By Jeremy Pittari, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
NEW ORLEANS —
Pearl River County’s Team CHAOS on Saturday made it to the finals at the Bayou Regional in the Crescent City, but bad calls and a slight glitch prevented the team from bringing home the regional championship trophy.
Team CHAOS’ robot, affectionately nicknamed Batbot due to it’s uncanny ability to climb and hang like the flying mammal, was one of two robots at the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology competition that could climb all three rungs of the pyramid implemented in this year’s game, called Ultimate Ascent.
The competitors this year were to use the robot to shoot flying disks into goals, and at some point during the match to have the robot hang from one of two pyramids in the playing field. Each rung of the pyramid climbed by a bot was worth 10 points and every disk put into the goal at the top was worth 5 points. Only four disks could be carried by a bot at one time.
Team mentor Allen Forsman said the team’s robot was one of only two at the Bayou Regional capable of climbing all three rungs, and Team CHAOS was most successful with the implementation. That climbing ability helped the team, which finished 16th overall among the 54 teams, to get picked up during the second round of drafts for an alliance to compete in the finals.
Forsman said this year the team focused on one skill, instead of building a robot capable of doing everything.
“We knew we could do this over and over and over and get 50 points,” Forsman said.
During the first round of the finals, local team 1421 and its alliance members, comprised of teams 3039 and 155, won the first of three rounds with a score of 113-98. The second round could have been the winning match for the team, which lost by only two points with a score of 120-118. Forsman said he saw fouling occur during the second match that, had the referees provided the sufficient points for the fouls, could have provided the final win needed to take home the regional championship trophy.
During the third and final round, Batbot lost footing on the climb up the pyramid, causing the team to miss out on 20 points when the bot deployed the four disks it carried and missed the goal. However the opposing team picked up too many points for the missing 20 points to have made a difference. Forsman said the team will make adjustments to the bot before the team heads for Arkansas to participate in its second and final regional competition. The score of the final round was 152-89.
Participants on the team not only get teamwork and engineering experience they take with them for life, but it could shape what they do with their lives after high school. Team member and robot driver Collin Rust said he is still deciding what he wants to do upon graduation from high school, but has the options down to two: either engineering or something in the music field.
Team member Dylan Schram said he intends to seek continued education after graduation in the science or engineering fields.
This is the first year for Marcus Johnson to be part of the team. He has been taking photos of team members as they compete and as they built the robot. Johnson said he also helped build the robot and also played a part in the design of the team’s webpage, located at http://frcteamchaos1421.weebly.com/.