The 2017 FRC build season has been an eventful one for WTR, with many ups and downs and firsts for our club. It was our first season where we made precision components using our new mill that we received as a gift from Team 294 Beach Cities Robotics over the summer. This season, our CAD team was able to take advantage of their new workstations and machinery to create more precise parts, and a new mentor, Thomas Heflinger, to provide assistance with elevating our designs to a new standard of professionalism. Additionally, the programming team became more future-facing, fully implementing GitHub into the wok flow, commenting code, and establishing style guides and conventions, all to aid the teaching of future programmers to fully understand the behind the scenes operation required to run a robot. We faced many barriers over the build season, including struggles with robot mechanism designs. Our biggest oversight, interference in the control system due to electronics placement, caused us to lose our last day of practice before bagging the robot. Despite this, we were able to succeed by including freshman in the build process more than any prior year, allowing for our club to build a stronger infrastructure for future years. When focusing on our design, a large portion of time was spent perfecting our shooting mechanism, and while it was never set into action, it did not hold back our robot from performing to the best of it’s ability at the San Diego and Los Angeles Regionals.
At San Diego, after dealing with our weight problem, we learned that picking gears off of the floor was going to be crucial to our success, and by redesigning our gear mechanism, we not only made our robot lighter, but also made it more competitive. At the Los Angeles Regional, we finished qualification matches ranked 18th, and were picked by the #1 seed and joined The Circuit Breakers, Team 696, and the Beach Bots, Team 330. It was an uphill battle against some of the strongest teams in the region, and we were nearly eliminated in semifinals by our sister team TorBots (1197), but in the end we ended as the first place alliance, earning our first regional win since our rookie year in 2014! Thank you greatly to both of our alliance partners and our opponents for an amazing experience for us all!