FTC Robotics completely redesigns robot

December 11, 2017 — by Allen Chen and Patrick Li

The M-SET Jellyfish FTC team began its competition season on Nov. 4 at Sequoia High in Redwood City, where they scored overwhelming victories.

The team won first place, in addition to receiving five other awards: second place Control Award, second place Connect Award, third place Innovate Award, third place Motivate Award, first place Inspire Award.

This year’s FTC challenge is “Relic Recovery.” The idea is to see which team’s robot can stack a pile of six-inch cubes along a shelf the fastest.

There were 12 teams at the tournament, including one other team (Cuttlefish) from Saratoga High.

“It feels really good to win, especially since we’ve never won first before,” junior Derek Chiou. “Having this first one under our belt is a really rewarding.”

The team scored 300 points, setting a current record in California. But the result was not a surprise, as the team put in an extraordinary amount of time to accomplish this feat.

“We ended up spending 20 something hours working over the weekends,” Chiou said.

The team’s ultimate goal is to qualify for regionals (56 competing teams) and super-regionals (in Oregon), which are higher levels of competition. They have already qualified for regionals, and if they place within the top 10 there, they will qualify for super-regionals.

Jellyfish members feel confident in their ability to do well at regionals because of the strong bonds between team members.  

“We're pretty close with each other, and it really helps with our team chemistry. We work very efficiently together, and that way we get a lot done each meeting,” Sun said.

For now, the team is putting time into modifying their robots and adding better characteristics. For instance, they are currently adding a conveyor belt to the back of machine to speed up the process of picking up objects from the ground.

“We currently just tore down our current robot, and we're confident this will help us pick up the relics quicker and score more points,” sophomore Shivam Mani said.

The Jellyfish team is able to do a complete rebuild because of their strong organization.

“The nice thing about our team is that we’re pretty organized about what we have to do and we’re good at splitting up tasks and the dependencies,” Mani said.

Most of the work is done on the team members’ own times. However, to most members of the team, robotics is more than just an extracurricular.

“I can really see how all my hard work in school pays off into building this robot, becoming a team and putting it all together. It makes you feel like you're part of a family,” Chiou said.


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