2014 Offseason

Over the summer of 2014, team 1519 was asked to beta test the new 2015 control system. Being one out of 200 Beta testing teams chosen by FIRST, Mechanical Mayhem was honoured
to be the only New Hampshire team chosen for this responsibility. 1519 was also given the opportunity to demonstrate the Beta test robot at off season tournaments River Rage and Battle of the Bay. Also, from June 13th to 15th, members of the team volunteered at the Rock’n Ribfest in Anheuser-Busch in Merrimack, NH. They helped with cleaning and assisted as waiters and waitresses during the event. They also had the robot of 2014 on display, and ran a demonstration with the 2012 robot.

Later in the offseason, Mechanical Mayhem was invited to present their robot at the PTC Live Global event onJune 15th through the 17th in Boston, MA. Throughout the event, the team gave PTC’s customers an opportunity to drive both the 2012 and 2014 robots and learn about FIRST and the MAYHEM organization. On the second day, our team competed in a mock competition with the other participating teams to demonstrate what an FRC tournament
looks like. A few weeks later on Thursday, August 7th, 1519 went to a golf event also hosted by PTC as well as The New England Golf Charity Classic. A portion of the proceeds were donated to FIRST. The four team members who attended the event had the privilege to meet with potential sponsors and speak with the president of FIRST, Donald Bossi. At the event, 1519 was asked by Sheila Rogers from PTC to host a table in the tent, displaying what FIRST is all about, sharing it’s ideals and displaying our 2014 robot.

2014 Championships

Ten days after the New England Championships, our team embarked on a 23 hour drive to World Championships hosted in the Edward Jones Dome. Our team shared a bus with the District Championship Rookie All-Star Award recipient, Andromeda One (4905).

From the 23rd to the 26th of April, Mayhem competed in the Archimedes Division at Worlds with 99 other high-caliber teams. We continued undefeated for nearly half of the tournament and ranked 14th seed with eight wins and two losses. Although we were not picked during alliance selection, we won the judge-appointed Team Spirit Award sponsored by Chrysler which “celebrates extraordinary enthusiasm and spirit through exceptional partnership and teamwork furthering the objectives of FIRST” (“Awards”).

2014 Inaugural Granite State District Event

On February 28 and March 1, Team 1519, Mechanical Mayhem gathered at Nashua High South along with 38 other FIRST
Robotics high school teams to compete in the Granite State District Event. Both days promised a thrilling competition with a myriad of competitive and creatively constructed robots.

Equipped with a roller claw capable of harvesting balls from either side of the robot, Kaizen propelled its way into the finals with its high shooting accuracy. The robust 8-wheel drive-base proved strong yet maneuverable in skilled defense. In autonomous mode when robots operate via pre-programmed instructions, Kaizen wowed allies and opponents with its 40-point autonomous program which scored both its ball and a partner’s ball into the high goal within the ten-second period.

During alliance selection Saturday afternoon, the 2nd ranked team, “C.H.A.O.S.” (131) from Manchester, NH invited Mechanical Mayhem and “The Robotics Team” (1786) from Dublin, NH to join their alliance as they dove into the elimination matches. In four exciting matches, the alliance charged through the quarter-finals and semi-finals undefeated. Finally, the alliance faced the top seeded team “Entropy” (138) from Amherst, NH and their alliance partners, “Bobcat Robotics” (177) from South Windsor, CT and “Potential Energy” (3323) from Litchfield, NH in the finals. After three fast-paced matches, Mechanical Mayhem went home as Granite State District Finalists and winners of the Gracious Professionalism® Award.
As stated during the Awards Ceremony, the Gracious Professionalism award “celebrates outstanding sportsmanship and continuous gracious professionalism in the heat of competition, both on and off the playing field…. From code written for others to their smiles in the pits, [Mechanical Mayhem was] gracious and professional.”

Currently the team is tweaking and re-adjusting the robot, code, and award presentations in preparation for upcoming tournaments. These competitions include the Rhode Island District Event on March 20-22, and, if they qualify, the New England Championship in Boston on April 10-12.

2014 Build Season

Faced with this season’s new challenge, Aerial Assist, Mechanical Mayhem immediately began brainstorming robot design ideas. After a few hours, students and mentors quickly decided upon the same general concept,
immediately starting the prototyping process. Applying successive refinement, our team has developed multiple robot iterations, each drawing closer to the final competition robot.

Mayhem’s robot “Kaizen” was named in remembrance of Kaizen Blitz, its alliance partner back in 2006 — the year of Mechanical Mayhem’s first regional win. Defined as the practice of continuous improvement, Kaizen accurately depicts Mechanical Mayhem’s approach to robot construction and overall team performance and success. Kaizen has been constructed to perform as a strong, maneuverable, and high-goal scoring robot. Supported by an 8-wheel drive-base, Kaizen is armed with a roller claw capable of harvesting balls from either side of the robot and retaining control of the ball during game play. The claw is equipped with grippy wheels, capable of harvesting the ball in ‘one touch’. A curved panel hides in the back of the mouth of the claw, built to launch balls into the high goal using six 15-pound constant force springs. Now, with the build season quickly coming to a close, the robot is nearly complete, and being prepared for ship date. In all, this year’s build season has been productive, exciting, and, like always, all too short!

2014 Game: Aerial Assist

The objective of Aerial Assist (2014 FRC Game Animation) is to score as many 25-inch balls in goals as possible during a two minute and thirty second match. The game is played by two competing alliances, each alliance composed of three robots. They compete on a flat, 25 x 54-foot field straddled by a truss, a metal beam in the center of the field, just over six feet above the ground. When alliance partners work together to score goals, additional points are awarded to the teams. The match begins with aAerial_Assist_Logo 10-second autonomous period when robots operate using pre-programmed instructions without driver control. Additionally, both the high and low goals on a select corner of the field are randomly designated “hot” for five seconds. For each ball scored in a “hot” goal during autonomous, the alliance earns bonus points. The drive teams remotely control robots from behind a protective wall for the remaining two-minute- and-twenty-second tele-op period.

After all the balls originally given to each alliance in autonomous are scored (0-3), one new ball is placed onto the field. Once this ball is scored, the alliance will be given another.
Points are gained by throwing over the truss, catching, and scoring balls in the high and low goals. Alliances receive large bonuses for “assists,” which are awarded every time a different robot takes control of the ball in its own zone. Stressing the application of Coopertition® and teamwork, Aerial Assist promises an exhilarating FRC season.

2014 FRC Map of Teams and Events

As the end of year 2013 drew near along with the long anticipated FIRST® kick-off, Mechanical Mayhem was honored with the frc_mapopportunity to create a map of all the FIRSTrobotics teams and events in the world. Brainstorming immediately ensued as students and mentors worked to develop a new and innovative map to be displayed on Dean Kamen’s wall. Instead of opting for a more traditional static map, our team was inspired to go one step further and create a digital slideshow animating FIRST’s growth from its first year in 1992 to our current year of 2014. Jackson Volante, one of last year’s Granite State Regional Dean’s List winners, spearheaded the programming of the map.
Completion of the map required learning JavaScript, collecting data, and configuring animated frames, building a webpage to display the gif, aquiring materials, and automating the presentation of the map. Three other students worked with him to complete the project. The map was displayed on a 32″ computer monitor run by a Raspberry Pi. At live kickoff, two of the students involved with the project presented the map to Dean Kamen, Woodie Flowers, and Governor Maggie Hassan, offering an encouraging way to “kick off” the new season!