In 2009, Team 223 faced many new challenges. The game was completely different from anything we had ever seen before. It was played on a low-friction floor with slippery wheels in order to simulate the feel of driving in the low gravity of the moon. In addition, we had a new control system and a new programming environment to work with. Over the course of the six-week build season, we worked hard to learn and to tackle each new challenge as it arose.
Our first competition, the New Jersey Regional in Trenton, was full of challenges as well. There were connection issues between many robots and the field, and ours was one of the robots that had problems. Because of these technical difficulties we were not nearly as successful in Trenton as we had hoped.
However, our second competition in Philadelphia, was completely different. We redesigned our robot to be bigger and better and fixed our connection issues, with fantastic results. We won 7 out of 9 of our qualifying matches (the last 7 in a row), so we ended qualifying rounds ranked 4 out of 53 teams. This made us an alliance captain which means we got to choose two other teams to join us in the elimination rounds, where we competed in the quarterfinals. We were extremely pleased with our accomplishments. At the Philadelphia Regional, we also won the Imagery Award for graphic design and cohesiveness in team and robot appearance. Other happenings in Philly included a stop for cheesesteaks, orange hair, and the development of the Randy Coren cheer.
Unfortunately we were unable to get off of the wait-list for Atlanta, and so were unable to attend Championships. However, on May 16th we competed at Monty Madness, an offseason event hosted by Team 1043 – Cougar Robotics, where we once again placed 4th overall. We also participated in the World Science Festival Street Fair in NYC, where we spread information about the various FIRST programs to multitudes of people passing by. While in NYC we also met Dean Kamen and showed off our robot to lots of adorable little kids.