Virginia Robotics – Teal Tornadoes

Eldest Son has been a member of this team for about six months. (Actually, this team has only existed for about six months. It’s a new high school, so all extracurricular teams are rookies.) They competed last week at the First Robotics state competition, where they made it to the finals!

It took me a while to understand the rules here, but in a nutshell: teams receive a kit, have to create and program a robot, are allowed certain modifications, and then have to compete against other teams’ robots on a designed course. Points are awarded for various achievements, and deducted for penalties (ex: you can’t trap a competitors robot with your own).

We arrived Friday afternoon, where the team took a tour of the UVA campus, then set up at the University Hall in Charlottesville. The team was there by 7:30a Saturday. By the end of the day, the team was so tired, I’m surprized they were still on their feet.

The Tornadoes did well (better than we expected, actually). I have great faith in us for next year! The big moment for us came in the finals, where the team was able to balance their robot in the autonomous round. No one’s done that before. The other teams moved to block us after the first time, but when the team pulled that off, it was a coup. The arena went nuts. Here’s Middle Son, showing his team spirit:

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