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Happy New Year and Happy Kickoff!

Happy New Year everyone and welcome back to Eco Robotics' bi-weekly newsletter, your place to get caught up on everything FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics. I hope you all had some fun over the holidays and that you are ready to jump headfirst with Eco Robotics into the robotics season ahead. Only two days ago, on Saturday the 6th, the latest FIRST Robotics challenge, Crescendo, was released(!) and there is a lot to talk about.

In this year's music-themed game, the objective is for two alliances, which each include three robots, to pick up circular frisbees (called notes) and score them either into a high opening called the speaker or in a low opening called the amp. In the game, if two notes are scored into the amp then the speaker can be “amplified,” which means that for the next 10 seconds, notes scored into the speaker have higher point values than they would have otherwise. At the end of the match, the robots lift themselves off the ground onto metal chains where they can score additional notes (the animation for this game can be viewed through the link at the bottom of the page). 

This season's kickoff was even more exciting than usual as for the first time another team, Rancho High School’s team 9111 Pyro Mechanics , joined Eco Robotics at their game kickoff. 9111 is a veteran team located near Eco Robotics (who is based out of Credo High School in the California Bay Area) and is starting their second season as a team. It was a fantastic experience for team 8016 to begin to strategize about the season ahead while getting to know their comrades.

The teams spent the first hour or two after the game was released looking over the game animation mentioned above and reading over the included 150 (!) page game manual that goes over everything about the game such as how high and wide the scoring zone for the speaker is to the robot’s dimensions and what material the carpet of the playing field is made out of. Next, they started strategizing and coming up with ideas of what set of tasks the robot should be able to complete in the game. Should the robot be able to achieve a multitude of tasks, such as the robot scoring in the speaker as well as in the amp, with a lower amount of reliability, or should it only score in one of the two scoring zones but rarely miss? The two teams made lists to talk about all of these possibilities which were categorized into: what the robot must have, what it should have, what it could have, and what it won’t have. With both of the teams not being super large - compared to other teams - and not having an endless amount of funding, they need to do cost-benefit analysis to see if the materials they need to buy to create a part of the robot is worth its cost. 

In the next couple of days, Eco Robotics will begin prototyping their ideas before putting them into CAD (computer-aided design) and having their new robot begin to take shape. The competition is only 9 weeks away and there is a lot to be done. 

If you are interested in reaching out or have any other questions or concerns for the team, feel free to contact Eco Robotics at or by filling out the form on our website.

See you all in two weeks for another exciting update on the creation of team 8016’s 2024 robot!

Link for the Crescendo Game Animation: 

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