What do our fans think?

What is it like to watch a robotics tournament?

Read a blogger’s response to his first FIRST robotics event.  It is written by Paul Smith, an enthusiastic new Fan of our “sport.”

Click here:  Top 10 Differences Between Sports and Robotics to read the whole post.  I’ve summarized his Top 10 Differences below:

  • #10 The fans
  • #9 The role of girls
  • #8 Learning skills they’ll actually use later in life
  • #7 “Coopertition”
  • #6 Language on the field
  • #5 Treatment from coaches
  • #4 Brain injuries
  • #3 Playing time
  • #2 Fighting
  • #1 Humility

(I don’t mean to “brag,” but…)

The “testimonial” of this FIRST-fan just goes to show, kids, that random people do notice it when you act on the basis of “Gracious Professionalism.”  Read the whole article and you’ll agree that “we” have rocked this guy’s world.


P.S.  My intention for these “off season” posts is to strengthen ties between the team and our sponsors.  So share any post you think will be appreciated by your friends/fans (and invite them to “follow” our blog).  Maybe next year, they’ll come watch us compete – or even become Sponsors!  🙂


Welcome Back

Hello again!

To all the old friends and supporters of FTC team #5309 “Plan B!”

“Welcome Back”

– We have just completed our 4th season of robot building and competition.  

– After taking a long sabbatical, this blog is being revived (at least temporarily) as a way to update our sponsors about what we’ve accomplished recently.  I’ll fill in the gaps later.  For now…

“Come see us”

– I would like to invite you all to visit our educational display at the upcoming Mini-Maker Faire at the Holly Hill Mall in Burlington, NC, on Saturday, April 25th.

– The annual event, sponsored by the Alamance Makers Guild, is described in detail on their special-event website.  http://burlingtonminimakerfaire.com/

“Happy ‘1st Day of Spring'”

– To celebrate the change of seasons, I would like to share with you one of our favorite “just for fun” projects of the past year.  It is a video created for a contest and actually won a prize ($100 credit on robot parts) from Servo-City, one of our suppliers.

– Spoiler:  The setting is our workshop – in winter.  What would you do if you were a robot – left alone? “(just) before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse” (A visit from St. Nicholas).


FTC Scrimmage at Elon University 12-14-13

Champion Alliance – at the end of the day.

It has been hard work, but smiling faces speak well of the effort.

Alliance Partners - Teams 5309 and 731.  You rock!

Alliance Partners – Teams 5309 and 731. You rock!

Scores from today’s matches (includes some estimates):

  • Round 1  (Ben-Gabe)         155 points   (partner 8190 Adeptus Mechanicus)
  • Round 2 (Haylee-Schae) 154 points   (partner 5881 WHS Robotics)
  • Round 3 (Brian-Owen)    169 points   (partner Bio-Bots)
  • Round 4 (Ben-Gabe)        62 points     (partner 6183 Thunder Ducks)
  • Round 5 (Brian-Schae)    195 points   (partner 7576 Blue Porcupines)

We set new high scores on almost every round!

We ranked 1st of the 4 teams who earned the right to select Alliance partners, with an average of 152 points scored in our 5 Qualifying matches.

Let’s “raise the flag” to our Alliance Partners during the championship rounds

(who could raise the flag during the End Game)!

  • Semi-Finals (Brian-Owen) 214 points (partner 731 WannaBe Strange)
  • Finals (Ben-Gabe)              259 points   (partner 731 WannaBe Strange)

Way to go, Plan B!

Full points on the flag during End Game, thanks to our partner team!

Full points on the flag during End Game, thanks to our partner team!

Two Successful Scrimmages

Busy as Bees

Members (and parents!) of robotics team Plan B have been “busy as bees” this fall.  Sorry we have not been posting regularly with status updates.

Today we finished (first!) at the 3rd Annual FTC Scrimmage at Elon University.  We also did well at a similar competition in Cary on November 17th.  Below is a sort of randomly selected collection of photos from today.  Enjoy!

Team Photo

Team Photo

"Scouting" team 8190 - one of our alliance partners.

“Scouting” team 8190 – one of our alliance partners.

DSC07695 DSC07697 DSC07699

Hanging sideways was not "the plan."  But we earned points anyway.

Hanging sideways was not “the plan.” But we earned points anyway.

After Round 2.  Great job, drivers!

After Round 2. Great job, drivers!

Lunch options included "Tacos in a bag."  Yum!

Lunch options included “Tacos in a bag.” Yum!

Team shirts looked great!  Thanks, Schae's aunt Rebecca!

Team shirts looked great! Thanks, Schae’s aunt Rebecca!

Our favorite Alliance Partner was "WannaBe Strange" - team 731, who could raise the flag.

Our favorite Alliance Partner was “WannaBe Strange” – team 731, who could raise the flag.

Reset and maintenance check in "our pit" between matches.

Reset and maintenance check in “our pit” between matches.

Our drivers were all "cool as cucumbers."  (Maybe that's why our shirts are green?)

Our drivers were all “cool as cucumbers.” (Maybe that’s why our shirts are green?)

Winding up the Prototype Phase

Planning Remaining Tasks for (and Reflections on) Phase 1:  Prototyping the Robot

So far, so good, guys!  2.5 months in, and the season has been exciting already!  Thanks for working hard, and for working well together.  Keep it up.  Teamwork will always be key to success in a venture such as this.  If you don’t recognize that yet, you will.

It’s going to be tough, especially with our workshops “in the works,” to get our robot ready to compete in our 1st scrimmage on Nov. 17th.   Continue reading

What will Plan B do for the Showcase?

What do you want to do – for the Robotics Showcase?

Well, we have options.  Here are a few: Continue reading

Our very own Special Guest

Tell your friends! – about October 18 & 19

There are two events with the robotics engineer, Daniele Benedettelli, that you can help spread the word about:

  • 10/18/13 (Friday) – Presentation for “us” at Graham Library at 3:30 PM.
  • 10/19/13 (Saturday) – Robotics Showcase at the Burlington YMCA, noon to 4 PM (w/ repeat Benedettelli presentation at around 3 PM) Continue reading

Rookies at work

Thanks to Gabriel’s aunt,

We have photos of Day 2 of the Boot Camp series of meetings for our Rookies.

Thank you!

Continue reading

Robotics Engineer

I found out his name:  Daniel Benedettelli.  

He must be Italian.  I googled his name and found a website, which has a unique look to it – but I haven’t explored much yet.  Click to his website. and you’ll see what I mean. Continue reading

Report on August Activities (and Plans)

Reaching Out

You guys are great at Outreach!  We have supported TWO major events already this fall.

  1. “Art of the Brick” – and Bricks 4 Kidz (on multiple occasions, both at the Arts Center and the Graham Library) including commitments to help with Robotics workshops two Saturdays a month (Aug – Oct.)
  2. Mini Maker Faire at Holly Hill Mall (on 8/17/13)

Proof of our involvement is in the newspaper (including Owen’s photo)

We are ahead of the game!

Continue reading