By Elizabeth Fernandes ’20
On October 14th and 15th Team 1967, the Janksters, were one of the 36 teams that competed at CalGames 2017 FIRST Robotics STEAMWORKS competition. The goal for the STEAMWORKS challenge is to transport gears across the field onto pegs, carry and shoot balls into high and low goals, and climb a rope to activate a touchpad. The Janksters’ robot Pepper Ann is designed with a strategy to transport gears and climb the robe. One of Pepper Ann’s improved mechanisms is the ability to have a gear fall into a slot and then push it onto a peg with a piston. Pepper Ann can also climb using a mechanism with a hook and a ratchet wrench. As the hook attaches to the rope, the PVC pipe that the hook is attached to rotates with it. This allows the robot to climb and activate the touchpad to light it up. This is an especially difficult task for drivers since they barely have any visibility when doing so, but when the hook attaches to the rope, the robot can consistently climb.
Rookies and veterans alike were able to learn many valuable lessons during this competition, including time management, the importance of being calm in stressful situations and effective communications. Rookies were able to experience their first robotics competition, including scouting, robot research and scavenger hunting, which helped them learn about the many steps that go into producing the final robot, including the strategy, execution and overcoming challenges.
Ella Hedman ’21 was excited to be a part of the Jankster community at her first robotics competition. “I had such a great time at CalGames learning and experiencing what it was like to be competing in an actual robotics competition. By scouting and researching the other teams’ robots, I feel like I have a better understanding of how the robots worked and the process, from build season to competition. “The veterans were able to improve their organization and leadership skills through various activities such as drive team, data entry and leading small group activities. They were able to step out of their comfort zones by taking on new positions. Maddie Waldie ’20 was on drive team for the first time and enjoyed the experience of playing a major role in the team’s success at the competition. “I was very excited to represent the Janksters for the first time on drive team at CalGames 2017. From the moment I first helped to pull the robot onto the field and heard the cheers of my teammates, I knew it was going to be an exciting day. The pit crew did an amazing job preparing and fixing the robot in between matches, and all the members of drive team worked well together on and off the field. I learned how to pace myself when taking on tasks, juggling responsibilities for both my position as a drive team member and scouting lead. Being on drive team was fun, exciting, and overall an amazing way to start the year.” The Janksters used this experience to grow in confidence as well as bond as a team.
When the emcee announced that Team 1967 was moved up to 8th-seed alliance captains, the Janksters were ecstatic and started cheering wildly. They participated in many difficult matches with their alliance partners: Team 6688 (West Valley Middle College Robotics Team) and Team 4765 (PWRUP). Avi Zaveri '20, one of the scouting leads, represented the Janksters during alliance selections. “Stepping up into a new leadership position was a really great experience. I learned how to work under stressful situations and overcome last-minute challenges. Although it was a bit intimidating talking to the team representatives from our alliance partners, I gained confidence in my ability to talk about our robot as well as our strategy.” The team made it to quarterfinals and placed 11th out of 36 teams. More importantly, the knowledge the team gained through this competition will be used for future robotics endeavors as well as applied to real world situations.
Thank you to everyone who came out to support the team! The Janksters are looking forward to the upcoming season and more amazing experiences.