May 8, 2013
Team 3802 ROBOPOP
W O R L D C H A M P I O N S H I P S : S T . L O U I S
The “Little Engine that Could”
Prince of Peace Posts Strong Performance in 2013 World Championships
How do you follow-up a statement- sending performance at the Dallas Regional Robotics Competition, which resulted in a first-ever qualification berth to the World Championship of Robotics at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis? By serving notice to the rest of the world, that your team has arrived, and isn’t traveling to the midwest just for a trip up to the top of the St, Louis Arch or to enjoy the food.
That is exactly what the robotics contingent from Prince of Peace did, when, after falling to dead-last place after two matches due to a series of mechanical mishaps in the first day of competition, they defied all odds to mount a comeback and finish 39th in the 100-team Newton Division.
Challenges Started Early
Already facing a heavy obstacle as one of the smallest teams at the competition with a mere 12-member contingent, and only 3 years of experience under their belts, the challenges quickly escalated for POPCS. During pre-competition inspection, the Eagle’s RoboPOP entry failed to certify, when it was determined that their hydraulics systems (which enables the robot to climb) was not within the competition guidelines.
The team of Seth Drosche, Daniel Dedoes, and Bobby Pfeil, along with adult mentors Rick Knotts, James Tolbert, “Grandpa” Pfeil, and Robert Bell worked feverishly during a condensed 2-hour window to make the necessary adjustments to pass the inspection for tournament competition. With much effort, they were able to get the green-light to compete with just 26 minutes remaining in the time period they had to get RoboPOP to code.
Adjustments Harmed Initial Matches
While the inspection was passed, to meet the deadline, POPCS had to disconnect the entire hydraulics systems, which meant that RoboPOP could not climb in any of their first three matches. This resulted in an immediate forfeit of 10-easy points each match for the Eagles entry, as the team had perfected this aspect of their game.
Only POPCS Luck was Bad Early On
Not only could the POPCS robot not climb, but, adjustments to their shooting mechanism led to the team being off- target on 75% of their frisbee launches, reversing their trend in the Regionals of hitting on 75%+. Early in the second match, a frisbee got caught upside-down in the RoboPOP launcher, which rendered them nothing but a blocker for almost the entire contest.
To cap the litany of mishaps experienced in the first two matches was the fact that Prince of Peace had the misfortune of drawing 4 alliance members who did not score one shooting point amongst them to support the effort. Even in the low- scoring narrow defeat in match 2, and with their shooting device problems, Prince of Peace still scored every point in the 23-22 loss.
T H E Y S A I D I T – C A P T A I N – S P E A K
BOBBY P. – CAPTAIN & DRIVER
“Practicing with the controllers on the Xbox helped me prepare for the competition to be familiar to the controls of the Robot The most exciting part of the season was building a 2-measuring launch system with speeds of over 30mph!”
SETH D.- CAPTAIN & DRIVER
I was only a part of the robotics team for two years. The moment our alliance won the match that allowed us to continue to the finals at the Dallas regional, for the 2013 season. Ensuring our team would continue to St. Louis was a very exhilarating memory due to a sense of a great challenge being overcome.
Absorbing two losses to begin the competition, coupled with an inability for their alliances to score, RoboPOP dropped to a dead-last position in the Newton Division.
Frustrated and deflated, a team of lesser character would have simply given-up and gone back to their hotel to get a head-start on packing to go home to Dallas. But not RoboPOP. Brett Moore, Thomas Laubhan and Jacob Tolbert jumped-in to help fix damaged components, and the team reverted to their earlier software code setup to improve shooting accuracy.
The result? POPCS saw glimpses of how they had performed in the Irving Regional, as they defeated the Red Alliance 111-101 . In doing so, RoboPop climbed ever so slightly out of the basement of the standing, and now stood at 88th place at the first day concluded.
In the process of winning their first match of the Tournament, the POPCS robot absorbed a cracked “Feeder Tray” after taking a hard hit. Having faced so much adversity already, this was no big deal. The repair team slapped on some scotch tape (the better choice than duct tape, as the thickness of that solution would have interfered with shooting accuracy) and were set for action on day 2.
Playing with the Big Boys
Buoyed by their first taste of success the night before, on Friday, the Edward Jones Dome and the rest of the world finally got a full exhibition of what qualified POPCS for St. Louis in the first place. In the morning, the team implemented their re- designed, non-hydraulic climbing mechanism. And it worked flawlessly, allowing RoboPOP to secure 10 climb points in each of their final 5 matches.
POPCS was now back to full speed.
Scouts Holly Backstrom, Sarah Surgeoner, scrounged for data and began to deliver key information on alliance teammates and competitors that would help develop winning strategies for RoboPOP. Kevin
Stevens and Spencer Johnson helped shore up the robot’s bumpers, while Peter Lawton and Austin Caruso helped with programming adjustments
Gone was the wide-eyed look for the Prince of Peace team members, and now they were having fun. Smile and laughter was abound, and the crowd was electrified as Moore unfurled the largest team flag at the event and ran the length of the court to get the crowd involved.
Winning all four matches on Day 2, saw Prince of Peace move from 88th to 66th, to 44th, and to 39th after their fourth consecutive convincing win. They jumped as high as 14th late in the day just after they won their 4th and last contest of the day, before settling in at #23 prior to their last match on Championship Saturday.
Close 8th Match Ends POPCS Run
With a win in the final match of the qualification section on Saturday, RoboPOP would advance to 17th, and a likely berth in the World Championship Quarterfinals. Performing as the Red Alliance, POPCS hit on 14 of 16 three- point shots, and got both strong scoring help and blocking assistance from their teammates. However, their challengerswere equally effective.
The difference in the match was an ability for one of the Blue Alliance team members to not only climb to the third rung of the tower (earning 30 points), but they also were able to place 4 “blue” frisbees on the top of the tower for an additional 20 points. That 50 point contribution was enough to defeat POPCS’s Red Alliance 169-121.
The loss dropped Prince of Peace to 39th position, and outside of contention for a Quarterfinals Alliance invitation.
Holding Their Heads High
While their first trip to the World Tournament ended about 7 hours earlier than they would have preferred, the young Prince of Peace robotics program can be proud of their accomplishments in 2013.
They were the trailblazing group that was first to win a Regional tournament, the first POPCS team of any kind in school history to qualify and perform on a World stage, – defeating a significant number of much larger public schools with entrenched and better-funded teams along the way.
The blueprint is now set, and the Eagles plan to take what they learned this year, and expect to mark their calendars for their return for a Title run in St. Louis in 2014. Go Eagles and RoboPOP!
H E S A I D I T
CHRIS HAHN POPCS HEADMASTER
“21st century learning in action- collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking. I am very proud of the example, dedication and results achieved by the team.”
POPCS Partners With Schools All Around North America
|Prince of Peace Christian School||Carrollton, TX||
|George Washington HS||Carrollton, TX||#9 (Loss 93-18)||
|W.A.F.F.L.E.S. Community Robotics||Kingston, Ontario||#9 (Loss 93-18)||
|Chicago Knights 4H Robotics||Chicago, IL||#22 (Loss 23-22)||
|Manor New Tech HS||Manor, TX||#22 (Loss 23-22)||
|Dallastown HS||York, PA||#48 (Win 111-101)||
|Jupiter & Wm Dower HS||Jupiter FL||#48 (Win 111-101)||
|Camas, Washougal & Hockinson HS(s)||Camas, WA||#66 (Win 102-75)||
|Atlantic Tech HS||Coconut Creek, FL||#66 (Win 102-75)||
|Center Grove School||Greenwood, IN||#81 (Win 140-123)||
|Windblom Math & Science Acad. HS||Chicago, IL||#81 (Win 140-123)||
|Chicasaw HS||Chicasaw, OK||#92 (Win 155-91)||
|Pocatello School Dist||Pocatello, ID||#92 (Win 155-91)||
|Utica Community Schools||Sterling Hts, MI||#104 (Win 146-124)||
|JC Wilson Academy||Rochester, NY||#104 (Win 146-124)||
|Buchanon HS||Clovis, CA||#119 (Loss 169-121)||
|Central HS||Manchester, NH||#119 (Loss 169-121)||
What is FIRST?
FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is a unique varsity “Sport for the Mind” designed to help high-school-aged young people discover interesting and rewarding careers in engineering, science, and technology. FRC teams are composed of students, professional engineers, and other adult Mentors who have just six weeks to work collaboratively to design and build a robot that can compete in specially designed robot games.
At FRC competitions, teams compete in Alliances to complete the new challenge unveiled each year at the January Kickoff. Referees oversee the competition while Judges evaluate teams and present awards for design, technology, and sportsmanship. Students have a unique opportunity to test their designs under challenging circumstances while interacting with industry and business leaders who volunteer their time to help make this event happen. The atmosphere is as high-energy and exciting as a rock concert.
Active involvement with an FRC team is a powerful experience. Students participate in real- world engineering challenges while learning time management, developing teamwork skills, and building self-esteem. Involvement with an FRC team leads students to a better understanding of the impact science and technology have on our daily lives. Studies have shown that 88 percent of FRC Alumni have gone on to college. This year ’s participants have access to more than $16 million in scholarship funds available exclusively to FIRST students.
There are lots of ways to get involved in FIRST. Individuals can mentor teams, volunteer at events, or join planning committees that support FIRST activities. Corporations, foundations, and administrations may sponsor teams; donate space, materials, and talent; or fund FIRST events. Over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies support FIRST. Some of the world’s most respected companies provide funding, mentorship time and talent, volunteer hours, equipment, and more in an effort to encourage today’s students to become tomorrow’s technologically-literate workforce.
What are the Rules of the Competitions?
ULTIMATE ASCENT is played by two competing Alliances on a flat, 27 x 54 foot field. Each Alliance consists of three robots, and they compete to score as many discs into their goals as they can during a two (2)-minute and fifteen (15)-second match. The higher the goal in which the disc is scored, the more points the Alliance receives. The match begins with a fifteen (15)-second Autonomous Period in which robots operate independently of driver inputs. Discs scored during this period are worth additional points. For the remainder of the match (Teleop Period), drivers control robots and try to maximize their Alliance score by scoring as many goals as possible.
The match ends with robots attempting to climb up pyramids located near the middle of the field. Each robot earns points based on how high it climbs.
T H E L A D Y R O B O T S
S C O U T S
Pyramid Climb Points
POPCS RoboPOP Places 2nd at 2013 Dallas Regionals
Chucking Frisbees and swinging from metal bars may sound like playground fun, but for high school students competing in a massive robotics competition, repeatedly executing those simple tasks in minutes with homemade robots required serious work and many hours of labor.
Nearly 50 teams from competed in the 2013 Dallas Regional FIRST Robotics Competition March 21-23 at the Irving Convention Center. It was a rollicking scene as music blared while teams tinkered with their robots and cheered loudly during the competitions.
The three-day competition drew 3,000 students from across Texas, the U.S., Mexico, and Brazil and culminated Saturday at the Convention Center. The students said they gained skills and experience in science and technology — an entryway to unexpected college majors, careers and, for a select few, a shot at a patent.
Many of the older teens ditched extracurricular activities and social lives to spend the past six weeks designing and building a robot and raising the thousands of dollars needed to fund it. But,for one team in particular, the sacrifice was well worth the outcome.
In just their 3rd year of entry, Prince of Peace’s RoboP entry streaked to a 10-1 record in qualification matches to not only advance to the Quarterfinals, but they earned a #3 seed in the process. Selecting teams 704 (Warriors from Grand Prairie) and 4354 (PengWINS from Dallas) to be their Alliance partners for the playoffs, POPCS swept their quarterfinals challenges by scores of 154-34 and 96-41 in the best of three elimination match.
While the SemiFinals provided a bit stiffer challenge with the opponents splitting the first two matches, RoboPOP’s Alliance secured a spot in the finals by dominating the rubber match by a score of 124-85.
Unfortunately, during the win, PengWINS was rendered unable to continue on due to damage it suffered in the SemiFinals. xxx of Mexico was automatically selected to join the POPCS Alliance for the finals. In a closely fought match, RoboPOP was defeated 2 games to none by the Robowranglers from Greenville, Texas. But, since the Robowranglers had already qualified for the World Championships by winning the Houston qualifying tournament, POPCS also advanced to St. Louis for a shot at the World title on April 24-27th.
H I G H S C H O O L P R I N C I P A L W E I G H S – I N
I am so excited for our Robotics Team and for their successes at both the Dallas Regional and the Worlds in St. Louis! I know the amount of work they put into the Robots and they really showed what “Teamwork” is all about. The Robotics Team has grown into one of our premiere programs at Prince of Peace. Thank you to the coaches and mentors and all the team members for representing Prince of Peace by using their gifts in a way that glorifies God!
POPCS “RoboPOP” – 2nd Place 2013 Dallas Regional Robotics Tournament
Front Row: Daniel Dedoes, Harjas Kaur, Sarah Surgeoner and Holly Backstrom
Middle Row: Seth Drosche, David Pfeil, Spencer Johnson, Kevin Stevens, Pat Hoerr, Bobby Pfeil
Back Row: Brett Moore, Peter Lawton, Austin Caruso, Thomas Laubhan, Robert Bell, James Tolbert, Rick Knotts, ”Grandpa” Pfeil, Mark Drosche, Jacob Tolbert
Quarterfinalist at 2013 Dallas Regionals
QS = Qualifying Score – 2
Points per win
AP = Autonomous Period
TP = Teleop Points (Frisbee points during non- Autonomous Mode)
BRETT MOORE MEDIA/MASCOT
“My most lasting memory of
T H E Y S A I D I T
PAT HOERR – MASCOT/SCOUT “Robotics is essentially the same as other sports in that we worked our
robotics will be going to the first regional competition and experiencing something more than a competition. It was a convention atmosphere where everyone was a geek and we knew it, and we all
stuck together while the coolest sport competition went on. It was a completely different atmosphere than I could have ever expected.”
KEVIN STEVENS – BUMPER CREW When scouting, the most important information is
the ranking of the teams
from 11-30. Yes, knowing the top 10 teams is important, owever if you don’t pick the best third alliance member possible, you greatly hurt your team’s chances of going all the way.
tails off all year to build up to the ultimate competition or event. I appreciated the opportunity to work with a smaller group this year and be involved in a wide range of activities.”
JACOB TOLBERT SAFETY CAPTAIN
“The funniest thing I saw during Robotics season was when Spencer was
accidentally hit by a frisbee
during practice. It left a big mark on his forehead!”
THOMAS LAUBHAN BUMPER CREW
PROGRAMMER AUSTIN CARUSO
“Robotics is fast-
paced, and if you are not paying attention to when the matches begin and end you can easily miss one.”
SPENCER JOHNSON BUMPER CREW
It was an amazing experience to be involved in such a great group and to work with the mentors. I enjoyed learning about the technology involved with the robots. It was
really cool to see a robot being built
and to accomplish such a task. Many people will never be able to get to experience something like this.
DANIEL DEDOES – PRESIDENT & LOADER
“What I will remember the most about robotics during my senior year was how much fun we had, and just how much we actually did. We were always
playing with each other, before, during, and after we were always goofing off.
When it came down to getting things done we were top notch, kept trying to make things work and when they didn’t we would try to fix the problem. When I think about it we built two fully functioning robots when most teams built only one, that is a huge feat in itself.
The frisbee was having a slight chance to fall in the wrong way and that was due to the design of the hopper, it was a great design but we didn’t have a way to keep the frisbees from falling in upside down except from my hands. We could have added a kind of sloped lid that would catch the frisbee from flipping, but then we could have been overweight, overall I think we built a fantastic robot.
A W O R D F R O M T H E M E N T O R S
Father of POPCS Robotics is Truly Robo”Pop”
most rewarding experience about the 2013 Robotics season as working with the students and seeing their success and how they grew as a team throughout the season!
After the team fell down 0-2 in the World Championships, the key to our success the rest of the way was changing the angles for loading and shooting- the other big adjustment— CONFIDENCE after the 3rd match we won!
In order for the Prince of Peace Robotics team, to take the next steps towards a World Championship, we need commitment and dedication to the program and iewing the program as a business from web site design- arketing, business plan and stepping up our CAD and robot design!” (Epic!) AMES TOLBERT
“My best memory of the 2013 season was being able to work together and realizing everyone’s idea is important.”
“Building a robot is a total team effort. It’s not a single person operation. So it takes communication & understanding.
Whatever you’re doing make sure that you thoroughly explain it to your partners because the simple question of “Why?” may come up. A more efficient method or solution to the development and building process may present itself by all those involved.”
ROBERT BELL “The energy level was higher overall at the Regional event because we were having so much success. In St. Louis,
the excitement came on
Friday as we were winning 5 matches in a row.”
We learned that winning Regionals was fun, but that was just a drop in the bucket,
while the World Championships is the whole bucket! “
“It was gratifying to see how focused the team was to achieve what we set out to do. Everything we wanted to accomplish on the robot we did.
This focus and drive enabled the team to recover from the first day setbacks at the World Championship but I was proud of the way handled it and didn’t give up. Great job!”
C A N Y O U N A M E T H E F A M O U S R O B O T ?
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13
21 22 23
See Page 12 for Answers
J U S T F O R F U N – T E C H N O L O G Y
POPCS Planning New Technology for 2014?
T URBO –E NCABULA TOR
The Turboencabulator is a fictional machine whose alleged existence became an in-joke and subject of professional humor among engineers. The explanation of the supposed product makes extensive use of technobabble.
The original technical description of the “turbo-encabulator” was written by British graduate student John
Hellins Quick (1923-1991).
Bud Haggart, an actor who appeared in many industrial training films in and around
Detroit, performed in the first film realization of the description and operation of the
While the turboencabulator is completely made up, the equipment shown in the original
Chrysler video are a real Chrysler front-wheel drive transaxle (A604) and diagnostic equipment
Most generators operate by the “relative motion of conductors and fluxes”. On the other hand, the Retro-
Encabulator is said to use the “modial interaction of magneto-reluctance and capacitive directance”. As plausible as this may sound to non-engineers, these are not meaningful engineering terms.
With those easy-to-follow directions, Prince of Peace’s RoboPop expects to implement the technology and shock the globe at the 2014 FIRST Robotics World Championships in St. Louis.
A U T O G R A P H S
Answers: Robot Names
1) T-800 (1984)
2) Astro Boy (1952)
3) Vision (1940)
4) Bender (1999)
5) Brainiac (1958)
6) C3PO (1977)
7) Clank (2002)
8) Cyberman (1966)
9) Cylon (1978)
10) Awesome-O (2004)
11) CORT (1951)
12) Rosie (1962)
13) Alpha (1993)
14) Voltron (1984)
15) EVE (2008)
17) Optimus Prime
18) Wall-E (2008)
19) Wheatley (2011)
20) Marvin (1978)
21) Miles Monroe
22) Hall 9000 (1968)
23) Iron Giant (1999)
24) Robby the Robot
25) Pneuma (1999)
26) R2D2 (1977)
27) Sentinel (1965)
28) Asimo (2000)
29) H8 (1963)
30) Mega Man (1987)