SCRIW V (South Carolina Robotics Invitational & Workshops 2015)

Re. Workshops:

I know of a few guys on a a couple teams that have mentioned they could host a workshop, but haven’t volunteered because they didn’t know how to sign up, and/or didn’t know if someone else was already signed up to present a similar topic.

For example:

  • Pneumatics
  • Programming a Mobile Scouting App
  • Different Types of Chassis & Drives
  • Introduction to SolidWorks

Which of these would be most interesting to attendees?

If the news in the sports world tonight is true, I’m trying to get Spurrier on 4901’s drive team.

I have a few questions for all parties.

  • Will there be any game rule changes?
  • For speed and sanity sake, I assume transport configuration on and off the field will not be enforced if the configuration is safe.
  • Will the robot have to pass through a single door or double door with the mullion in place while traveling from the pit to the field? (Door closer clearance is the fun part.)


  1. No.
  2. We reserve the right to ensure you can fit in there, but if you’re not being obnoxious then we won’t be obnoxious. (aaaaaaaand 4901 breathes a sigh of relief)
  3. It is all double doors between the pits and field, and I recall that we can remove the posts from all of them.

I know none of those are on the list I have already, and man I wish I could see the mobile scouting app one!

What is the food situation? Will teams be able to pre-order lunch? Will there be food available for sale on the day of the event?

The lunch pre-order form went out to all the registered teams’ email addresses, and we will have concessions available at the event as well. I would be very happy to see the boil water advisory end for the Columbia area (you don’t even know), but we deal in bottles and cans so that won’t be affected.

This email blast just went out to the teams:

Hold on to your safety glasses, folks–this one’s a longer one with a lot of good information.

First, the site plan is attached. The parts of the school we’ll be using for SCRIW are highlighted. Drop-off will be in the traffic loop that enters to the left of the building off Millwood Avenue. Parking for everyone will be in the student parking lot that’s a little further to the left of the school (and a right turn out of the loop going back onto Millwood). Pulling in the front driveway will result in a verrrrrry long walk, especially for anyone carrying things. We will use the covered portion of the courtyard for any drilling or cutting needs you may have; there is power outside and the concrete causes far fewer worries.

We’ve also lined up a unique slate of workshops for this year, including one that has yours truly wondering if he can game announce from inside the workshops room! Here’s the list (and thank you, presenters!):

10:20-11:20: Pneumatics: It’s a Gas! – Kevin Thorp, FRC 3489 (Category 5)
11:30-12:30: Mobile Scouting App Development – David Castro, FRC 3489 (Category 5)
12:45-1:45: Linear Motion Profiles in Robot Design – David Allred, FRC 4451 (ROBOTZ Garage)

We were asked about rule changes, and here’s the easy answer: no planned rule changes. We are not going to police transport configuration (though we reserve the right to verify you can do it), as long as you can move your robot in a safe, non-obnoxious manner. There are standard school doors along the path between the pits and the gym, so plan accordingly with your cart.

We’ve had a few changes to the final team lineup, so here’s the 24-team list for the record:

281 The GreenVillains Greenville, SC
283 The Generals Greenville, SC
342 Burning Magnetos North Charleston, SC
343 Metal In Motion Seneca, SC
1225 The Gorillas Hendersonville, NC
1226 The Gorillas B-Team Hendersonville, NC
1398 Keenan Robo-Raiders Columbia, SC
1539 Blue Eagle Robotics Clover, SC
1553 KC Robotics Team Lugoff, SC
1758 Technomancers Florence, SC
2059 The Hitchhikers Apex, NC
2815 Blue Devil Mechanics Columbia, SC
3489 Category 5 North Charleston, SC
3490 Viper Drive Summerville, SC
3976 Electric Hornets Hopkins, SC
4083 Iron Wolverines Dorchester, SC
4451 ROBOTZ Garage Laurens, SC
4533 Wando Advanced Robotics Mt Pleasant, SC
4534 Wando B-Team Mt Pleasant, SC
4901 Garnet Squadron Columbia, SC
4935 T-Rex Charlotte, NC
4965 FIRE Anderson, SC
5898 RoboFalcons Darlington, SC (Pre-rookies running 1293’s robot)
8101 342/3489 B-Team North Charleston, SC

As you can see, we’re sitting on 24 teams after some teams had to scratch for various reasons. We sincerely hope that everyone shows up, because this year’s playoff format does not lend itself to byes as we’ve done in the past. The planning committee has a contingency plan in case someone no-shows and leaves us at less than 24 teams, and here it is. If it comes to pass, we will announce it at the driver’s meeting.

  1. We’ll adjust the qualification schedule so everyone plays one additional match, and some will play still another as a surrogate. We know teams come to play, and we want to maximize these opportunities as much as possible.
  2. We will run the playoffs with four four-team alliances (draft order 1-4, 4-1, 1-4).
  3. Whoever sits out the first match in the round must play in the second.

One request from our bookkeepers: don’t mail anything else. If you have a check for us, bring it to pit admin when you arrive. If you have a lunch pre-order, you can still fax it to John Lindower at 803-264-8498.

As you’re packing, don’t forget your essentials:

-Your driver station laptop (and power cord)
-Your charged batteries
-Your battery chargers
-Your hand tools
-Your safety glasses
-Your Gracious Professionalism!

Lastly, thank you, thank you, thank you. This month’s storms have proven to be quite the challenge, and we have all felt the extra pressure to ensure the show goes on with the quality you expect from SCRIW. We know we would not have made it to this fifth year without your continued support, and we are grateful for all of you from the five-timers to the newbies. Columbia is open for business, and we hope you’ll enjoy everything the city has to offer while you’re here. If there’s anything we can do to help, from event questions to tips on barbecue joints, please ask.

We can’t wait to see you Saturday!


Billfred Leverette
SCRIW Planning Committee

Thanks Billfred.

Looks like a beautiful day. Mostly sunny, about 56° during load-in, with a high of 74°. Zero percent chance of floods!

Dreher H.S. Map](,-80.9936686,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x97f699dd46da92e9)
I don’t know if this was a factor in the venue selection, but there’s a Dunkin Donuts shop across the street.

It wasn’t, but I’m also not opposed to being a mile and a half from delicious barbecue either.

(Which also means I’m a mile and a half from home, since I share that block with Southern Belly.)

I think I finally slept off the last of the soreness!

SCRIW V wasn’t perfect, and some of the calls we had to make killed me. (I know everyone wants to play far more than six matches, and I know everyone wants to make the show.) We saw issues that nobody–a seasoned AndyMark FTA included–had seen before, but we persevered and got through 32 matches in one day. We hope everyone enjoyed it even as we dealt with these challenges on the field.

Before we get to the real hardware, I have to tip my hat to those that contributed for a shot at the SCRIW mentor match. Across all the teams, we raised over $500 for flood relief efforts here in Columbia and the crowd that stayed was hot for this match. The alliance of 2059, 3976, and 2815 defeated the alliance 4935, 3490, and 342 thanks to a last-second six-stack from the Hitchhikers. (We did have a few teams that would’ve been in the match had they stayed, so no slight to those teams not in the match.) I’m not committing to anything, but I hope this becomes an annual tradition to make a little extra impact.

With that out of the way, here were the alliances for the playoffs (no declines). Only 23 teams showed up (1539 had trailer issues), so we did four four-team alliances where all four robots had to play across the first two matches of each round. (This order is pulled from a screenshot on the audience display, which I believe is correct in draft order. Someone that caught otherwise can correct me.)

  1. 2059/4451/1226/3976 (semifinals average: 111.66)
  2. 4533/1225/3490/4534 (83.00)
  3. 343/5898/3489/283 (78.00)
  4. 4935/342/1553/1758 (47.66)

Alliances 1 and 2 advanced to the finals, where Alliance 1 sealed the deal in two matches. Congratulations to teams 2059 (The Hitchhikers), 4451 (ROBOTZ Garage), 1226 (Gorillas B-Team), and 3976 (Electric Hornets), your SCRIW V Champions! With this win, the Hitchhikers become two-time SCRIW champions (they won SCRIW II), and so does 1225 if you count A- and B-teams together (SCRIW IV).

The SCRIWDriver Award was presented to AndyMark for their field rental service. It’s a long drive for them from Kokomo, but the service they offer is what’s made SCRIW possible these past five years. As one of the two people in the parking lot discussion that led to SCRIW, I can say with near-absolute certainty that we wouldn’t be able to pull it off if we had to coordinate things through Manchester.

This year saw a lot of volunteers that were new to their roles, but I have to tip my hat to Kaylee (whose name I’m probably misspelling terribly), a student from 2815 at her first FIRST event ever who was thrust into the emcee role. With a little more practice (and backup–my microphone was getting too feedback-laden to add the short names as usual), I think she could do it at an in-season event!

Thank you in particular to our workshop presenters, David Allred, Kevin Thorp, and David Castro. Maybe someday I’ll be able to attend one of those workshops myself, but it seems like they all got great reviews.

I also have to thank the other members of the SCRIW committee: Matt Hedden, John Lindower, and Brooke Slocum. I’m the visible guy, but there is no way this event would happen without their efforts from building access to leading food efforts to fixing up the sound board while we keep going on matches.

Look for a date for SCRIW VI soon after the USC football schedule is set, and thank you all again!

Have any photos of the event?

I have a couple, but they’re not great.

Picture of the field:

Picture of Wade Hampton’s setup:

Full resolution: