The Competition

As part of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), CRyptonite Robotics designs and builds robots to compete on an international level. It is no easy task, but one that is well worth completing.

Before anyone on the team can start building robots, they first need to know how to complete tasks safely. Team 624 has an extensive safety training program that is required for all students at the build site. At safety training, students learn how to safely operate tools, what tools should be used for which job, and good habits to ensure everyone's safety for the duration of the build season.

Training
Kickoff

One of the most exciting days of the year for any FRC team member, kickoff comes around at the beginning of January as FIRST releases the year's challenge to teams worldwide. Every year, the challenge is completely different, varying from shooting basketballs to hanging inner tubes on poles. On kickoff day, teams from all around the world tune into a webcast as the challenge is released. After the webcast, team members launch into reading the newly released game rules while coming up with a strategy for the robot to follow.

After kickoff, teams have exactly 6 weeks to design and build their robots. While every student is certainly not required at every single build session, the team works nearly 7 days a week in a fast-paced, challenging, and absolutely exhilarating build process. The team starts in a prototyping phase as we try out our various ideas for mechanisms for grabbing, shooting, lifting, or whatever else our strategy requires. After prototyping individual mechanisms, we build a fully functional prototype robot to make sure all of our ideas will fit together as planned. With a functioning prototype robot finished, we translate our design into a polished and robust 120 pound competition robot that will have to endure many intense competitions.

Build
Competitions

About 60 teams compete in each regional competition. Teams play each match as two competing alliances of three teams each. For each qualification match, teams are randomly paired with two partners and three competitors. This requires alliances to quickly learn how to work together to succeed. After the qualification matches, the top 8 teams choose their alliance partners for the elimination matches. The winning alliance will go on to compete at the FIRST championships. During these competitions, CRyptonite team members are constantly busy operating the robot, making repairs in the pit, collecting scouting data on other robots, taking photos and video, and, of course, cheering on the robot they worked so hard to build.