• Richard King

Looking Back at an Interesting Season

Updated: Apr 27, 2021

The 2020 - 2021 season was the second year of competition for the Guthrie Geeks. For this year’s challenge, teams had to build a custom robot that could score points by

collecting ring-shaped game pieces from the playing field and launching them at various targets from a distance approaching 4 feet. Each round in a competition lasts approximately 3 minutes, consisting of distinct phases for autonomous operation, player-controlled operation, and end-game maneuvering. The keys to success for this year were the speed with which the ring pieces could be collected and the accuracy with which the rings were fired at the targets.

Image showing the front of the ring launching mechanism for the robot
The "business-end" of the robot. Rings are stored until launched by the 6000 RPM motor-driven wheel.

Kevin makes adjustments while mounting the launching ramp.
Kevin makes some adjustments

Over the course of three qualifier competitions consisting of 10 rounds, we performed well enough to advance to the Central Pennsylvania League tournament. At that tournament, we competed in 5 rounds and ranked 13 of 18 teams participating. The top 7 teams were advanced to the Pennsylvania state tournament. Other robotics teams outperformed us in the areas of autonomous operations and efficiently collecting game pieces from the playing field. Nonetheless, we improved across a wide range of areas. First our average score per round this year was higher than the average round score last year, thanks to a fairly consistent and accurate launching mechanism. Second, we scored points through autonomous operation on every round in the tournament, thanks to some inventive coding by our programmers. Finally, we consistently scored many points during the end-game maneuvering, thanks to the team members who designed the lifting component for the robot.

The team is proud of all it accomplished over this very difficult COVID-hampered season. As we look forward to next season our goal is to qualify for the state tournament. We intend to accomplish this through improving our autonomous operations and employing additional sensors. Finally, we hope that you will join us next season and be a part of the adventure.

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