The Vernonia Loggerbots competed in the FIRST Robotics District competition on March 7-8 in Oregon City, finishing 16th out of 35 teams. The team was selected to join an alliance with one of the top eight teams and competed in the quarterfinals, where they were eliminated.
The Loggerbots are scheduled to compete in their second District event beginning April 4-5, in Corvallis at Oregon City.
The top 65 teams, after all teams have competed in two District events, out of over 200 teams in the Northwest Region, advance to compete in the District Championship at the Memorial Coliseum April 10-12. The Loggerbots are currently ranked 82.
Team mentor Jeff Ely explained that this year the robot the teams were assigned to build was especially difficult and that the Loggerbots experienced numerous problems during both days of their first competition. “Having problems is part of the experience and part of the fun,” said Ely. “We had mechanical problems, electrical problems, programing problems.”
The competition for Loggerbots included competing in fifteen different events with two other randomly selected teams. “We didn’t miss any of those,” said Ely, who went on to explain that the team was able to fabricate and fix parts on the fly at an on-site machine shop and make other corrections. “We did pretty good,” said Ely.
Being selected to be part of a final alliance team was a good result for the Loggerbots. They were selected in the first round of eight, which means other teams saw something very positive in the Loggerbots early performances. “A lot of the better teams keep track all day and do a lot of scouting,” said Ely. “Regardless of where you score during the first two days of competition, being drafted speaks to how well we did. If your robot show off some good skills, then you get selected.”
The team is allowed to make modifications to their robot before the next competition. “We’re talking about what we saw that went well and what didn’t,” said Ely. “We’ll be making adjustments, finding ways to make it more robust and sturdy. Make it more accurate and play around with some new designs.”