On October twenty-seventh Weiser Robotics took two of their teams to the seasons first match in Hailey, Idaho and walked away with team 9551A or “Godzilla” holding a Championship trophy and the Design award. Team Godzilla is made up of three seniors, Michael Brooke, Colton Burr, and Nathaniel Rasmussen. All three have been part of the Robotics program at Weiser High since they were freshman. In different years the members have been part of other teams who have come close to winning State, but this year joined together they are determined to not only win State, but to go to Worlds.
Godzilla team member Michael Brooke shared that one of the key aspects of them winning the championship was their alliance partner, Wood River. Unlike other sports, in Robotics schools can have more than one team and each team can be alliances with other teams from other schools. Two team alliances battle together against other two team alliances with the goal of being champion. For team Godzilla their alliance worked out well for them as noted with Brooke enthusiastic reply of, “We won and it was amazing!”
When asked why they think they received the Design award Brooke stated, “I went all nerd on them.” Brooke explained to me that he described the programing they placed in their robot this year in a way that pleased the judges. They designed their robot with sensors that help their lift stay level as it ascends and descends, “It uses a calculus based system to keep itself level.” Brooke continued, “Our overall design this year is pretty clean too. In other years we haven't had it this organized.” Team member Colton Burr explained that to others their robot might seem complicated, “It’s so complex, but to us it’s almost simple. We know it and I think that helped with the design award. Michael went all nerd about the sensors, but those sensors also help us win matches.” Not only can the sensors help level they can also be set to certain positions using Position Interval Derivative or PID. These things the team feel helped them receive best design at the competition.
This win gives team Godzilla an automatic seat at State in March and although the team qualifies for State the work does not stop there, “We had trouble with our autonomous this time and we also had problems with our chain bar that picks up the cones. It was hard and really slow at picking up the cones, so we are going to improve that. What we are doing, now that we figured out the problems we have, is going through and making small changes,” stated Brooke. They shared that robotics is a lot of problem solving, “We just see what needs to be fixed, then do something and see if it works and if it doesn’t we fix it and do it again.” Nathaniel Rasmussen shared that one way they keep organized on their repairs is by using a scrum board, “We use this to keep track of the progress we have made and what needs to be done.”
Team Godzilla figures they have already logged over 200 hours into their robot this year, many of those hours after school. With the next competition being hosted by Weiser on November 17th it looks like even more hours will be spent on perfecting their robot. The team is excited to be able to show their classmates and the community what they have been doing and have accomplished. They think this year, especially with how the game is set up, that the audience will really enjoy watching the matches.