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2015 Blog

Jan 10
Welcome to our 2016 season!

This is a test

Apr 22
Championship Rounds

​so here are our round numbers; remember, times are approximate and on central time.  

Carson qualifier matches for Thursday : 
8:44am round 3
11:18 am round 25
2:40 pm round 37
3:43 pm round 46

8:56 am round 63
9:59 am round 72
11:23 am round 84
3:10 pm round 100
4:13 pm round 109
5:09 pm round 117

Alliance selection will be Saturday morning, so we won't know til then what we have on Saturday. 
Apr 19
Championship Information

​You can watch the event live at:

We are in the Carson division.

Mar 30

​The Denver Regional was our best ever!

The drivers and robot were exceptional; we got a 6-stack of totes and put a container on top every single qualification round! The drive team and robot barely went back to the pit - everything was working so well we didn't have significant repairs to do. At the practice field the team worked on the autonomous program to pick up all 3 yellow totes, stack them and deposit them in the correct area of the field. The frustrating thing was that it worked virtually every time in practice, but not on the field. But then one of our alliance partners figured out that we could ask the field set-up crew to move the totes slightly on the field, and all of a sudden it worked! Eight times out of eight in elimination rounds, we're pretty sure some teams thought we were holding back, it looked that good!

We ended qualification rounds in 10th place, and got asked to be on the 5th alliance. We made it all the way to the finals! Check out this video. The first 15 seconds of the robot moving is the autonomous segment.


Even though we didn't win the finals, we were qualified to go to the World Championships because two of the teams in the winning alliance were already qualified, so their spots passed down to us. Yeah!!

The next amazing thing happened during the awards ceremony - we received the Chairman's Award, the highest award a team can receive. A huge honor, and very rare for a 3-year old team. This, too, qualified us to go to the championships.

I'll post the chariman's video here as soon as I can.

And last but certainly not least, our coach and mentor Tony won the Woodie Flowers Finalist award for outstanding mentors. Thank you Tony for all your hard work and sacrifice for our team and all the FLL and FTC teams before us. And good job team for writing such a persuasive essay! We'll post that soon, too.

So now we're prepping for Worlds; April 22-28 in St Louis, MO.

Go Highlanders!!!!

Mar 27
Colorado Regional

Hello From Denver!

We had a great practice day yesterday and are looking forward to our competition rounds today.

So, to get to the webcast, go to the link below and click on the 'watch' link for Colorado .

Match schedule:

Match # 

 4 Fri 3/27 - 9:21 AM \

16 Fri 3/27 - 10:55 AM 

24 Fri 3/27 - 11:51 AM 

 33 Fri 3/27 - 1:54 PM 

      39 Fri 3/27 - 2:36 PM 

      48 Fri 3/27 - 3:39 PM 

      54 Fri 3/27 - 4:21 PM 

      65 Sat 3/28 - 9:28 AM 

      70 Sat 3/28 - 10:03 AM 

      78 Sat 3/28 - 10:59 AM

Go Highlanders! - Barbara

Mar 15
Busy Week

​So, we've been busy for the past week, chipping away at that long list. Accomplishments as of 3/15, 9 pm.

- programmers have realized they really do need to coordinate their version control and use GIThub the way it's meant to be used.

- programmers also have made great strides towards an autonomous program:



- build team is working on 3 different container mechanisms:

1) a simple hook on the front of the lifter arm. Pros: Simple! Can grab a container off of center step Cons: Hard to get can to balance on top of tote stack.

2) a 4-bar linkage to go off of the back of the lifter mechanism. Pros: Long enough to grab container off of step. Easy to do electrical. Cons: doesn't have a mode to actually grab the can yet.

 IMG_2557 (Medium).JPG

3) a U to encircle the  can, with atriculated fingers to grab it. Pros: positive control of the can, stabilizes the whole stack as you build it. Cons: limits stack to 5 (?) totes. Can't grab from center.

IMG_2563 (Medium).JPG 

Plus some fun: We had a visit from the Ice Cream Tote:

IMG_2552 (Medium).JPG 

Mar 11
2 weeks 'til Denver!

Two weeks from today we leave for the Denver tournament. The team has reaffirmed the goal to win, so here's the plan for these 2 weeks (luckily we're on spring break next week!). ​

Now its time to talk about spring break and our next tournament. There are tons of things to do during this week and next. We would like to spend the 2 weeks we have left getting these things done:

* Finish Tote hooks on practice robot
 * 3 Tote, 1 tote and move forward autonomous programs
 * Human player feeder guide rails
 * Front container hooks / Container mechanism
 * Chairman's presentation / video re-work
 * Get ready for the tournament - brochures, team bags/judges bags, Team/judges USB's
 * Giveaways - Turners cubes, 3D printer stuff...etc.
 * Volunteer thank you cards/jokes
 * Safety manual/documents
 * Tournament details, judge presentation
 * And so much more!

Schedule for Spring Break
*the team talked and decided on the following schedule
Saturday - 3/14 - 10:00 - 9:00 pm lunch provided, dinner provided (pizza)
Sunday -3/15 - 12:00 - 9:00pm lunch provided (maybe bring it around 2?), dinner provided, this is open if anyone would like to bring a meal for this evening.
Monday - Friday (3/16-3/20) 10:00am - 9:00pm
Dinner will be provided, lunches will be a sandwich bar. Please bring a bag of chips or some cookies, etc. to share.
Saturday - 3/21 10:00 - 9:00pm Lunch and dinner
Sunday - 3/22 12:00- 6:00pm lunch/snack provided *stop building and start packing/preparing for tournament 

Mar 03
Dallas Regional Summary

​We had a great time at the Dallas Regional! For the first week of competition, those robots were amazing. Lots of high scores, lots of drama, but we did very well - 9th place overall and the Engineering Quality award. We made it into the quarterfinals in the 4th aliance, but not through into the semi-finals.

Check out this round:



IMG_2533 (Medium).JPG 

Great job, Highlanders!!

Feb 26
Dallas Regional Day 1

​We just found out the website for the live feed -

It should be live as of tomorrow morning. Our rounds are (all in Central Time):

​Round #​time
2Fri 2/27 - 9:07 AM
11Fri 2/27 - 10:10 AM
20Fri 2/27 - 11:13 AM
25Fri 2/27 - 1:03 PM
34Fri 2/27 - 2:06 PM
47Fri 2/27 - 3:37 PM
56Fri 2/27 - 4:40 PM
64Sat 2/28 - 9:21 AM
71Sat 2/28 - 10:10 AM
75Sat 2/28 - 10:38 AM
87Sat 2/28 - 12:02 PM

So - it is going very well. Through inspection at about 2:00 today, had a couple of really good practice rounds.


Feb 24
Bagged & Tagged!

​Wow! we got it bagged and tagged on Tuesday 2/17, but with a few adjustments still to be made at the tournament. That feels like it's balanced out by the fact that not only did we get to do system checks, we actually DROVE the thing and even bagged it at 10 pm, 2 hours before the midnight deadline.

So here's our reveal video....


 We leave for the Dallas Regional event Tuesday 2/24. A long bus ride, but we'll be rested and ready for the Thursday-Friday-Saturday tournament. Competition rounds start Friday morning, 9:30 Central.

Webcast -

Click on the Dallas Regional link (as of this posting, the link wasn't there yet, but we're confident that it will be before Friday. We hope.

Go Highlanders!!

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