Team 2491 Presents: Clank

Hello all,

We on team 2491 are proud to present our 13th robot, Clank! We’ll see you all at Northern Lights and Minnesota North Star.

Video creds to @NoMythicalThing

P.S. Thank the kind gods at FIRST HQ for no bag day

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Love the intake!

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Robot looks sharp, I’m excited to see y’all tomorrow at northern lights

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This robot killed it at Northern Lights! Congratulations to Danny and the rest of 2491.

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Super happy to see 2491 kill it this weekend. Congratulations, hope to see you guys at champs!

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I don’t know where else to put this but I need to get this off my chest so it’s going here.

Below is the story of team 2491 at Northern Lights Regional this past weekend. If you don’t want to read a very long post, the tl;dr is: team that did very poorly in 2019 sets their sights on improving and shocks everyone, especially themselves, with consistency, and I am a very proud individual.

Last weekend, if you told me we would achieve the results we did, I would have called you crazy. Our 2019 season, especially our first event, was dismal by our standards, so our entire 2020 season was focused on improving our processes and technical ability from that season. Nevertheless, we still fell quite behind and ran into roadblocks, to the point where we had to drop out of our Week Zero event due to the fact that we only had a drivetrain.

Coming into the regional, our robot was coming together to have a solid outing as our team rallied over the past week to get it finished and polished. I was optimistic about our chances of playing in the elimination rounds, but was trying to manage my expectations on that front.

On Thursday, we got our climber working consistently and coded a 3-ball high goal autonomous. At this point, I was thinking that if we achieved this consistently, we had a good shot of being a first pick or even a captain.

On our first match on Friday, we hit our auto but missed the climb. We had won the match, though, and had a functional robot, so we were happy. However, we still focused on putting our best foot forward rather than getting careless in the name of good results. From that point forward, for the rest of the qualification matches, we never missed those three auto shots or the climb. Through our strategy which emphasized that auto and climb (shoutout to our brilliant drive coach, Vasyl, whose name we cheered loudly before every match), we won match after match. After our sixth qualification match, we noticed that we had won more matches so far than we had in our entire regular 2019 season.

We climbed up the ranks more and more as the day went on. However, we ran into a severe issue when our QR code-based scouting system broke irreparably and we scrambled to find any data for the picklist meeting we needed to have that night. Thankfully, teams 4859 and 2052 graciously donated their Day 1 data to our team. Without that data, we would have been lost, especially as we rose up to first place after our final qualification match on Friday.

Coming into Saturday, our team made the point to not emphasize our ranking too much as they could change at the drop of a hat. However, I was determined to keep it through our strategies for our last two matches. We achieved five ranking points over two matches (thank you 3691 and 4778 for that clutch triple climb, as well as 171 and 2502 for our successful triple climb on Friday), landing us in first.

At this point, the first ranked team on our picklist was the outstanding team 2052, KnightKrawler. We noticed that all aspects of their play fit perfectly with ours. However, they were seeded third. I feared that they would decline our invitation in favor of a potentially better first-pick robot and better chance of getting a climber in the second round.

Alliance selection rolled around, and we invited 2052. To my joy and relief, they accepted. What neither of us expected is team 4182, a team that climbed almost every match with an uncanny ability to balance the generator switch and could play solid low goal, defense, or ball herding depending on what their alliance needed, to be available at the back end of the draft.

Due to the surprising depth of climbing ability at this regional, we never had an “easy” match in eliminations. The semifinal series against 2502, 1259, and 7530 was especially scary as our robot started to have issues as we were facing a very strong alliance. Nevertheless, we pulled through and managed to take the event win, even when our climber broke in Finals 1. I cannot thank 2052 and 4182 enough for their incredibly clutch performances.

As we got home, I worried that other members of the team would rest on their laurels. I checked Slack today and was swiftly proven wrong. We are already having discussions about how to improve our robot for Minnesota North Star, Detroit Championship, and Minnesota State Championship, while maintaining focus on achievability and consistency. The best part? Everyone agrees that we should give the programmers more time on the robot, and many suggestions for improvement involve just that. I could not be more proud of this team.

Finally, allow me to quickly re-emphasize a point in the OP:

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I was the pit mentor for 2491 this competition. I was unbelievably impressed by the work of the pit team this weekend. They completed some herculean efforts fixing our drive train in finals. There were many hugs, a significant amount of anxiety, and some crying between the pit, technician and our media student.

Now I have to get a dumb looking haircut and buy the team an ice cream cake (I really should stop making promises to all of you)

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