RUSH takes on the ‘Worlds’

BY WENDI REARDON PRICE
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Team RUSH 27 Robotics is ready to crush its competition at Cobo Center this week during FRC World Championship.
“We are super excited and really anxious,” said Megan Haddad. “We love going out there and seeing new teams we usually don’t usually get to compete with. It brings a whole other level of competition to the game which we love.”
Brandon Kirk added it’s a short drive for the community to come out and see them compete.
“All of CSMTech, the program we are in, is coming. We will have over 100 other kids from the high school there,” he said. “I don’t think we have had that many at World because we haven’t had it this close before.”
“It’s really cool we can expose our high school to such a high level STEM activity especially at the world competition,” Haddad added.
This year’s competition will have over 400 teams. Kirk explained six different fields will be played on and a winner from each field will play in the final matches.
As Team RUSH prepares for their first match at FRC World Championship, which opens on Wednesday, they are looking at what went well at the state competition a few weeks ago, as well as what didn’t.
“We are just trying to make everything better so we can hopefully win our division at worlds,” he said. “It is really the ultimate goal.”
Team RUSH will be in an alliance with two other teams when their robot gets onto the field, and the three will go against three other teams. This year’s game involves three pieces on a teeter totter.
“You have to pick up cubes and place them on your side of the teeter totter and control the teeter totter for as much time as you can,” Kirk said.
“This game is really strategy based including having ownership of your teeter totter as well as the teeter totter of the scale in the middle of the field. There’s also different ways you can earn points through collecting cubes for your team,” Haddad added.

Clarkston High School’s Team RUSH 27. Photo by Mark Kelly

This year’s theme, “Power Up, is video game based. Teams can boost their scores through different power ups or they can take control. At the end of the game, all of the robots try to climb a short bar on the scale.
“You can try to get all three robots to climb on it,” Kirk said. “Robot wise, our robot is pretty special. Fitting three robots on the bar is really hard, but if you do it’s a big boost in ranking.”
The robot Team RUSH designed has a forklift on it. Their robot will grab onto the bar and the forklift will deploy down and another robot is able to drive onto top of it. It can lift the other robot up with it.
Though the game robot was already sent to the competition they were making improvements on their practice robot
Haddad explained since the first competition in New York, March 1-4, the group has come a long way.
“We have made so much progress,” she said. “We learned so much not only about how our robot works, but how our overall dynamic of our drive team works as well as different strategies we can use with other teams. Our first competition we didn’t have a lot of things go as we planned especially from the hanging. Judging from our last competition we had almost a 90 percent accuracy.”
“At our first competition we didn’t climb once with another robot,” Kirk added.
Haddad said this season has also been a good year for growth especially since they were able to build a field at Clarkston High School to practice on.
“We are super excited we can get the robot on it and drive on it every day,” she said. “It gives us a huge advantage we weren’t able to practice with before.”
They have also been able to invite other teams out and practice with them.
“We hope to see everyone come out and support us since it is so close. we invite everyone out,” Haddad smiled.
The FRC World Championship is at Cobo Center, 1 Washington Blvd in Detroit from Wednesday to Saturday.
Follow Team RUSH 27 on Twitter or Facebook. Visit www.bluealliance.com for live updates.