Last weekend our Mecha Makos robotics team really made us proud at the State Championships in Naples. We came into the competition strong, sitting 4th in the region.
During a normal season, by this stage, we would have had several live competitions under our belt. This year, all of our competitions had to be virtual due to COVID, in the format of a continuous video demonstration of our autonomous program and our driver-controlled skills. While we were able to hone our technique, there is nothing quite like the experience of battling for goals against other alliance teams with their own strategies and uniquely designed robots. Other teams in less restricted parts of the state had opportunities to compete live earlier in the season, but States was our first. For families and friends unable to attend due to audience limitations, the entire event was live-streamed.
We began the day with an impressive skills demonstration. Our autonomous program performed well and consistently scored. During our driver-controlled demonstration, we completed all goals with only a fraction of a second remaining in our time. At the beginning, we were ranked first in a field of over 30 competitors!
We then went on to win several matches, losing a few but consistently ranking among the top teams throughout the day. Between matches, our team delivered a compelling presentation to the judges explaining our design process and how we had worked together during the season with part of the team in person and several members MSO. We received positive feedback on some of the unique elements of our design and our team collaboration.
In a VEX robotics competition, the first matches are all about accumulating as many points as possible to secure a top spot that allows you to select your alliance team for the elimination rounds of matches. Our 10th place rank gave us the opportunity to choose our alliance partner team who we felt would best compliment our robot’s capabilities. Together we won our first elimination match. In the end, we lost in the quarterfinals but it was a tough battle.
Our planning and strategy really made it to the next level this year and with several team members staying as seniors next year, we’re positioned to continue to build on this foundation.
Team 619A members are Jacob Lecure, Valerie Moura, Camilo Garrido, Sophy Fernandez, Sophia Villaba, Daniel Niebla, Daniel Parra, Brandon Jacobson, Scott Gandy, and Kevin Kitsos.