Student Author: Lucas McCarty ’21
On February 22, 2020, MICDS coed robotics team Rampage competed at the Missouri East Conference Qualifier and succeeded in advancing to the Missouri State Championship. Not only did the team place first in the competition, they also became the captain of the winning alliance. Additionally, the team was commended for its accomplishments off the competition field by receiving the Think Award, a prize dedicated to a team that displayed remarkable engineering documentation and clearly conveyed their design processes through the use of an engineering notebook. Throughout the day, despite encountering numerous setbacks, the team worked together, overcoming these challenges and ultimately succeeding.
Rampage is especially proud of its programming achievements. In preparation for this competition, the team was hard at work programming redundancies into their code and working with low-level artificial intelligence. A highlight of the tournament was during the autonomous period in their matches. During the autonomous period, the robot is required to run a set of preprogrammed instructions, instead of being controlled by drivers. In multiple instances, this more robust code allowed the robot to correct some of its mistakes and adapt to new situations, thereby allowing Rampage to have one of the most reliable autonomous programs at the competition.
Programmers Lucas McCarty ‘21 and Alex Migala ‘20 were excited by the success of the team’s hard work. McCarty stated, “One of my favorite moments of the competition actually occurred when the robot messed up. For some reason, the claw that we use to grab game elements dropped the object that we were trying to pick up during autonomous. That error could have cost us valuable points, but luckily for us, our coding redundancies kicked in and managed to correct the error and pick the block back up to score!”
Overall, the team was really excited by its success. Spencer McNeely ‘21 recalled his favorite moment of the day, sharing, “I really loved it when we started a team cheer during our final matches. Within minutes, we had the whole gymnasium shouting. The excitement that we generated was amazing, and every time we cheered louder, we seemed to score more points.”
Joey Roth ‘21, the human player, mentioned, “It was an incredible day, and we cannot wait to see what the rest of the season will bring as we head to State!” We wish Rampage the best of luck in the coming weeks, and we hope they encounter just as much success, if not more in the future.