CHAOS takes 3rd in Bayou Regional

Published 3:05 pm Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pearl River County’s Team CHAOS, made up of students from local high schools, made it to third place at the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Bayou Regional competition last weekend.

Of the ten pre-final matches Team CHAOS competed in, they won six, bringing them to the quarter and semifinals. Teams competed as groups of three, called alliances, which are collaboration of three teams working together during a single match. Picayune School District Superintendent Dean Shaw reported at a recent school board meeting that by the end of the competition Team CHAOS earned third place overall.

The team won both matches in the quarter finals held on Saturday, and during the semifinals, the team won one match and lost the second, according to results posted on the FIRST web site.

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Team CHAOS driver Drew Williams said the team started out slow during Friday’s events by losing their first match, however, during subsequent matches over the weekend the team competed in more successful alliances that allowed them to win games. Although Team CHAOS was able to win the mini-bot race at the end of that first match, the other two teams had problems with their robots that kept the whole alliance from earning enough points to win. Winning a mini-bot race was worth 30 points.

This year’s game was called “Logo Motion,” which tasked teams to form alliances to work together and score points by using their robots to place inflatable tubes shaped like the icons in the FIRST logo on a series of metal racks, with higher rack placement scoring more points. Placing the shapes on the rack in the same order as the FIRST logo was worth extra points. The big points came at the end of each match where teams had the opportunity to launch and race a mini-robot up a metal pole. The first team to get its mini-bot to the top earned 30 points, second place earned 20 points and third place earned 15 points. With that in mind, Team CHAOS put their focus on the mini-bot.

Team CHAOS was successful in launching its mini-bot and winning those end of match races, said team member Dylan Schram. The mini-bot had a 100 percent success rate during the entire competition, mentor Maureen Pollitz said.

That success rate was the product of Team CHAOS spending lots of time working on their mini-bot to make it faster and more reliable before the competition. Just in case the team met with some issue during the competition, members also built a second robot, which Pollitz said was loaned to an alliance team at one point of the competition.

Some of the modifications to their mini-bot before the competition included removing extra weight and installing an additional magnet to help keep it on the metal pole that served as the race track, said team member Drew Flores.

“It’s really quick now,” team mentor Alan Forsman said.

Forsman said he believed that the Team CHAOS mini-bot was the third fastest at the Bayou Regional.

With the Bayou Regional behind them, the students that form Team CHAOS plan to compete in the upcoming Smoky Mountain Regional Competition on March 31 to April 2, in Knoxville, Tenn.