The history of gryffingear
You all know the story by now - this offseason was among the most successful in Gryffingear History. Brand new robot Nagini took the California offseason circuit by storm with it's rapid gear intake, placement, and climber as well as an agile drivetrain built to slide around opposition. The gearboxes that power this drivetrain have also been the object of much discussion on 3D-printed drive gearboxes. Before Nagini, 3D prints were believed to be far too weak to withstand the forces of a drivetrain, but Nagini's 2 offseason appearances put 3D printing back on the table for many teams in the FIRST community. Much like it's predecessor, The Golden Snitch, Mad-Eye took a break from Chezy Champs so that it may be improved for its final offseason event, Madtown Throwdown. After 2 days of qualification matches, both robots were selected for very powerful alliances. Nagini was the first round selection of team 971B and was joined by teams 6174 and 2135. Mad-Eye was selected to round out the #1 alliance of 1323, 973, and 971C. Nagini was defeated in the semifinals by Mad-Eye's alliance who proceeded to take home gold!
Mad-Eye's original fuel-shooting form utilized plastic parts in many forms. ABS 3D prints, polycarbonate sheet, round tube, and rectangular tube formed the majority of the fuel manipulation systems on the robot. After the fuel metagame evolved faster than we could keep up, we decided to pivot to a gear scoring robot with an increasingly faster climber. Week 2 of competition season saw Mad-Eye scoring 1-2 fuel per match for a whopping 0.33 - 1.0 points per match with no gear capability. Without the distraction of fuel, we were able to average over 4 gears per match by the time we took the field for our first Championship Eliminations play. Fun Fact: At championships, we were the subject of discussion during the longest alliance selection picks in FIRST history.
Mischief's offseason upgrades towered over the competition. Constructed primarily from plywood and 2x4s, the upgraded superstructure bolted directly onto the main mischief drivetrain and intake to give it ball shooting capabilities. These upgrades proved fruitful as they enabled Mischief to become one of the top ball scoring robots at both Chezy Champs and Battle at the Border, peaking at over 10 balls in multiple matches. Mischief's final form was awarded the Creativity award at Battle at the Border for its effective use of materials.
Mischief represented a major leap forward in the manufacturing style of Gryffingear and the overall robot quality reflects that. Mischief was the winner of stacked Los Angeles regional with friends 1197 and 987 and the captain of the #4 alliance at Las Vegas, the team's best regional ranking in history. Continuing our trend of constant improvement, Mischief also saw a major robot change going into Championships - we removed the ball shooter system for a super fast grappling hook-inspired climbing system. Additionally, the 2015-2016 school year saw Gryffingear's *first* class of graduating seniors walk the stage to collect their high school Diplomas.
Despite the previous spring's big win, the 2015 offseason was a busy one. Fawkes evolved into one of the top landfill robots at Battle at the Border, while we also built a robot to play the 2014 game for the 2015 Madtown Throwdown as part of our Java beta test responsibilities. Both offseason robots were selected for eliminations at their events. At Chezy Champs, we reunited all attending members of the #worldchamps alliance into a semifinals run with Fawkes. Battle at the Border saw Fawkes captain the #5 alliance. Chaser saw success at Madtown Throwdown after being selected by teams 1678 and 971 to fill a critical support role. Fun Fact - Chaser's drivetrain is identical to Nagini's - 4WD Omni
Fawkes' season was the first where we made large subsystem changes between bag day, regionals, and championships. By the time Championship Eliminations matches began, over 50% of the robot by weight had changed since we bagged it 2 months prior. It was this flexibility and adaptability that led us to the successes of 2015. If anything is to be learned from 2015, it's that finding your niche and being realistic about your capabilities is the key to success. Fun Fact - both Fawkes and it's twin Barracuda(built by 2339) won regionals in 2015. 2339's machining resources were instrumental in creating Fawkes' elevator system.
In addition to The Golden Snitch, the team also constructed an all-new robot for offseason events, dubbed Basilisk. Basilisk's capabilities directly filled any gaps in The Golden Snitch's capabilities making the pair a formidable alliance together. As such, The Golden Snitch(as 9012) was in a position to pick Basilisk(as 5012) at two of our four offseason events in 2014. Basilisk joined The Golden Snitch on the quarterfinalist #4 alliance at Fall Classic 1 and again on the finalist #2 alliance at Fall Classic 2.
In the team's rookie season, Gryffingear competed at 2 regionals and championships in St. Louis, MO. At our two "home" regionals of Inland Empire and Las Vegas, Team 5012 was awarded not one, but two consecutive Rookie All Star awards. This is the most prestigious judged award a rookie team can earn. Being awarded RAS at two consecutive events is a rare honor for a rookie team. The team was also awarded the Imagery award at the World Championship in April, the first Championship level judged award for any team in the Antelope Valley.
In addition to FTC Activities, Gryffingear members further honed their skills for their upcoming rookie season by competing at the 2013 Fall Classic with Team 399's(and my senior year of HS!) robot, ENIAC. Gryffingear definitely made a splash at what would become a long tradition of Gryffingear offseason activities.
In the fall immediately before Gryffingear's rookie season, Team 5012 members competed in FTC as team 7372. Among numerous judged awards, the Norbots had a great amount of competition success including clinching the #1 seed at the Monrovia Qualifier. Norbots' success on and off the field inspired the further expansion of the TPAA Robotics program the next FTC season with the addition of teams 8396, 8714, and 9098.