the crew. Mark Kruea and Crystal Costa are great dancing partners, and it was very rare for us to run over one another (always a thing that bugs the heck out of me, because I know it bugs the heck out of the audience). I also have to thank Barry Hudson for eleven years of service to the Palmetto Regional as the lead game announcer. He’s indicated that he plans for this year’s event to be his last, but I hope he isn’t a stranger. And I hope I have anywhere near that much longevity.

With me behind the scoring table for much of the event, that meant I was also largely away from my Garnet Squadron teammates. Sandstorm II left a lot to be desired on the field, though I was thrilled to see the team get through inspection so quickly (often a challenge for us due to the desire to get that one more tweak done). Through it all, the kids kept working to improve the performance with what was available to us and making plans for a host of improvements in Orlando. That they kept the good work up could be a sign that I’m replaceable, or it could be a sign that I’ve helped instill the right values in our kids. I’m hoping for the latter. :wink:

It was great talking to FRC Chief Referee Dr. Aiden Browne on Saturday. Some on the game, some on the growth of the program in the area (he’s based in Charlotte), and a few other topics I’m sure I’ve forgotten because I was running on my third Red Bull of the regional that morning.

I have to bow down to the greatness that is HVA RoHAWKtics for a minute. Only one team had ever won Palmetto back-to-back before, and that was my old team–the team then known as Los Pollos Locos did it in 2011 as the last pick of the draft, then as a backup robot in 2012. These guys have easily surpassed what we were able to stitch together–they not only won them both, they dominated. In two years, they’ve lost exactly one match (Semifinal 1-2 in 2014) and were in no real danger of missing the cut even during their semifinal jitters this year. You guys are an inspiration and show just what can be done in this program.

It’s been no secret that I’ve been on the ROBOTZ Garage bandwagon since pretty much the beginning. And yes, they’re a Bosch team like Garnet Squadron and we’ve had a fair bit of mentor overlap*. But here’s the thing: they have built an incredible program in Fountain Inn. I made a run up to their facility during the last weekend of build to pick up some vinyl graphics for 4901’s robot. The Bosch plant up there was full of kids grinding away on their robot, the practice robot, the things to make both better, drive practice, Chairman’s video editing, the works. Mike Bryan had expressed worries to me that this was going to be a rough year for the Garage, but they clearly had one of the two or three best machines in Myrtle Beach. It’s a shame he was sick during the regional–I couldn’t get an answer on where he plans to hang that banner in the garage!

*Speaking of which, you guys have your ticket punched to St. Louis–can we borrow Casey back for Orlando?

I don’t have a long history with the Robo Kats out of Myrtle Beach, but they definitely showed up with a gorgeous machine–easily the most dapper on the field. When I went to the blue alliance station to congratulate the drive teams, I asked their mentor if it was their first blue banner. He responded he’d been at it ten years across a few teams and only now reached the top. It took me eight to do it, so I know just what it feels like to finally have your faith rewarded. Hang that banner high, guys.

All in all, it was a thrilling Palmetto Regional and a great early specimen of how fun Recycle Rush can be. On to Orlando!

I’m not going to waste my digital breath expanding on issues like Chairman’s judges not allowing us a mentor in the interview room, a strong team at the event violating Admin Manual Section 4.13 while being passive aggressive in trying to swipe seats from our students who showed up to the venue an hour before opening to get the best seats, or a mentor on another strong team calling our can grabber a bad design right before it pulled two cans into the auto zone for more auto points than they scored all event, safety advisors and judges telling teams to shout “robot”, and other thrilling moments at the events.

The FTA was great and the field was running ahead of scheduling at a Week 1! The Game Announcing was some of the best I have heard in FIRST, especially considering the play of this game was best described to me by a student as “being forced to watch a building burn down while not being able to do anything about it.”

We got to spend some time at Palmetto building in some infrastructure on the machine and practicing in preparations for the big changes we want to make before we play at home. I’m really thankful the students stayed in high spirits despite all the issues we ran into both in and out of our control within and outside the venue.

Have fun at Week 1s next year, everybody.

Figured I would post on what a happy accident it was to end up staying in the same hotel as my high school team, 1102 M’Aiken Magic. Catching up with my old mentors, seeing that the student who was my captain back in the day is now the head mentor(!), and seeing that the team was as strong as ever was a great addition to the weekend. You guys did great!

With an hour to go before being kicked out on Thursday…Juan “crouched down” with our two programmers to help solve the problem that cost us the entire practice day. At 8:00, code was not yet deployed, but just about ready, and we felt much better about Friday. Fortunately for us, he’s reasonably local to our team, and we’ve got his contact info!

Two slight disappointments, though…(1) I was eager to take advantage of the rule change allowing me to observe our Chairman’s Presentation - but the judge would not allow me to stay without sacrificing one of our presenters. Ironically, the survey afterward asked if we made use of this change. I really wish the judges would have been current with that rule - we were hoping to use that observation to help hone our presentation for our other regional. (2) There were a couple matches where a team’s opposing alliance arranged to work on the coopertition but then made no effort to do so. We got burned significantly once, spending considerable time on a futile effort…don’t get me wrong - we should have been watching and noticing the other side wasn’t doing their share. I didn’t think much of it at the time, until another team’s mentor told me we were “set up”, having also had a similar experience. I didn’t take note of the teams involved, and wouldn’t have held on to that info even if I had - every team has their own strategic methods, just want to point out to “Trust…but verify!” when it comes to something as time consuming as the coopertition stack - especially later in the competition where a team may have ulterior motives.

In spite of our abysmal performance, it was a great experience and we had a very good time…though I hope to never do a “week one” again! We’ll be in a district next year, so I hope to be able to build a later-season pair of events.


Temporary fix was not plugging into FMS until Driver Station was open. Then plug it in. Sometimes it still did not work then we just logged out with FMS plugged in and logged back in. Waited about 45-60 seconds and the network tables would appear. Also if you have a camera on the dashboard wait 15-30 seconds after it appears and the network tables should appear. Fortunately Jerry didn’t rush the process and was patient with us when waiting. We were told that the issue is being looked into and a more permanent fix should be out soon.

Thank you, but we certainly could not have done it either year without our alliance members ( Robotz Garage and RoboKats this year, RoboLions and Team T-Rex last year). Speaking of the RoboLions, they put up an amazing match in the finals and can’t wait to see how they do at Peachtree. I’m glad we have been inspiration and hope we can continue to be.

These finals sound intense. Anyone have any videos?

  • Sunny G.