The Beach Bots have been competing in the FIRST Robotics Competitions as an individual team since 1997.
The following is a brief review of each year:
In “FIRST STRONGHOLD”, robots attacked opponent alliance’s castles by ‘breaching’ various ‘defenses’ and shooting ‘boulders’ into their towers to weaken them so they could be captured. Our team was a finalist at the Los Angeles Regional, winners of the Ventura Regional, and winners of the Carver division at the FIRST Championship in St. Louis after seeding second. Our alliance was fortunate on the Einstein Championship field and battled some great teams all the way through the finals to win the Championship.
In “Recycle Rush” we stacked ‘totes’ five and six high and then set recycle bins on top of them with extra points awarded for pool noodles stuck in the top. Our robot was unique in its ability to put three recycle bins at a time on top of two stacks of totes. We were Champions at the Los Angeles regional, Champions at the inaugural Ventura regional, champions of the Galileo division at the FIRST Championship in St.Louis where we ended our run 17th in the world and quarter finalists on the Einstein Championship field.
During “Aerial Assist,” each robot on an alliance had to pass the 24″ ball to their alliance partners to complete an “assist” which added points to the score when the ball was then shot into the 6 foot high goal above the driver’s stations. Our team was a regional winner at the San Diego Regional, finalists at the Los Angeles regional, and competed at the Championships making an appearance in the quarter finals of the Newton Division.
For the game “Ultimate Ascent,” robots scored goals by shooting Frisbees into one of three goals over each set of driver’s stations. Additionally, robots were also given points for hanging from, or climbing, a pyramid in the center of each alliance’s zone. Our team competed at the Los Angeles and Las Vegas Regional’s. During the summer, our students ran our first week-long LEGO robotics camp for 20 elementary school kids.
For “Rebound Rumble,” robots from each alliance could score points by shooting foam basketballs into hoops at a variety of heights. At the end of the match, robots had to balance with alliance partners on a teeter-totter style “bridge.” Robots could also balance with robots on the opposing alliance for special “coopertition” points during qualification matches. We received the Engineering Excellence Award (sponsored by Delphi) at the Los Angeles Regional as well as the Central Valley Regional. Our team also took the title of regional winner at the Central Valley Regional. We concluded the year in St Louis, where we were finalists in the Newton Division. This was our final season with our leader of 15 years, Rob Steele.
This year featured “Logo Motion.” Robots played with inner tubes shaped like each component of the FIRST logo. For points, robots hung inner tubes on racks to create the FIRST logo. Additionally, at the end of a match, robots could deploy minibots to climb a pole and score extra points. Our team received the General Motors Industrial Design Award at the Arizona Regional, where we were also Regional Winners. At the Los Angeles Regional, we were finalists and were awarded the General Motors Industrial Design Award a second time. We competed at the Championships, held for the first time in St Louis, and finished the year as Archimedes Division Finalists.
During “Breakaway,” robots could score points by making goals with balls, similar to soccer. At the end of the match, robots could score additional points by hanging from a tower in the center of each alliance’s zone. Our team won the Arizona Regional and the Los Angeles Regional, where we were awarded the Engineering Excellence award (sponsored by Delphi) and the General Motors Industrial Design Award, respectively. We finished the season ranking 4th in the Archimedes Division at nationals. After the official season, we won 1st place at the Indiana Robotics Invitational.
The game “Lunacy” featured a special low-traction field surface to mimic what it would be like to drive robots on the moon. To score points, robots on one alliance had to place balls into trailers towed by robots on the opposing alliance. Our team received the Judge’s Award at the Los Angeles Regional. We also received the Judge’s Award at the Las Vegas Regional, where we were regional finalists.
This year featured “Overdrive,” which required robots to race around a track-style game field with large 40 inch diameter “trackballs.” Points were scored by crossing certain lines with a trackball, or by causing a trackball to go over a centerfield overpass. Our team were finalists at the San Diego Regional. We went on to win at the Los Angeles Regional, where we also won the General Motors Industrial Design Award. In Atlanta, we placed 8th in the Galileo Division. After the official season, our team competed in the Indiana Robotics Invitational where we took 1st place.
For the game “Rack & Roll,” teams scored goals by arranging inner tubes in rows or columns on a cylindrical rack in the center of the field. Our team won the Los Angeles Regional and were awarded the Motorola Quality Award. Additionally, we won 1st place and the General Motors Industrial Design Award at the San Diego Regional. At the Championships, we won 1st place on the Curie Field and ended the year in the Quarterfinals on Einstein. Our team was also honored to receive the General Motors Industrial Design Award at the Championships.
In the game “Aim High”, small “poof” balls were used as the game pieces. We built a “high shooter” and frequently would score points in the high goal as well as scoring at the end of the match by finishing on the alliance platform. We were finalists at the Southern California Regional and were also awarded the Xerox Creativity Award at both the Arizona Regional and Southern California Regional.
In “Triple Play,” small tetrahedrons were stacked upon nine large tetrahedron goals to score points. The number of tetrahedrons stacked on the goals and arranged by the in a tic-tac-toe pattern determined the winning alliance. We became Semi-Finalists and won the Judge’s Award at the Sacramento Regional. We were Regional Winners at the Southern California Regional and were awarded the General Motors Industrial Design Award. We also continued on to the FRC Championship event in Atlanta and won the Newton division and the Championship.
In “FIRST Frenzy – Raising the Bar” points were scored by small balls placed in goals, covering the goals with a large ball, or by robots (like us) hanging off a ten foot bar. Our robot could crawl across the bar, blocking opposing robots from hanging and getting extra points. At the Arizona Regional we won 1st place and the Chairman’s Award.
The game “Stack Attack” was started by human players stacking 4 boxes on the field. Then robots would collide into a stack of boxes on top of a ramp and try to push them into scoring zones and stack them. In the end, the robots would score additional points by climbing onto the ramp and then would try to block other robots from joining them.
In “Zone Zeal” balls were to be placed in movable goals that were transported by the robots into scoring zones. In 2002 we won the Kleiner Perkins Caufiel & Byers Entrepreneurs Award at the Silicon Valley Regional. At the the Southern California Regional we won the Johnson & Johnson Sportsmanship Award and we also won the regional for the second year in a row.
“Diabolical Dynamics.” This game consisted of 2 V-shaped baskets in which balls were placed and there was a bar in-between them that robots could hang off of. We won our first regional ever at the Southern California Regional. We also won the Xerox Creativity Award at the Silicon Valley Regional.
In 2000, the game was “Co-Operation FIRST.” Four robots worked together to place balls on a goal and 1 robot would pull the goal and itself onto a teeter-totter. We were very excited to walk away from the NASA Ames Regional as Finalists!
Our robot played in “Double Trouble.” This was the first year that alliances were used. The goal was to place “floppies” on a “puck” which was in the middle of the field. Our team attended the Hawthorne High Sectional and took 1st place!! We also won the Xerox Creativity Award at the NASA Ames Regional. Our FIRST awards!
All 5 high schools branched out into separate teams and we became the “Beach Bots.” “Ladder Logic” was the name of the game. In the middle of the field was a hexagonal cylinder with ramps on its 3 sides. Balls were to be placed on the ramps. At nationals our team placed 86th out of 166 teams!
Our first year!