Yesterday, I woke up at 4:00 AM to drive down to Warner Robins for the 2nd Annual GA FIRST Regional Invitational Tournament and Showcase or for short, GRITS. GRITS is an off-season event for the FIRST Robotics Competition which I was a part of throughout my four years of high school.
Last year, my high school team won the event with the help of a local team from North Gwinnett. Over the yeas we have developed a friendship with North Gwinnett as they are the closest team next to us and we’ve both developed great robots over the past few years. This year, however, we were against them all the way up to the finals.
Though we did not get to the finals without a fight. Most of the fighting to get to there was between the team and the robot. Match after match the robot would end up being broken in some way or another. Throughout the day, I had to replace two motors controllers that started smoking during a match, restructure the pneumatic system due to a broken tubing connector on an air tank, and the team had to fix the chain on the drivetrain several times. All in all, I’m surprised the robot has not died yet.
At the end of the day, we won GRITS and received the Outreach Award for bringing the most members new to FIRST to the event. I’m happy for the team and glad the new executives got to experience what it was to be in charge of everything and that all the new members got to experience a FIRST event and see how exciting it was to be there and win a match.