FIRST Robotics Philly Regional is taking place at Temple University

Philadelphia, PA — The FIRST Robotics Philly Regional is taking place at Temple University. Fifty-nine high schools from the East Coast are competing in the Lunacy game. NASA works together with the FIRST organization to design each year’s game rules. This year a special surface was designed for the floor and special wheels for the robots. Together the floor and wheels simulate the 1/6th gravity a robot would experience on the moon. Balls called “moon rocks” are shot into the trailer being carried by the opposing teams.

What can make a competition really interesting are “alliances.” Forming a competition winning alliance takes strategy, strategy, strategy. During the first day and the morning of the second day, there are elimination rounds. Three high schools are randomly matched to form a “blue” alliance or a “red” alliance for each round. Since new teams are matched for each round, the strategy is about each individual round. At this regional, there were eighty elimination rounds.

After the elimination rounds, the top eight teams get to choose 2 teams. The strategy for the finals is about choosing which teams you want to be partnered with for the remainder of the competition.

The Wissahickon team (from Ambler, PA) was in fiftieth place going into the final alliance selection. It looked like they would have to pack up and go home. However, Lansdale Catholic had been scouting all season and picked Wissahickon for their alliance advancing them to the finals.

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