October 10, 2012 - Before Team RUSH put away their 2012 robot, they took it for one last spin at the Kettering Kick-off Invitational, Sept. 22.
From left, Mitchell Petrimoulx, Diana Marsala, Kirsten Zalobsky, Carter Zielinski and Jennifer Ray with the 2012 robot before Kettering Kickoff. Photo by Wendi Reardon
(click for larger version)
They placed 15th in the quarterfinals out of the 42 teams at the annual robotic competition. In the robot basketball game, they finished with four wins and three losses with the robot they used in the Rebound Rumble.
Michael Ray, one of the team captains, said a highlight of the weekend was the last two matches of the season.
He explained during the last 30 seconds of the match, robots can balance on a bridge to earn extra points. By balancing more and more robots on the bridge, teams get more overall points.
"Competing with team 3534 from Davison and team 3547 from Monroe we balanced three robots on our bridge," he said. "It is a feat almost unheard of in the FIRST community as all three of our robots were considered 'long bots.' The entire stadium was ecstatic and erupted into cheers - a great way to end our season. Overall, we lost in the quarterfinals against the first place team but had an amazing weekend."
During the competition at Kettering University the seniors took charge by creating a schedule, organizing the pit, organizing jobs, organizing carpools and more.
"By doing it this way, the seniors realized what it takes and how stressful running a team can be," said Ray.
"All the while getting feedback from their fellow teammates and seeing how the younger students react to their first competition."
"During competition season we have to have a set pit crew, a set drive crew, a set scouting team. They need to know what they are doing," Mitchell Petrimoulx added. "This competition was more laid back. The big thing is it gives new students experience. They know what's happening and need to be there, need to do this and this."
He added they recruit new students during the spring, which is right after their competition season ends. The off-season competition at Kettering helps the new members of Team RUSH for when the season starts in January.
While preparing for the competition Petrimoulx worked with other members of the team to make sure the robot was set for the weekend.
"We ran tests," he said. "We have changed our shooter round to make it better. We have been running test rounds to make sure everything is ready."
Kirsten Zalobsky, part of media, prepared for her first competition by making sure everything was charged and her lenses were ready to go.
They also worked on other projects, Petrimoulx added. He worked with Carter Zielinski and others on the robot used during Homecoming, which threw T-shirts into the crowd.
"The new students are seeing how we wire and how we build new parts to it," he said. "They see it before we go into the build season."
"Thanks to all our sponsors for their support," Ray added.
Go to www.teamrush27.net.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.