The 2012 year was a particular challenge to the team because of the size of the Senior class which had graduated since the year before. Fortunately, we were able to work efficiently with few hands and even were able to make it to St. Louis to compete internationally! Our goals for the rest of the year are to recruit new, younger, members and increase the knowledge base of the current team members.
While we were working on our contender for the logomotion challenge, it snowed a lot, causing extraordinary difficulty in planning meetings.
The Titan Robotics Club was involved in several major community outreach projects and events. For example, the TRC was honored to host the 2010 FIRST Technical Challenge kickoff at the International School. Only a few months later, the club ran the FIRST Lego League tournament in Bellevue at Highland Middle School, dedicating many volunteers and a large amount of time to the event. In addition, the TRC was involved with the planning and running of the last Joint Practice Field.
This is also the year that work on the TRC Robotics library started. Although it was only intended to be an in-house library, we decided to make it generic and publish it on FirstForge so that other teams could benefit from our work.
The TRC was the main coordinator of a Joint Practice Field in downtown Bellevue off Ranier avenue. This year marks significant growth of the team in size due to recruitment of 5 particularly active 8th graders who today manage the club and update the website. Also this year, Paul Malmsten was CEO, and the competition was called Lunacy.
The TRC was again honored to host the 2008 FIRST remote kickoff for Bellevue, WA. And TRC was again involved with the planning and running of the Joint Practice Field at Aviation High School.
During 2008 challenge, Overdrive, robots completed counterclockwise laps around a central barrier while manipulating large 40 inch "Trackballs" over and under overpasses to gain points.
The build season started out a bit slow, adjusting to a new 'heads committee' that was developed by the 2007-2008 student leadership and was instituted for the 2008 build season. This new committee meant that an additional 4 students beyond the 4 executive leaders would be directly involved with the running of the build season. The commitee worked very well and was continued for 2009.
The Titans headed for the Portland regional in the end of February 2008. After going un-defeated for their first day of competition, Mnemosyne, this year's robot, led to a 5th seed rank. The TRC was defeated in the quarter finals. For the first time ever, the TRC also attended the Microsoft Seattle Regional in Tacoma, WA. Again the TRC performed very well and received the 8th seed. As in Portland, the TRC was eliminated in the quarter finals.
As the season ended, the TRC began work on their summer camp program, which began in 2007. They developed their own LEGO challenge, and executed it with a great amount of success.
As the season began in January the TRC started out with promising results. A design for the 2007 game, Rack n' Roll, was developed in only 2 weeks. As the construction of the robot began, members had the oppertunity to learn a unique skill, the creation of the Traditional TRC 6 wheel drivetrain. It was also decided that belts should be used rather then the traditional chains. As the seson progressed, the TRC attempted another new project; planning a robotics Summer Camp for Elementary and Middle School students. The summer camp project was put on hold as the club made the final push to the 6 week mark, and the robot was shipped to competition. Oceanus, a 1 arm and 1 ramp robot was converted to a 2 ramp no arm robot half way through the PNW regional to better fit with the competition. After the season had ended, the summer camp went back into full force: 10 TRC students spend a combined 600+ hours to pull off a sqpectacular robotics experience for a week in July of 2007. The camp allowed TRC to branch to a new audience, and set the path for a new group of TRC members. As the new TRC leadership took over in August, the TRC (guided by their mascot Pingu) looked forwards to the great experiences that were soon to follow in the 2008 competition.
The TRC started the year off strong with a huge fundraising effort to make enough money to enter FIRST again this year. Through hard work and the support of our community, we were able to raise enough money to enter the Pacific Northwest Regional. With the support and wisdom of our Lead Mentors Ryan McElroy and Amy McIvor, alumni of the TRC, as well as other alumni including Bobby Moretti and Tim Montague, the TRC is having another successful FIRST season.
The Titan Robotics Club continued it’s upward trend and had its most successful season ever. In addition to three FIRST Lego League teams and a FIRST team, the TRC managed a Combat Robotics team. The TRC has expanded from a simple idea four years ago to one of the most advanced robotics clubs in Washington State. This year with the mentorship of our dedicated college alumni (Ryan McElroy, Bobby Moretti, Jacob Egler, and more who have returned to help out), new members are quickly learning the different skills that they need to build a competitive robot in the short period of time that is given. Although the club is organized into several efficient branches (promotions, animation, website design, etc), the largest struggle facing the TRC was fundraising. After losing support from the Bellevue Schools Foundation last season and NASA this season, the Titan Robotics Club faced an uncertain financial future. Fortunately, generous donations from local businesses like Chaplins’ Automotive Group helped the TRC move forward and compete in another season. Additionally, a remodel of the International School caused the loss of the TRC workshop area for the entire 2004 FIRST season. FIRST Season With the continuation of the autonomous mode during the competition, the TRC was once again able to build an award winning robot. At the 2004 Pacific Northwest Regional in Portland, Oregon, the TRC’s consistent performance earned them the top seed. With two excellent alliane partners, the TRC went on to win the competition. In addition, the TRC won their second straight Website Award. After the Pacific Northwest Regional, the TRC was qualified to enter the National Competition in Atlanta, Georgia. Due to an unexpected large donation, we were able to afford the entry fees. At nationals, we were picked for an alliance and made it to the semi-finals in our division. After FIRST Tim Montague, a senior student and officer within the Titan Robotics Club, started a Combat robotics section to the TRC. A small group of students made a 30 pound combat robot (a simple wedge) and entered Steel Conflict in Anaheim, CA during April. While the robot was unsuccessful during the competition, it provided insight into some of the other facets of robotics, not just FIRST. During the summer, the TRC held weekly hack sessions for members who wished to advance their knowledge of robotics in general.
The 2002/2003 season was very successful for our team. The TRC hosted the very first FIRST Lego League Tournament in Washington State in 2002 with the powerful combination of parental involvement, mentorship, as well as a devoted and organized student group, including helping a number of local Middle Schools start FLL teams. The High School FIRST team hosted our Second invitational competition, at which the team competed against several local high school teams. This invitational was coordinated mostly by the students, demonstrating our club’s ability to develop leadership, as well as engineering excellence from our talented group of individuals. That year, the TRC participated in the FIRST Robotics Competitions in the Silicon Valley Regional in San Jose, where we made it to the semi-finals, and brought home the Entrepreneurship Award. In Seattle, at the Pacific Northwest Regional, we finished second, bringing home the Finalist Award, and the Website Award. The 2003 Chairman’s Award Submission also earned the club the Inspiration in Engineering award, the second most prestigious award from FIRST. This year the TRC was able to recruit 15% of our school into the club, and came home with 4 trophies from our High School team, and another 4 from our Middle School teams, which is the most our club has ever won in a single year, despite all the financial obstacles we had to overcome.
In 2001/2002, the club diversified with the inclusion of our entry into the Middle School FIRST Lego League (FLL) program, aimed to serve as a stepping stone into the mainstream FIRST Robotics competition. This program was extremely successful and won a trophy in its first season. The High School Team was also successful, receiving several awards during this FIRST season, including Second Place at the Pacific Northwest Competition, Third Seed at the Los Angeles Regional, and the prestigious Judge’s Award for innovative design and excellence in engineering. The team finished the year by holding robotics design and electronics classes, and then team members built Mini-Sumo robots and entered them in the Seattle Robotics Society’s Robothon in May.
In the first year of the Titan Robotics Club (TRC), the club raised over $22,000. Then, the TRC got to work. The First Annual TRC Fall Invitational took place in November. Only one other team showed up (Kamiak), and the TRC entered two teams. One team built a robot called “Pucker Up” while the other team built “The Arm.” The Arm performed the best, with Pucker Up a close second. Kamiak’s ironclad-look-alike robot had drive train problems, but ended up winning the competition due to rule violations by the two TRC teams. Ironically, the rules were written by the TRC itself.
The Fall Invitational was good preparation for the big event - The 2002 FIRST Robotics Competition.
The game, “Diabolical Dynamics,” involved four robots on the same team trying to get small balls into baskets, big balls on top of the baskets, the baskets balanced on top of a teeter-totter bridge, and as many robots as possible to the far side of the field in as little time as possible. The TRC created Prometheus, a two-and-a-half by three-foot robot that stood five feet tall and was capable of lifting two of the 70-plus pound baskets off the ground simultaneously and balancing on the bridge.
The Titan Robotics Club sent over 20 representatives to San Jose, California for the Silicon Valley Regional, the closest regional at the time. There, the TRC participated in the top-scoring qualification match of the event, but was not selected for the elimination matches. Nevertheless, for the innovative six-wheel drive train design of Prometheus, the TRC was awarded the Rookie All-Star award by the judges. Several weeks later, the TRC traveled to Orlando, Florida, where the National Championships were held. The TRC placed in the middle of the rankings, quite an accomplishment considering the 380 teams present at the event. Well out of the running for the elimination matches, the TRC joined with three other teams in a festival of fun, successfully completing a death-defying leap off of the teeter-totter, and winning the “Incredible Play” award for the Galileo division.
After the excitement of the FIRST competition, the TRC began to spread the word about FIRST. The TRC went to the national convention for “Tomorrow’s Classroom” held in Seattle to promote FIRST, and made appearances in the community at locations such as Crossroads mall in Bellevue. The efforts succeeded - enough teams were started for the 2002 season in the Pacific Northwest that FIRST promised that there would be a regional in Seattle the following year. The Pacific Northwest Regional, held in the Bank of America Pavilion at the University of Washington in early April, debuted the next year.
After being introduced to the FIRST Robotics Competition by Bellarmine Prep (Team 360) during the 2000 season, Larry Barello sought to enter the 2001 Competition closer to home at his daughter’s school, the Bellevue International School (IS). At the end of Ryan McElroy’s Junior year at IS, Larry came with team 360 and made a presentation with the robot he had helped build the previous year. Interested students signed up, and Ryan happened to sign up first. That summer, Larry contacted Ryan about getting the club started.
Ryan wrote a constitution for the new club and guided it through the ASB approval process, and thus the TRC was born.
Due to the nature of IS as a college prep alternative public school, there were and are no engineering related classes. There were and are no woodworking class, metal class, auto class, or computer class. For this reason, the Titan Robotics Club became immediately popular with students who longed for these unavailable opportunities.