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Royal Assault Succeeds Yet Again

In late March, Upper Darby High School’s Robotics Team, Team 357, Royal Assault, competed in another FIRST Robotics competition. This time the regional was hosted in Philadelphia at Drexel University. Royal Assault was anxious to see if their robot, “The Jester,” would perform as well as it did at their previous regional in Orlando, Florida.

Once again, Royal Assault’s autonomous routines were almost always successful. By driving towards the low corner goal, and depositing the ten balls The Jester started with, the team was able to score an easy ten points. The team was proud of their record of nine wins and two losses. Royal Assault was ranked fifth place out of the 45 other teams that competed at Drexel University. The Jester competed successfully, finishing with an average of 27 qualifying points. This high rank allowed Royal Assault to select its alliance partners.

During the first quarter-final match Royal Assault and their alliance partners, teams 272 and 834, worked together and managed to win the round with the final score of 57-53 against the number 5 alliance consisting of teams 84, 250 and 104. Their second Quarter-Final match was more of a challenge for Royal Assault and their alliance. It was a tough match but contained loads of action, and once the score was posted it revealed a startling tie. The field was reset, and both alliance teams vigorously battled it out once again. After the two minute and ten second match, the score read 64-74; Royal Assault and their alliance partners were not victorious for the round. However, there was still one last match to compete in. This round would determine if Royal Assault and their alliance could advance into the Semi-Finals. Once again, robots were set in position, the audience stood on their feet, and the last Quarter-Final match commenced. The time elapsed quickly and the round was finished. Scores were calculated, checked, and re-checked, and the final score displayed 51-56. Royal Assault and their team alliance would not advance to the Semi-Finals.

Even though the competition was over for Royal Assault, their accomplishments did not end there. The team received the “Delphi Driving Tomorrow's Technology Award,” for their unique Airtrax version of the mecanum drive train that gave The Jester a, “maneuverability advantage on the field,” during the game.

Also, Jules Scogna, a mentor from Royal Assault, received one of FIRST’s most prestigious awards, the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award. This is given to a teacher or mentor who demonstrates excellence in teaching science, math and creative design. Mr. Scogna was selected because he has been “ encouraging beyond the box-bot mentality, to Jester Drive and Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grants.”

Royal Assault was also honored with “The Regional Chairman’s Award,” which is the single most prestigious award to receive from FIRST. This honor “enables FIRST to recognize teams for their exemplary efforts in spreading the FIRST message.“ They were chosen because of their year-round dedication in engineering, hosting FIRST events, being active in charitable events, and for “entering the exciting territory of solving real-world situations by constructing an omni-directional wheelchair utilizing the mecanum wheel design.”

Royal Assault looks forward to attending the Championship event held at the end of April. The Jester will compete along side 339 other teams. Royal Assault will also be vying for the National Chairman’s Award, the highest honor a team can receive in all of FIRST, and they hope to continue their success both on and off the field.

Article by Joe Gro, Lauren Campion
Posted on 2006-04-09