This past Thursday(8-29-19), 6443 AEMbot was featured at Edward’s Vacuum 100th anniversary (Intel supplier and team sponsor), complete with red carpet treatment, US Congresswoman, City Mayor and CEO of Edwards Vacuum. Edwards Vacuum has been an innovator and patent holder in the vacuum process for multiple industries including semiconductor, food packaging, and radio/television electronics. Their financial and mentor support are extremely appreciated by our team and we couldn’t have had the success we did without our sponsors.
Since we never produced a reveal video for 2019, this seemed like a good opportunity. As seen in the video link above, we were the final group on stage at there anniversary celebration with about 150 employees, local business leaders, press and politicians in attendance. It was a privilege to be able to lend our team and robot to their festivities.
For those who played with and against AEMbot 6443 and AEMadillo (2019 robot), sharing the field with you this year was an honor. Special mention to 2990 Hot Wire as we shared the field with them in 13 matches this year (and have a perfect 13-0 record with Hot Wire on the field).
Our objective this season was to advance our students skills, abilities and strategies using the robot as a conduit for student growth. We developed a game plan that kept us “in our lane” in terms of our resources and abilities. We didn’t plan to be a defensive robot first, but knew that might be our role. We focused on drive train improvements (6 NEOs 2019 vs 4 Cim 2018) and built around the hab 3 climb. Our climber was powered by 2 NEOs with custom gear boxes and our hatch manipulator used a vacuum pump (recommended by 971 - Thank you!) for hatch collection and NEO to raise and lower the manipulator arm. We used almost no autonomous functionality (except climbing initiated by driver) and relied on the limelight for field vision. We’re building our autonomous abilities as a summer project beginning with field location and drive to targets.
Our results far exceeded any of our expectations. We had a goal of getting to Houston from day 1 but didn’t know if we could achieve that. If someone told us we would captain an alliance to our first blue banner (Wilsonville, OR), be finalists at Houston (Carver division), or receive an invite to IRI and Chezy Camps (most students didn’t even know off-seasons existed) or compete in elims at IRI finishing as a semifinalist we would have collectively believed they were crazy.
As a defensive specialist, we turned the selection process upside-down in most cases. The idea of picking a defensive robot with a first pick took most of the season to warm up to. As an alliance captain at most of our tournaments, we were often the ugly duckling of the captains and had to reach outside the top 8 to find an alliance partner who would accept our invitation (since they really couldn’t refuse). I don’t know how many times we heard “we can’t pick a defensive bot with our first pick”. But our results speak for themselves and our scouts built amazing alliances and strategies all season.
We learned so much this year and look forward to building on our progress for next year. Most importantly, we look forward to continuing building relationships with everyone in PNW and beyond. Thanks for reading and we welcome any questions about our team, strategy, robot, build, culture, etc.