On April 28th, the national FRC robotics season came to an end at St. Louis, Missouri. 402 robotics teams from all around the world met to compete in four divisions towards one goal: being part of the elimination rounds on the Einstein championship field. Cybersonics, having experienced a wild season filled with high points and low points, traveled with the hope of glimpsing the red carpet and esteem of the Einstein field. Everything they had worked for in the past season had come down to one final event, and it took them a good amount of topsy-turvy experience to get there.
After kickoff on January 7th, Cybersonics worked through the build season to accomplish the ultimate goal of every competition season: to build a robot that represents the prestige and accomplishments of the organization as a whole. At the conclusion of the build season, many inside the organization felt that the goal had been thoroughly achieved. Cybersonics then ventured to sunny Orlando, Florida, to participate in the Orlando regional and the team finished 4th in the qualification rankings at the event. In eliminations, the team and its alliance partners reached the semifinal rounds before being eliminated. Although the robot did not come in first, the competition was a success. The competition culminated with Cybersonics winning the Motorola Quality Award – a symbolic representation of team efforts thus far.
The 2nd event of the competition year was held at Lenape Regional High School in New Jersey. Coming off their successes at Florida, Cybersonics seemed poised to recreate their success with a victory in their first match of the competition. After that, the team steadily fell in the rankings after a reported programming malfunction and a couple of issues with their communication in their alliance. The drive team made their way back to significance from the near-bottom of the rankings by qualifier’s end, and the team was selected as the first pick for an elimination alliance. Though eliminated in the semifinals, the team still captured a prestigious award and was bestowed with the honor of the Judge’s Award for extensive communication measures and impressive global outreach.
The team had one more event to attend before nationals: The Mount Olive district event in Mount Olive, New Jersey. After making adjustments from the previous competition, Cybersonics had its best showing of the season. They were seeded within the top eight, and soon developed a powerful alliance plan that took them to the title game of the event. Ironically, they would be playing against their “sister bot”, operated with success by North Brunswick, New Jersey’s team 25. Cybersonics and their alliance fought hard in the title matches, but fell one basket short of a victory in the 2nd game, knocking them out. Team 25’s alliance was crowned the deserving champions of the district event, while Cybersonics came home as 2nd place finishers – with another award, the General Motors’ Industrial Design Award, in tow. It was easily their best showing of the season, and the stage was set for them to make a splash at the national competition.
Nationals came and Cybersonics worked efficiently the entire time, carrying some of their alliances, but scoring with accuracy. Their valiant efforts, however, did not translate into an overwhelming amount of wins. After their division’s qualification rounds, they ranked 55th out of 100 teams in their division with a record of five wins, three losses, and a solitary tie. The team was left hoping that work done by their brilliant scouting team in the pits would garner them a spot on an alliance for divisional eliminations. In a heartbreaking turn of events, despite their palpable effort, undeniable ability, and wonderfully designed machine, Cybersonics was not chosen to participate in the elimination rounds, dashing the hopes of setting foot on the Einstein field. The team’s year of competition had ended, and though a bit shocked at the outcome, 103 stayed and cheered through finals.
Despite this, the members of the team were still able to hoist the most valuable prize garnered from the season: the knowledge that their hard work had paid off through the team’s success at district events. Heading into the offseason, fundraising will now take prominence, as the team continues to work hard in preparation for the upcoming season. The team would like to thank the continued support of its sponsors, mentors, and reliable fan-base by reminding them that the success of the team would not be possible without their continued affection and dedication to the cause. The group of individuals that encompass Cybersonics are capable of doing great things, and they wholeheartedly are striving towards making the next year an example of that, just as they proved this past season. Only time will tell if that success can manifest itself in even greater ways this upcoming year.
Written by Karl D.
Distributed in the May edition of the Cybersonics Newsletter