Fall Fiesta 2017

Team 4001 RAMS ROBOTICS attended the robotics offseason competition, Fall Fiesta on October 21st, 2017. Hosted by FIRST Robotics Canada and FRC Team 4914: Panthers, FRC teams enjoyed a friendly competition, where many teams played the 2017 game, Steamworks, for the last time. After qualification matches, Team 4001 was picked by the 7th alliance, and ended the day as quarterfinalists. 

FLL Kickoff 2017

On September 23rd, 2017, Team 4001 volunteered alongside FRC 4343: MaxTech at the FLL Kickoff event hosted at Sacred Heart CHS by FIRST Robotics Canada. Team members were able to assist new and old FIRST Lego League teams, as well as listen to presentations by guests who were assisting and preparing the teams for the upcoming 2018 season. 

Rookie Hubs

November, 2016
Written by Paulina Phang-Lyn

During the course of November, Team 4001 held multiple Rookie Hubs. The Rookie Hubs, that Team 4001 hosted, consisted of 3 members of the team. They contacted rookie (first year) teams and answered their questions about FIRST, build season, and anything else that they were unsure about through a webinar-styled meeting. Our members enjoyed meeting new teams and sharing our knowledge, all while encouraging the new teams to pursue FIRST in their own innovative ways. We would like to thank FIRST Canada for giving us the opportunity to meet new teams and share our passion for FIRST. We would also like to thank all the teams that participated in our Rookie Hubs; good luck and remember to have fun!

Kickoff Day

January 7, 2017
Written by Marcus Tuen Muk

On January 7th, Team 4001 went to Hilton Garden Inn for the 2017 FRC Kickoff. We watched the kickoff videos for this year’s gameplay, STEAMWORKS. After all the videos and reviewing the game manual, all the members of Team 4001 who came started the brainstorm on what is the best way to get the most points, the best course of action and what we should focus on. During that time, we focused our thoughts on how to collect and deliver the gears as they are worth the most points. However, we found that there might not be enough time to get all the rotors moving, as the points that are given depends on the number of rotors running. Since that was an issue, we then considered earning points through shooting balls (“fuel”) in the boiler. Of course, there were still issues because there would be a processing time between collecting the balls into the robot and shooting them. However, since we had a lot of different issues and factors to consider, it was important for us to also calculate the amount of time that we have, to gain the most amount of points. In the end, we left our ideas open ended and waited until to Monday, January 9th to discuss them, so this way we could get more opinions from the rest of our team. Thank you to Mr. Chirrey for getting a room for us to use, Ms. Koon for supervising and to everyone who came to the kick off!

Scotiabank Agile Workshop

December 19, 2016
Written by Chantal Cheung

It was a pleasure to meet the students and staff of the St. Roberts Robot Challenge program, to see some of the amazing stuff that they are working on and, hopefully, to have given them some ideas on how to harness agile for this year’s competition. Remember; agile is a mindset. Go Team 4001!
— Sandra, Carlos and Peter from Scotiabank

What does it mean to be agile? This was the question that Peter, Carlos and Sandra from Scotiabank came to help us answer. Adaptability to change, innovation and delivering value, collaboration with people, being outcome-oriented, the SCRUM framework… Not only did Team 4001 learn about these concepts, but we were also taught how to apply them into our work as a team. Through multiple activities led by Scotiabank, we were able to learn that responding to change is often more important than following a plan. So we would like to thank the Agile team from Scotiabank for coming in and helping us further better ourselves as a team. Through this experience we were able to discover how to adapt and collaborate, deliver outcomes with value, and most importantly, be agile.

Fall Fiesta

October 22, 2016
Written by Ringo Chui

Fall Fiesta is an event that just cannot be missed. With friendly competition in the air and a buzzing crowd, the most tired individual was awakened by the energy of the event. Even an unknowledgeable spectator would cheer for a goal, the emotion, sweat and tears, and that is what drove the spirit of the crowd. The games started with the anthem which was beautifully sung and electrified the crowd. Team 4001 started their day in an alliance with Teams 771 and 5834 and battled against Teams 5036, 4939 and 2935. There were many difficulties within the match, such as 771 not being able to move for the majority of the match or 4001’s battery and connection issues. Despite our alliances’ relentless efforts, our alliance lost the first match at 29-47.

The fast pace continued throughout the day as Team 4001 prepared for their second game. At 9:56 am, still very early into the day, our second game began. Issues continued to arise for the team, but taking a risk, we put our robot on stage. No tests, no problem. This time our team allied with Teams 6141 and 2809 and faced off against Teams 865, 4914 and 5921. Due to previous battery issues though, the motor ran weak. Our ally, 2809, on the other hand, had a great game which pushed our alliance in the lead. However it was a close loss with a score of 46-48.

As the third game approached and with a few fixes, we looked the readiest that we have been all day. Allied with Team 2935 and Team 4678, we went against Teams 4946, 6240 and 5031. This game, we were able to drive our robot to its full potential. Although we completed the match with only scaling the tower halfway, we had our first win of the day, scoring at 92-55. The day continued onto the fourth match, which started at 11:44 am. Teams 4001, 5036, and 2706 faced Teams 5428, 4476, and 5596. Coming off a win, the RAMS were confident for a win. Our alliance scored great once again, and we even fully scaled the tower, however it was not scored. We had a big win with a final score of 90-56. We were on a roll!

Final game. It was do or die; if we lost this match, we would not make playoffs. Teams 4001, 1285 and 6240 versus Teams 5911, 1325 and 1241. During the game, the team suffered a broken hook so we could not scale. We were outdone by Team 1241's bot who could score in any direction. With a final score of 62-140, we ended up at rank 18, coming out of Fall Fiesta with 2 wins and 3 losses.

Even though we came up short, we were invited to join forces with Alpha Dogs (Team 4946) and Breaking Bots (Team 5428), to form the 6th alliance in the playoffs. We fixed the hook the best they could with zip-ties. During the quarter finals, a best out of 3, the 6th alliance faced the 3rd alliance and won with a score of 109-92. Team 4001 surprisingly scaled the tower and got scores that made all the difference. The second game came up and the team looked locked in. The battle was close and competitive; we consistently got points and our chances looked good. The final score was 114-92 with our alliance taking the win.

With semifinals at 4:20 pm, Team 4001 prepared the robot for a win. However, unfortunately we lost connection with our robot early into the match and for the whole time, the robot sat on the field. Although our alliance lost the first game, the playoffs were best out of three, so anything could happen. Going into the second round determined to survive, our alliance work together to make a comeback. Connection issues doomed Team 4001 from the start and to the team’s surprise the robot disconnected again. With a team effort, we were able to fix it, but the difference was already too big to make a comeback. The final score was 75-172 and our alliance was eliminated.

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Despite all the difficulties our robot faced throughout Fall Fiesta, we were able to learn so much about maintaining team spirit and perseverance. We want to thank all our teachers, sponsors, team members, and the organizers of Fall Fiesta for making this off-season event a great experience!

FLL Tournament Hosted by Team 4001

December 3, 2016
Written by Amy Xin

The RAMS Robotics Team successfully hosted another FIRST Lego League (FLL) Tournament for the fourth year this 2016 season. Through this event, we sought to promote and encourage young minds to participate in the STEAM community and bring a future of potential leaders to solve real-world problems.

This year’s FLL game is called Animal Allies. Teams of youth between the ages 9 to 14 were challenged to design a robot that recognizes the importance of human-animal interactions. Each team had to define a problem and create a solution for a better mutual relationship between people and animals. Many teams came up with creative ideas that surely impressed the judges at the tournament. With two teams advancing to the provincial competition, we are proud to support these young talents with excelling in innovation and technology.

To make this FLL Season possible, members of Team 4001 initiated planning and training in November, prior to the tournament on December 3rd, 2016. Volunteers from the robotics team ensured that the event ran smoothly through the training of referees, judges, technological staff, concessions, and field managers. In addition, our team created a Selfie Challenge to liven up the spirit between the competitors, volunteers and staff.

We would also like to thank our sponsors, Tastee Patties, YCDSB, St. Robert CHS, Costco, Choc One Up, Quanser Inc., ventureLAB, Spectrum Nasco, and Fuber, for their support as well as the teachers involved to make this event possible.

Sharing Her Story: President at Lexmark Canada, Melanie Hudson

December 8, 2016
Written by Chantal Cheung

I truly enjoyed meeting Team 4001.  You are a special group and a lifetime of opportunities await you no matter the path you choose to pursue.  Embrace those opportunities with a clear sense of purpose and direction and you will have much success.  Most importantly, remember to take care of yourself first as you will not be able to thrive and help others without a healthy ‘You!’
— Melanie Hudson, President at Lexmark Canada

An empowering figure in the technology industry, Melanie Hudson, the President at Lexmark Canada, came today to share her story of hard work and dedication with Team 4001. Through sharing her valuable experiences and the challenges she has faced, Ms. Hudson inspired and motivated us to work hard in our journey to achieve our goals. Not only did she remind us to pursue what we love, but she also encouraged us to be open-minded towards the millions of opportunities this world has to offer. After sharing how she found her passion in the technology industry, Ms. Hudson kindly took the time to answer any questions, and speak to us individually to help us discover our future career path. We would like thank Ms. Hudson for travelling all the way to St. Robert Catholic High School, and for dedicating her valuable time to help us in our journey to success. We wish you happiness and success in your future endeavors!

Photography by Willson Wang

Santa Claus Parade

November 26, 2016
Written by Chantal Cheung

Photography by Mark Xue

Celebrating the 44th Annual Markham Santa Claus Parade, Team 4001 was excited to participate in this year’s theme, Canadian Christmas...150 years! Marching through streets filled with laughter and holiday spirit, Team 4001 was so excited to be apart of something that brought sweet smiles to children's faces. It was truly a magical (and chilly) experience, and why miss the opportunity to dress our robot in reindeer antlers?