Mad Science Robotics Starts Season with Near Perfect Victory at Bayonne!

Mad Science Robotics Starts Season with Near Perfect Victory!

Bayonne High School, 20 Oct  –  Madison High School’s “Mad Science” robotics team started the season in near perfect form, winning New Jersey’s first meet handily at a eleven team meet hosted by Bayonne’s Hive Voltage teams.

This year’s competition requires robots to grab donut sized rings from dispensers, and place them on a vertical tic-tac-toe style goals to score. Each scored ring counts and additional points are scored for rings placed three in a row. Madison’s current design allows their robot to grab two rings simultaneously using independent claws. A twist in this year’s rules allows one robot to ‘lift’ another robot during the 30 second end game.

During the early matches teams alliance partners and opponents are randomly selected and Madison swept the round with five consecutive victories. The team knew they had a successful design when they not only scored, but shutout their second opponent 75-0, scoring the first three in a row of the year. Not only was the Mad Science design dominant but the driving was a well. While other teams struggled with control, Madison’s drivers Jesse K and Kyle L consistently grabbed rings and scored them.

Madison was the top seed going into the elimination round, where each of the top four teams selected a partner. Madison chose Hive Voltage 2.0 because their design allowed for another robot to drive up a ramp to its top.

The finals were in a best two out of three format and the early victories were no guarantee of success. While Madison could score easily their opponents employed a defensive strategy to block them from acquiring rings and placing them on the posts. The Mad Science/Hive 2.0 alliance won as a single ring landed on the surface below the goals. That one ring was valued as a single point and they eked out a 1-0 victory. The victory came with a price. Damage to the robot and a failing ‘brick’ controller almost spelled disaster. Madison was forced to call an official timeout to give time for repairs.

In the next match Mad Science planned to drive to the top of the Hive 2.0 robot but their opponents interfered and incurred a major penalty. Victory seemed certain except Mad Science had also touched the Red Alliance’s ring dispenser incurring their own penalty resulting in a 0-0 score.

In the final match a change in tactics was called for. Hive Voltage 2.0’s robot performed like an offensive lineman, shielding the Mad Science Robot as it zipped from dispenser to goal.

But not all the bugs are worked out yet. In autonomous mode the robot seeks out an infrared beacon that is placed randomly on the goal. Rings scored on the column with the infrared beacon are worth bonus points. While it worked in school testing the robot failed to find the beacon, at the event. This is something the team will work on in upcoming weeks as well as allowing the robot to reach the higher scoring pegs.






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