Team 5199, the Robot Dolphins from Outer Space were in their element in this year’s FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), “DESTINATION: DEEP SPACE.” Securing a coveted spot in the FRC world championship competition in Houston, Texas, the Robot Dolphins aimed for the championship title from April 17 to April 20. Though the team achieved the second place ranking overall, the Robot Dolphins hit a wall in the playoffs. Due, at least in part, to significant damage to the elevator mechanism of the bot, the team did not advance beyond Turing division to the Einstein Round Robin Tournament.
The Robot Dolphins took home another win on Mar. 30 in the Ventura Regional. Forming a dream-team alliance team 4414, “High Tide” and defensive heavyweights team 6934, “Scorps,” team 5199 was able to win alongside its allies. In addition to their number one alliance ranking and 16-3-0 record, team 5199 walked away with the Imagery Award, which recognizes “form and function in an efficiently designed machine that effectively addresses the game challenge,” according to FIRST.
Despite a rocky start in the team’s first regional in Del Mar, the team modified their original robot design, which set the wheels in motion for success. Like in Ventura, the LA regional went swimmingly for the Robot Dolphins, who crushed the competition in 15 of their 17 matches.
This season has been full of challenges for the robotics team, like the loss of many experienced senior members and a new curriculum this season. Judging by the team’s place in the world championship in Houston, however, these obstacles were not enough to hold back the Robot Dolphins.