This weekend was the 2nd annual South Carolina Robotics Invitational and Workshops, SCRIW, hosted by Los Pollos Locos and D5 Robotics. Once again I went down along with the Hitchhikers to compete. This year the event was hosted at Irmo High School, alma mater of NC State running back Mustafa Greene.
This year I came down earlier on Friday to help with setup and with the help of Greg and Brandon from AndyMark and a bunch of student we were able to get the field up and running.
Saturday morning came and all 24 teams showed up which meant that everyone would get to play in eliminations. Just like last year I volunteered as a ref, with our head ref being Palmetto ref Tina. We were able to find two other qualified ref and combined with striped shirts we were much more professional looking than last year. Overall the event ran pretty smoothly. We got behind during sync checks and we never really able to catch up. Because of that finals didn't get done til around 7. Afterwards I stayed to help tear down the field before heading back to E-town.
As for the Hitchhikers they had about 15 students including a number of new students. Despite switching out new drivers, expect for Sam, we finished 7th after qualifying and moved up to captain the number 5 alliance. We choose 587, The Hedgehogs, and 2640, Hotbotz and rolled all the way to becoming SCRIW champions. During one of the semifinal matches Sam really had the shooter dialed in and scored more balls than I think we have every scored in a match. In addition the Hitchhikers have never lost an event when we make elimination and have been on the winning alliance of every FRC event in South Carolina in 2012.
I would compare our robot Benji to Captain Krunch 11. Both were well designed but not necessarily optimal for the game. They both got off to fast starts at there respective first regionals before fading at the second regional and championships, but coming back to win there first off-season event. Obviously Krunch improved the following year build one of our two best robots ever, so we'll have to see how the Hitchhikers do.
Overall it was a great weekend and its hard to believe that I won't be at another FRC event for almost five months.