SYRA Robotics Teams Win Big
The ten teams of the Sharon Youth Robotics Association (SYRA) have finished an eventful fall 2006 competition season, competing in six tournaments and taking home awards from each one.
The FIRST robotics season started in mid-September, with the release of the FIRST LEGO League (FLL, grades 4-8) and the FIRST Vex Challenge (FVC, grades 9-12) 2006 challenges. The FLL teams met as a group weekly throughout the season to prepare their “Nano Quest” robots. In addition to their team coaches, the alumni FVC team members and coaches of the SYRA “Mentors Team” helped to orient and support them, and ran in-house competitions to practice and determine tournament competitors. As the tournament season approached, the pace picked up, and the teams worked hard to complete and program their robots.
On Saturday, Nov. 18, the Blackstone Regional FLL tournament was held at the Blackstone Vocational Technical High School, with three Sharon teams competing. All three SYRA teams ranked in the top half of the qualifying rounds, with the Devil Bots making it into the final four in the afternoon eliminations. The Black Botz, the Devil Bots and the Eris Bots shared the team spirit award, and the Devil Bots also received an award for technical excellence.
On Sunday, Dec. 3, the First Annual Sharon FLL Invitational was held at the Sharon Girl Scout House, with all the Sharon robotics teams in attendance. The seven SYRA FLL teams were competing, and the three SYRA FVC teams were acting as judges, referees and other staff to run the competition. The Best Bots, the Black Botz, the Devil Bots, the Eris Bots, the Fire Blazers, the Motorized Molecules and the Nano Brothers all had an incredible day of competition, and were all recognized for their achievements. The Black Botz won the day as a whole, finishing in first place through the elimination rounds, and being awarded the coveted First Annual SYRA Award for overall excellence.
On Saturday, Dec. 9, the Eastern Massachusetts FLL State tournament was held at Quincy North High School, sponsored by P&G/Gillette, with two Sharon teams competing. Both SYRA teams had a great competition, with the Fire Blazers advancing to the quarter-finals, and the Black Botz winning the field in first place. The Black Botz received the Robotic Performance award, won by SYRA FLL teams three times in the five years since the founding of the Quincy tournament.
On Saturday, Dec.16, Robonautica - the Central Massachusetts FLL State tournament - was held at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, with two Sharon teams competing. Both the Devil Bots and the Eris Bots seeded in the top half of the field, and progressed into the afternoon eliminations. The Devil Bots received a Judge’s Award for excellence in their technical and project presentations.
In addition to mentoring the younger SYRA teams, the Sharon FVC high school teams competed in the “Hangin’-A-Round” FIRST Vex Challenge this season. Sharon teams have been involved in this new program since its inception, and work to promote it in Massachusetts. Long weeks of effort went into the design and programming of their robots.
Dec. 9 saw the Sharon AngelBots (2044) and Team Unlimited (2013) at Quinsigamond Community College for the Massachusetts FVC Championship, and a long day of intense competition Both SYRA teams formed alliances for the elimination rounds, and met in the semi-finals, with Team Unlimited (and their partner, roboNatick (FVC 3456) emerging after a hard-fought round. In the end, Team Unlimited shared the Winning Alliance Award with roboNatick, and received the FVC Inspire Award for overall excellence. The Sharon Angelbots received the FVC Think Award, for excellence in their problem-solving processes.
Dec.16 found the Sharon Myotonics (FVC 2078) and Team Unlimited (FVC 2013) at the University of Hartford for the Connecticut FVC Championship. Challenged by some early problems with the field electronics, the teams both moved on to be part of the two top alliances – the Myotonics allied with Checkmate (FVC 40) and Rising Tide (FVC 3197), and Team Unlimited allied with Team Impulse (FVC 2160) and Rosie’s Lil Sis (839). At the end of the day, the Myotonics alliance won the Championship, with Team Unlimited’s alliance as finalists. The Myotonics shared the Winning Alliance Award, and Team Unlimited shared the Runner-up Alliance Award. Team Unlimited also received the FVC Innovate Award for technical excellence.
As a result of their Winning Alliance Awards, the Sharon Myotonics and Team Unlimited will both progress to the FIRST International Championships, to be held in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome from April 12– 14. This is the fourth consecutive season that Sharon has been represented in this competition - reflecting the commitment, accomplishment and spirit of all the members if the Sharon Youth Robotics Association. Much more about the SYRA and FIRST robotics programs can be found at www.syraweb.org.
The FIRST (“For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”) program aspires “to create a world where science and technology are celebrated . . . where young people dream of becoming science and technology heroes”, according to founder Dean Kamen, a prominent inventor and technologist. The organization is based in New Hampshire, but sponsors robotics competitions all over the world.
Last modified: 12/05/14 All Rights Reserved, © 2013 by Team Unlimited [FTC 0001]