Rebel alliance’s first regional

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Alex Lowery

The pit crew fixing the intake starting position

Hunter Martin, Writer

OHS Robotics team, Rebel Alliance is returning home from their first regional event on Friday, Mar. 8. This year’s regional attendance was outstanding with over 120 teams competing in two regionals at the same complex. Teams from all over the midwest and even a team from Sweden competed at the Northern Lights Regional in matches and for the Chairman’s Award.

This year’s competition was fierce and alliances were forged to complete the task of fitting as many hatch panels to rockets, habitats and to load cargo into paneled off game pieces. The Rebel Alliance started off strong, coming in as one of only a few teams able to climb the very treacherous third level platform that stands 19 inches tall. Junior Evan Krueger said, “The third level climb is a very impressive feat and something we are very proud of.” This might not be very high, but guiding a 125 pound robot up a 19 inch platform, it seems almost impossible and very risky.

The event started off subpar, to say the least, with a last-minute mechanical failure that left the front intake extending outside of the robot perimeter, disqualifying the robot for the first round. The robot was immediately taken to the pits to get fixed and with just a couple tightening of screws and about three inches of one by one aluminum, the robot cleared the perimeter by almost half a foot. The second match of the day went flawlessly with the robot being able to place panels and launch balls out of its intake and ultimately leading to the first win of the day. Senior Caleb Kess said, “I was proud of the pits ability to adapt to situations and their nuance solution to the problem.” In the second round, the team did not attempt to climb the third platform due to some cables not being hooked up.

There is a lot of spirit and looking at what we have and how we can make it better, and I think it’s going to be very Exciting.”

— Mrs. Val Rose

The climbing arm was hooked up and ready to go for the third round. From the very beginning of this round, everyone could tell it was going to be a close game. Each alliance stayed within 10 points of each other the whole two and a half minute long game. An opposing team took a small lead in the last 30 seconds, but now Rebel Alliance was ready and able to climb the third level platform successfully, which gave their team an extra six points. Those extra six points ended up making a huge difference, leaving the final score tied 43 to 43.

At the very end of the fourth round, the robotic drivers got the robot in position and started to climb the third platform. However, they did not go back far enough to get a solid grip on the platform, so the robot was just barely holding on. A disaster happened when a friendly ally came back to the habitat and accidentally rammed into the back of the robot, sending it into a free fall off the third platform. The fall was devastating and destroyed a solid steel bolt holding the motor on to the robot, and bent the very heavy aluminum arm that lifts the intake.

The team had high hopes in their leaders who participated in the very prestigious Chairman’s Award. Seniors Jace Hendricks, Zach Noyce and junior Alex Lowery practiced weeks in advanced to get every little detail about the 10-minute presentation to perfection. Build team leader, Jace Hendricks said, “I felt like chairman’s presentation went very well, even though we did not end up winning the award I was very proud of what we accomplished.” Every regional event selects one team for the Chairman’s Award and the team is ready to give it their all again at their next competition.

The robotics team successfully rebuilt the motor and rebend the arm back into a more reasonable angle, but the team never fully recovered for the rest of the events.They ended the Duluth Regional with a score of 2-6-1. Even though the results were not what the team was looking for at Duluth, they got a lot of experience and ideas for what to change in the upcoming regional. Robotics director, Mrs. Val Rose said, “There is a lot of spirit and looking at what we have and how we can make it better, and I think it’s going to be very Exciting.” On Wednesday, Apr. 3 at the La Crosse Center in WI. The team will be competing in front of many sponsors and with a very different robot.