Week Zero 2023

On February 17th, the drive team members of CHOP SHOP 166 headed to Bedford High School to participate in the Week Zero event.  The annual event is a chance for teams to test their robots on an actual game field and for FIRST to test the game field in a real competition.

We were placed into our three qualification matches but after our first match we were having serious problems.  The robot kept disconnecting from the field.  It would freeze and appear to reboot or reconnect.  Mentors Connor and Layth discussed the issue with the drive team and came to a conclusion that “field radio” was disconnecting because it was not fully mounted to the robot.  

After securing the radio we headed into our second match, where we encountered even more problems.  We still suffered from issues of disconnecting but now our intake completely stopped working.  A quick diagnosis revealed that our intake motor had burned up and without a new one we would have no chance in the last qualification match.  Luckily because Bedford High is so close to our shop, we had a new motor delivered and was installed prior to our final qualification match.  

During our final qualification match, we still had connection problems and the robot froze on the field.  Even though we did not provide much assistance our alliance pulled through and we ended up winning the last match.  

After that match, we had our robot inspected by FIRST to see if our issues were related to the radio connection to the field or something else.  Turns out that we had a loose wire to the power supply in the robot itself.  Mentor Connor said that it must have come loose in the first match after we were hit by another team which is not something you can simulate in practice.

The power supply was easily repaired while alliance selection began.  With a 1 - 2 record and being ranked 23, it was not looking great for us to be selected in the playoffs, especially since we did not have a functioning robot in any of the three previous matches.  Captains of Alliance #4, team 2423 “The KwarQs” took a chance and selected us as their third alliance partner. We joined team 4909 “Bionics” and headed into the playoffs.  

Now with a fully functional robot and a strong alliance, we formed a solid game plan where we would use our three piece auto to start and just give it our best.  We won our first two playoff matches but we were ultimately eliminated in the final round before the “Finals Matches.” 

Our performance in the playoffs left us feeling very good about the upcoming season.  We are looking forward to our first event, PINETREE, on March 15th.