FRC The Remix Houston 2017 | November 11

Team 6800 ViperBots Valor is heading to the  The Remix Houston 2017 in The Woodlands, TX this Saturday, November 11.  The one-day FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) off-season event will bring 32 Texas, Louisiana, and Mexico teams to play a modified version of the 2017 game, “FIRST STEAMWORKS” with a few rule modifications!  The event will be held at The Woodlands College Park High School.

Opening Ceremonies begin at 8:30am. The public, parents, family and friends of participating teams are invited to support and show their team spirit at this event.

Tune in to the Live Stream! Staying home? Catch all the action and cheer on ViperBots Valor by watching the Live stream. Be sure to share with family and friends!

Watch the live stream here => https://www.thebluealliance.com/gameday/2017txrm

Schedule of Events:

Saturday, November 11

07:00 AM – Doors Open
08:30 AM – Opening Ceremonies
09:00 AM – Qualification Matches Begin
12:00 PM – Lunch Break
01:00 PM – Qualification Matches Resume
02:00 PM – Qualification Matches End
02:10 PM  – Alliance Selection
02:30 PM – Elimination Matches Begin
04:30 PM – Award Ceremony
05:00 PM – Pits Close & Tear Down Begins

Note: All times are subject to change. All times are estimated based on flow of matches. See Pit Administration for updated times.

Thank You Volunteers!  We are grateful to all FIRST volunteers.  THANK YOU for giving your time and talents to support STEM and robotics!

Austin Metro League Meet 1 | November 4

It’s finally here!  The first competition of the 2017-2018 Austin Metro League will be held Saturday, November 4 at Vista Ridge High School from 8am to 6pm.  The event is divided into a morning (8 to 1:10) and afternoon (12 to 6) session.  ViperBots Team 4545 Ouroboros, 4546 SnakeByte, 6209 Venom, 6299 Quad X and 12596 Copperhead compete in the morning while Team 6210 Stryke, 7161 Hydra and 11503 HyperFang start in the afternoon.  The FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams will be playing this year’s game, “FIRST RELIC RECOVERY.”

Morning match play will take place at 10:00am.  Afternoon match play will begin at 2:00pm.  The public, parents, family and friends of ViperBots and participating teams are invited to support and cheer on the robotics teams at this event.

Schedule of Events:

MORNING

Teams 4545, 4546, 6209, 6299, and 12596 will be competing at this event.

07:45 am  Arrive at Vista Ridge for “org” meeting for morning teams
08:00am  Morning League Setup Teams “setup” crew check in
08:00am  Morning Check-in, Pits open
08:00am  Morning Inspection starts
09:40am  Morning Inspection done
09:45am  Morning Driver meeting
09:55am  Morning Opening Ceremony
10:00am  Morning Matches start (for all teams that have passed inspection) **
01:00pm  Morning Matches end
01:10pm  Morning Pits close (teams must vacate your pit table before lunch)

AFTERNOON

Teams 6210, 7161, and 11503 will be competing at this event.

11:45 am  Arrive at Vista Ridge for “org” meeting for afternoon teams
12:00pm  Afternoon Check-in, Inspection starts ++
01:10pm  Afternoon Pits open (teams can “stage” in Cafeteria)
01:40pm  Afternoon Inspection done
01:45pm  Afternoon Driver meeting
01:55pm  Afternoon Opening Ceremony
02:00pm  Afternoon Matches start (for all teams that have passed inspection) **
05:00pm  Afternoon Matches end, Pits close, Venue Cleanup starts
06:00pm  Afternoon League Teams “cleanup” crew finishes, cleanup done, everyone out of venue (more help gets us all out sooner!)

Note:
** If you do not pass inspection by the end of the inspection period, you do not compete in this Meet.
++ Pits are not open at this time for Afternoon teams.  An area will be available to temporarily work on your robot.  Ask an Inspection Volunteer where you can work on your robot.

Thank You Volunteers!  We are grateful to all FIRST volunteers, as well as, ViperBots Friends & Family (VFF) booster club, and Sponsors as this event would not be possible without them.  THANK YOU for giving your time and talents to support STEM and robotics!

3,2,1… Kickoff! Fall Fundraiser starts today!

UPDATE: The ViperBots 🍁Fundraiser Extended to November 17!

Great news! ViperBots Friends & Family (VFF) is not asking you to sell cookie dough or wrapping paper!  

We are simply asking all ViperBots families to participate in our effort to raise funds by personal donation and/or outreach to family and friends.

VFF has created a fundraising website that will make this very easy. This program gives parents, relatives and friends the opportunity to donate money directly to VFF, without having to “purchase” anything.

100% of all donations are tax deductible and will support ViperBots as our 8 FTC teams prepare to conquer FIRST RELIC RECOVERY and our FRC team, ViperBots Valor, prepares to blow the doors off their rookie season!

Remember 100%* of your donations go directly to benefit our kids and the award-winning Vandegrift ViperBots Robotics programs.

Funding for the ViperBots program is essential. We raise money from a variety of channels and parents/family/friends are critical to our success.

In order to give our teams the best possible start, we need to meet our goal quickly.

 

The deadline is November 5

 

Our immediate goal is $10,000

 

Let’s break that down –

We have 100 ViperBots Families this year!

Just $100, raised and/or donated by each family would reach our goal!

 

Can you help by either donating or raising $100 or more to our campaign?

Simple! If everyone participates.

Please consider giving today!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Simply CLICK HERE, to be directed to our online fundraising website to donate and/or forward to friends and family.
  2. Or, write a check made payable to the ViperBots Friends & Family for desired amount. Please write Fall Fundraiser on your check, place your check in an envelope and drop at the front office at school. On the outside of the envelope, please write ViperBots, your name and your child’s name.
  3. Contact your employer to see if they offer a “matching program.” Often, companies will match 100% of your donation. Please have handy the VFF tax id # 46-1435015 to let your employer know of our non-profit status as a 501(c)(3) entity. With this information, your employer can apply for, or provide you with a form to apply for, their matching program.

If you have any questions, or need any further assistance, please contact Pam Province at fundraising@viperbotsboosters.org.

* (less credit card processing fees)

SAVE the DATE! ViperBots 2018 Celebration Banquet

SAVE THE DATE!


ViperBots Friends and Family

requests the pleasure of your company at the

ViperBots Celebration Banquet

3 May 2018
6:30pm – 10:30pm


Starlight Terrace
at
The Oasis at Lake Travis

6550 Comanche Trail
Austin, Texas


Semi-formal attire
(Coat & Tie Optional)


Tickets for parents, family members, and student guests

will go on sale in April 2018

There is no charge for ViperBots students

NTX Tournament of Robots (FRC) | October 7 – 8

Team 6800 ViperBots Valor is heading to the  NTX Tournament of Robots in Plano this Saturday, October 7 through Sunday, October 8.  The two-day FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) off-season event will bring 23 teams from Texas and 2 from Oklahoma to play a modified version of the 2017 game, “FIRST STEAMWORKS” with a few rule modifications!  The event will be held at Williams High School.

Opening Ceremonies begin at 6:15pm central on Sat, October 7. The public, parents, family and friends of participating teams are invited to support and show their team spirit at this event.

Tune in to the Live Stream! Staying home? Catch all the action and cheer on the ViperBots Valor by watching the Live stream. Be sure to share with family and friends!

Watch the live stream here => https://www.thebluealliance.com/event/2017txntx

Schedule of Events:

Saturday, October 7

02:00 PM – Load in
04:00 PM – Practice Matches
05:30 PM – Dinner Break
06:15 PM – Opening Ceremony
06:30 PM – Qualification Matches Begin
08:15 PM – End of Saturday Qualification Matches
08:45 PM – Pits Close

Sunday, October 8

08:00 AM – Pits Open
09:00 AM – Qualification Matches Resume
11:30 AM – Alliance Selection
12:00 PM – Lunch Break
01:00 PM – Elimination Matches Begin
05:30 PM – Award Ceremony
06:00 PM – Pits Close & Tear Down Begins

Note: All times are subject to change. All times are estimated based on flow of matches. See Pit Administration for updated times.

Thank You Volunteers!  We are grateful to all FIRST volunteers, as well as, ViperBots Friends & Family (VFF) booster club, and Sponsors as this event would not be possible without them.  THANK YOU for giving your time and talents to support STEM and robotics!

ViperBots Summer Rookie Camp

65 rookies from first-year ViperBots to feeder middle school FTC teams attended a summer rookie camp July 31 through August 4.  The camp, hosted by veteran ViperBots, gave rookies an overview of FTC in the areas of hardware, software, marketing, engineering notebook, judging and CAD.  Rookies attended basic sessions on each of these areas to give a general understanding of all aspects of robotics.  Rookies were then split into groups based on the primary role they will fulfill in the upcoming season and took advanced sessions on those topics.

All the rookies were assigned to small teams and worked all week putting their skills to the test by designing, building and competing with their robots.  On Friday, they played in a mock competition which included qualifying rounds, alliance selections, elimination rounds and judging.

Take a look at this video to see the amazing time the rookies had at camp.

Texas Robot Roundup | July 28 – 29

The 7th Annual Texas Robot Roundup, a FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) offseason eventis one week away!  ViperBot Team 6800 Valor will be one of 24 teams to converge upon Vandegrift High School on Friday, July 28 through Saturday, July 29.  The  teams will play the 2017 FIRST STEAMWORKS game.

Opening ceremonies will take place at 12:30 pm on Friday, July 28 in the Vandegrift Competition Gym located in Building 2 across from the cafeteria and theatre.  The public, parents, family and friends of ViperBots and participating teams are invited to support and cheer on the robotics teams at this event.

Live Webcast.  Tune in, ViperBots!  Those who cannot cheer on the ViperBots in person may do so by watching the LIVE webcast.  Tune in around 1pm central on Friday and 8am central on Saturday.  Share with family and friends!  GO ViperBots!

You can watch the webcast of the event at https://www.thebluealliance.com/event/2017txrr

Concession Stand will be open Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm and Saturday from 7am to 7pm (times subject to change).  Breakfast fare includes Rudy’s tacos, muffins, donuts and coffee.  Friday lunch options include cheese or pepperoni pizza (2 slices for $3), and Chicken Express (3 chicken tenders and a biscuit for $5).  Saturday lunch options include cheese or pepperoni pizza (2 slices for $3), and Thundercloud subs for $5.50 (choice of turkey & provolone or ham, salami, bologna & american cheese or veggie delight consisting of hummus, avocado, sprouts, tomatoes, onion, mushroom, cucumber & black olives).  Beverages include bottled water/soda $1.

Location/Directions:  Vandegrift High School is located at 9500 McNeil Drive, Austin, TX 78750.  Browse to Google Maps for directions.  (Caution:  There are two McNeil Drives that do not connect.  You want to be sure that you are taking the McNeil Drive that connects with FM2222 on the west side of Austin.  Vandegrift HS is near 3M & River Place.)

Parking / Entrance:  Refer to this PDF for parking and entrance locations – Map VHS

Schedule of Events:
TEAMS: Please arrive by 11:30am on Friday July 28!

Thursday, July 27th
Field Setup and Possible Team Load In (details TBD)
Friday, July 28th
10-11:30am Team Load In/Pit Set Up/Practice Matches
11:30-12:30pm Lunch
12:30p Opening Ceremonies
1pm Qualification Matches begin
5:30pm Qualification Matches end
6pm Pits Close
6pm Team Social at the Venue, details to be provided
Saturday, July 29th
7am Pits Open
8-11:30am Qualification Matches continue
11:30am Alliance Selection
12-1pm Lunch
1pm Elimination Matches begin
5:30pm Awards
6pm Pits close & field take down begins

(Full Schedule – including Special Tournaments & Events, Presentations/Workshops – TBA)

Thank You Volunteers! We are grateful to all FIRST volunteers, as well as, Vandegrift High School, ViperBots Friends and Family (VFF) booster club, area robotics clubs/teams and Sponsors/Mentors as this event would not be possible without them.  Thank you for giving your time and talents to support STEM and robotics!

ViperBots take Silver at UIL

The Vandegrift ViperBots sent three teams to the UIL State Championships in the 5A-6A division to compete on May 19, 2017.  ViperBots Venom – 6209, looking for a repeat UIL State Championship crown, was joined by QuadX – 6299 and Hydra – 7161.  The competition consisted of qualification rounds, where each team competed independently with randomly chosen partners and then the top 4 teams choose their alliance partners for the Finals rounds.  Hydra and QuadX finished in first and third place, respectively, and Hydra’s first choice for an alliance partner was QuadX.  When it was Hydra’s turn to choose their second alliance partner, they snatched up Venom to make it an all Vandegrift alliance!  LISD was spectacularly represented with a total of four teams making it to the Finals rounds!

The FIRST Tech Challenge game consists of a 30-second autonomous period where the robots have to achieve certain goals and score points completely on their own, without any human interaction.  This tests the capabilities of the software programmers and how well they use and program the various sensors and motors and servos on their robots.  After that 30-second period there is a 2-minute driver controlled period, where the teams actively pilot their robots around the field, doing more scoring on offense, and playing defense to prevent their opponents from scoring their achievements.  For the final 30-seconds of the driver controlled period are “extra credit” achievements whereby the drivers can make decisions on just what they will do to maximize their scores.  In this year’s game, Velocity Vortex, the robots end-game achievement includes lifting an exercise ball 21″ in diameter off the ground, with different scoring based on how high they can lift it.  This “cap ball” can then be placed on top of the center scoring area, or vortex, for a maximum score potential.

The juggernaut ViperBot alliance cruised through their Semi-Finals winning the first two out of three matches, and then awaited their challengers for the Finals.  With a three-team alliance, only two robots can be on the field at a time, but it’s a requirement that the first two matches must have all three teams in any combination.  After the first two matches, the alliances are free to choose whichever two teams they wish, and this can be based on robot capabilities with the particular game or if a robot is experiencing technical difficulties, etc.  The alliance that is the higher seed has one advantage in the Semi-Finals and Finals matches — they can set their robots on the field last.  Once the lower-seeded teams place their robots on the field, they cannot change positions.  This gives the higher-seeded alliance the opportunity to size up just which teams their competition is putting on the field, and where they are placing them, so they make their own selections based on either offense or defense.

The first Finals match pitted Hydra and QuadX against two of their rival alliance and in a nail-biting finish ended up in a TIE, with a score of 220 to 220!  The next match had Hydra and Venom cruising along to what seemed a classic finish until Hydra’s robot suddenly stopped moving, leaving Venom to try to close the gap in the last 45 seconds and bring home the win solo.  Unfortunately, they ended up just short, losing by only 15 points!  Down 0-1-1, Hydra had QuadX join them for a must-win match.  It was a textbook round with maximizing all of the scoring possibilities and handily beating their opponents by 55 points.

Faced with a 1-1-1 tie situation, alliance captain Hydra took advantage of their higher seed by waiting until their competitors placed their robots.  Based on the scoring capability of the other team, they decided they needed the rapid shooting capabilities of both themselves and QuadX.  The match started out with both teams in a statistical tie at the end of the autonomous period, with all four robots maximizing the scoring potential.  The driver controlled period was a dizzying spectacle with lots of particles flying around the arena as they’re shooting the whiffle balls from their robots into the center scoring areas.  When end-game hit, QuadX started to lift the cap ball, but ran into some trouble.  Their opponents handily lifted their cap-ball and placed it on top of the center vortex, while QuadX continued to struggle.  In a heart wrenching moment 5 seconds before the final buzzer, the cap-ball fell out of the mechanism and onto the floor.  QuadX raced to try to capture a final scoring component that would give them 10 more points to try to offset the 40 that their opponents got by capping, but time ran out and they were just shy of capturing that beacon.

When the scores came out, they lost the match by only 20 points!  At the end of the day, the ViperBots teams took home the Silver medal and a 2nd place UIL State Championship finish!

UIL Robotics State Championship | May 19

FIRST + UIL logos

Three ViperBots teams will be competing in the 5A/6A UIL Robotics State Championship – FIRST Division today. ViperBots Team 6209 Venom, 6299 Quad X and 7161 Hydra will be one of 27 teams to converge upon the Austin Convention Center, Exhibit Hall 5, Friday, May 19.  The FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams will play the “Velocity Vortex” game from the 2016-2017 season.  Teams qualified based on their performance at the FIRST Texas Region Championship tournament.

Opening ceremonies will take place at 9 am on Friday, May 19.  The public, parents, family and friends of ViperBots and participating teams are invited to support and cheer on the robotics teams at this event.  Browse here for Austin Convention Center directions & parking. Be sure to stay around for the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) as they battle it out in their FIRST Steamworks game beginning at 1pm.

Event Schedule:

THURSDAY, MAY 18TH
Setup throughout the day – come help!
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM: Optional Load-In & Check-In for FRC and FTC Group II (5A-6A Division)

FRIDAY, MAY 19TH
8:00 AM: Doors Open, Team Check-In – FRC (must arrive by 10:00 AM) & FTC Group II (5A-6A Division)
8:30 AM: Opening Ceremonies – 5A-6A FTC Division
9:00 AM: Qualification Matches – 5A-6A FTC Division | Practice Matches – FRC
Lunch Break
1:00 PM: Opening Ceremonies – FRC
1:30 PM: Finals – 5A-6A FTC Division | Qualification Matches – FRC
4:30 PM: Award Ceremonies – 5A-6A FTC Division
5:00 PM: Pits Close
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM: Optional Load-In & Check-In – FTC Group I (1A-4A Division)

SATURDAY, MAY 20TH
8:00 AM: Doors Open, Team Check-In – FRC and FTC Group I (1A-4A Division)
8:30 AM: Opening Ceremonies – FRC and 1A-4A FTC Division
9:00 AM: Qualification Matches – 1A-4A FTC Division | Qualification Matches – FRC
Lunch Break
1:30 PM: Finals – 1A-4A FTC Division | Finals – FRC
4:30 PM: Award Ceremonies – FRC and 1A-4A FTC Division
5:30 PM: Pits Close
Help with tear-down is appreciated!

Venue Information
The Austin Convention Center is located at 500 E. Cesar Chavez Street in Austin. Admission to the event is free, and spectators are welcome.

ViperBots’ QuadX wins design award at robotics world championship

Defends three-year win streak

ViperBots Quad X bring brings home prestigious design award third year in a row.
Photo Credit: Johnson Varughese

The Vandegrift ViperBots team 6299 Quad X brings home the coveted PTC Design award from the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship in Houston April 19 – 22. The award, given for industrial design principles which balance form, function and aesthetics, continues a three year winning streak by Quad X.

“A robot that just looks cool can only go so far,” said Josh Stelling, Quad X hardware lead and a VHS senior. “A great design is cemented and supported by in-depth analysis and loads of data, and it still has an overall uniqueness to it.”

The secret to Quad X’s success is really quite simple. “We’re always looking for ways to improve our robot,” said Linnea May, project manager and a VHS senior. “Knowing our hard work has paid off was really rewarding.”

The design award isn’t the only first for ViperBots.

“This was the first year that three teams from the same school made it to the World Championship and I am excited that Vandegrift was first,” said Tamany Wendel, ViperBots faculty sponsor. 4546 Snakebyte and 7161 Hydra competed at the world championship as well.

“It was both difficult and fun competing with the varying levels of teams from all over the world,” reflected Wendel. “I am incredibly proud of how hard the kids worked all year and everything they achieved here.”

Robotics competitions such as this one help prepare students for the future. In a month, May and Stelling along with 22 other ViperBots will graduate and call upon the depth of skills learned from robotics.

“Without robotics, my plans for college would be extremely different,” May said. “Not only would I not be as interested in engineering but I also wouldn’t be going in with the confidence that I can work well with a group of peers to develop a product, even if it’s no longer with my robotics team.”

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