The History of Rockford Robotics
Read about all of the cool things we have done over the years!
Rockford Robotics has been competing and building since 2007.
The Rockford Robotics team of 2007 consisted of 10 students and 9 mentors, representing three high schools. On March 8-10, 2007, they competed in their Regional Competition at the US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee, WI. The team placed 30th out of 52 teams by the end of the competition. In the first game of the semifinal rounds, the team was able to beat two other teams with their robot named The Initiator, leading them to qualify for the final rounds. In their second round of finals, they ended up losing by one point (61-60).
Here is a quote from the Rockford Robotics 2007 blog post:
"Overall we felt lucky to have been given a chance to compete in the finals and were ecstatic about our success and ability to bring home a regional finalist award. We are looking forward to next year and hopefully will get a chance to compete at the national competition."
In 2008, the team competed in both the Midwest Regionals in Chicago and the Wisconsin Regionals in Milwaukee, WI. They made it to the finals in Chicago, but did not make it much further following that. The team found many problems with the robot, named the RoboTalon, saying that it worked effectively, but too slowly. For the Wisconsin Regionals, they were able to come with different strategies. The team made adjustments to the claw mechanisms, and added some basic autonomous programming. Despite the challenges, they performed better in Wisconsin than in Chicago. However, they did not end up making it to finals.
Here is a quote from the Rockford Robotics 2008 blog post:
"Overall, we greatly enjoyed the competition, and the opportunity to play with such great teams. We are also very grateful to our sponsors for making this all possible. Next year, we are going to better focus our marketing at the competitions to enhance our chances of doing even better."
The Rockford Robotics team of 2009 consisted of 14 students and 11 mentors, representing six high schools. By the fifth week of the build season, the team had to redesign the turret, hooper, and conveyor systems. By Saturday in week five, they had finalized the mounting positions of the three systems and sent it off to a welder to weld all of those pieces together. The team was working hard during week five on their robot, named The Hulk, proceeded to compete in three competitions. The Rockford Robotics team went to the Midwest Regional in Chicago (Feb. 26-28, 2009), the Wisconsin Regional in Milwaukee (Mar. 12-14, 2009), and the FIRST Championship in Atlanta, Georgia (Apr. 16-18, 2009). In Chicago, they were awarded as being a Midwest Regional Finalist, which represents the team or alliance that makes it through all of the final games. In Milwaukee, the were awarded the Wisconsin Regional Finalist award, which represents the team or alliance that wins the competition. And in Atlanta, they were awarded the Website award, which recognizes excellence in student-designed, built, and managed FIRST team websites.
Here is a quote from the Rockford Robotics 2009 blog post:
"...team 2039 is excited to see what this new season will bring..."
In 2010, Rockford Robotics competed in the Wisconsin Regionals in Milwaukee for the fourth year in a row. The team finished 27th out of 50 teams in the regional competition, and did not get far enough to compete in any further competitions. Their team of 14 students, representing seven high schools, and 10 mentors competed with their robot, named the Technosaurus Rex, working hard and trying their best to get as far as they could.
The Rockford Robotics team consisted of 24 students and 11 mentors, representing eight high schools. They competed with their robot, named Loki, at the Wisconsin Regional (Mar. 10-12, 2011) in Milwaukee, WI, as well as the Championship Competition (Apr. 27-30, 2011) in St. Louis, MO. They won the Dean's List award, which celebrates a students' outstanding leadership and effectiveness in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers, both within their school and their community.
Here is a quote from the Rockford Robotics 2011 blog post:
"We’ve redesigned our minibot yet again. The new design takes into to account engineering principles discussed during our design review at GE Aviation. Students also evaluated potential drive team members based on interviews and a skills test."
The Rockford Robotics team of 2012 was a very large team. They had a whopping 4- students and 18 mentors, representing 12 high schools! They split the team into seven sub-teams, who were all working on different parts of the robot. They competed with their robot, named Air Thordan, at the Wisconsin Regional Competition (Mar. 22-24, 2012) in Milwaukee, WI. In this competition, the team placed 3rd out of 48 teams, but did not go on to any further competitions.
Here is a quote from the Rockford Robotics 2008 blog post:
"This year our plan is to have a few student programmers assigned to each sub-team. To make sure programming is consistent between sub-teams, students and mentors developed a systems requirements document. This document spells out all electronic and programming needs. It specifically lists all necessary electronic equipment such as motors, controllers, wiring, sensors, and photo eyes. It also clearly defines the programming associated with each component of the robot, including manual and automated controls."
In 2013, the team competed in three competitions with their robot named King Cobra. The first one was at the Wisconsin Regional in Milwaukee (Mar. 21-23, 2013), and they placed 52nd out of 57 teams. The second competitions was the Midwest Regional in Chicago (Apr. 4-6, 2013), they placed 31st out of 53 teams. And finally, at the FIRST Championship Competition in St. Louis, MO, (Apr. 24-27, 2013) they were assigned to Curie Division, seeded 60 out of 100, and finished in 22nd place.
Here is a quote from the Rockford Robotics 2013 blog post:
"To address the challenges, we divided into four sub-teams: shooter/pickup mechanism, climbing mechanism, programming and electrical. We also have students specialists work on Computer Aided Design, marketing, and design prototypes."
With their robot, called OM-NOM The Devourer, and a team consisting of 30 students and 15 mentors, the Rockford Robotics team of 2014 competed in two competitions. The first competition was the Central Illinois Regional in Pekin, IL, where they placed 17th out of 40 teams and finished as a Regional Finalist (Feb 27-Mar. 1, 2014). And the second competition was the Wisconsin Regional in Milwaukee, where they placed 48th out of 60 teams and finished as a Regional Semi-Finalist.
Here is a quote from the Rockford Robotics 2014 blog post:
"ON-NOM, the Devourer, is a quick moving offensive robot with low center of gravity. It as good passing and catching skills as well as being a reliable and accurate shooter. Our goal is to work with alliance partners to maximize the score through assists."
The Rockford Robotics team of 2015 consisted of 31 students and 15 mentors, as well as their robot named ALFIE (Articulated Lift For Intense Entertainment). They represented 11 high schools. The team competed in three competitions in 2015. At the Central Illinois Regional in Peoria, IL, the team placed 20th out of 39 teams and finished as a Quarter-Finalist (Mar. 19-21, 2015). At the Midwest Regional in Chicago, IL, the team placed 21st out of 53 teams and finished as a Quarter-Finalist. And at the Championship Competition in St. Louis, MO, the team was assigned to the Newton Division, placed 46th out of 76 teams, and finished as a Newton Division Quarter-Finalist. After all three competitions, they went home with two awards; Chairman's Award (Central Illinois Regional), and the Dean's List Award (Central Illinois Regional). In addition, the team also attended the Worlds Competition at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, MO! They placed 46th out of 76 teams by the end of the competition. There were a total of 608 teams at Worlds that year, which were broken down into eight divisions, each consisting of 76 teams.
Here is a quote from the Rockford Robotics 2015 blog post:
"Since we knew our robot was not the best offensive robot, we were busy optimizing our robot to do one function well. It was noticed, and we were picked in the 1st round by the #8 seed. This is only the 2nd time Rockford Robotics has been selected to compete in eliminations at the World Championships, and the highest we’ve ever been selected."
In 2016, the team consisted of 25 students, representing 12 high schools, 18 mentors, and their robot named Kat. They competed in the Central Illinois Regional competition in Peoria, IL, and placed 34th out of 40 teams (Mar. 17-19, 2016). And they competed in the Midwest Regional competition in Chicago, IL, where they placed 13th out of 52 teams and won the Gracious Professionalism Award (Mar. 30-Apr. 2, 2016). Throughout both competitions the team faced several difficult challenges with the robot, but they were able to fix it or patch it up enough that they got some really good scores.
Here is a quote from the Rockford Robotics 2016 blog post:
"You could see the team’s strength by watching how our students responded to competition pressures. While we had an extremely good start on Friday, we ran into drive train issues. Though we managed a few more matches with students’ patchwork and excellent driving skills, we hit a point where the only choice was to replace the PTO box. With at least 10 hands on the robot for 2 straight hours, we replaced the gear box in time to make all our Friday matches. We ended qualifying rounds with a 7 to 3 win/loss record"