The Truck Town Thunder Robotics, FIRST Team 68, has wrapped up another FIRST Robotics Build Season. Every year FIRST Robotics initiates a challenge to high school students all over the world on the first Saturday of January. Teams are then given six weeks, ending February 21, 2012, to design, fabricate, and program a robot to execute the challenge. This year’s Challenge is called Rebound Rumble.
The Rebound Rumbe robotics game is played between two Alliances of three teams each. Each Alliance competes by trying to score as many of the basketballs in the hoops as possible during the 2-minute and 15-second match. Balls scored in higher hoops score Alliances more points. Alliances are awarded bonus points if they are balanced on bridges at the end of the match. In matches where opponent Alliances work together to balance on the white bridge, all participating teams earn additional valuable seeding points.Truck Town Thunder comprised of Brandon and Holly High School students, mentors and advisors, set out to tackle this year’s challenge in true Truck Town Thunder fashion. The team determined their strategy, designed, fabricated and executed two fully functioning robots to play the game. One robot is used for practice, testing and prototyping and one for competition purposes. With eight seniors on the team, Truck Town Thunder is looking to do well this year. Students were able to learn about working as a team to execute a really complicated design challenge mentored by some of the best robotics engineers in the area.
This year Truck Town Thunder will be kicking off their competition season at Waterford Mott High School on March 8 and 9, 2012. Then the team will travel to Northville High School on March 23 and 24, 2012. Admission is free at both competitions and the entire community is invited to come and support their local high school students in competition. The top 64 teams in Michigan after the 10 Districts competitions will qualify for the Michigan State Championship at the Eastern Michigan Convocation Center, April 12-14, 2012. The top 18 teams from the State Championships will then qualify for The FIRST Championship in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Edward Jones Dome (Home of the St. Louis Rams). There will be 40 countries represented at the event with the best robotics teams in the world. Truck Town Thunder was close to winning this event in 2009, where they were finalists and finishing 2nd in the world. The team would like to get to compete at the prestigious Einstein field at the Championship.