HF Robotics Team Heading to Super Regionals!

The Harborfields Junior/Senior Robotics Team, Hydrofluoric Robotics, will be moving on to the First Tech Challenge Eastern Super Regionals in Scranton, Pennsylvania! After their victory at the Long Island Championship, they will be one of three teams on Long Island going to the Super Regionals. The clubs other two teams, A.L.I.D.E and Xenon, were also at the LI Championship but will not be moving on. Still, they had a great day at the Championship.

Hydrofluoric Robotics has upgraded their robot since the last qualifier. They fixed their connectivity issues and added an arm to the robot that can lift a “relic” and place it outside the playing field. So the team came into the championship with great confidence in their robot. Before the matches started, they did a practice round where they scored a near perfect game.

The first part of the competition consists of 30 round-robin type matches that decide the team rankings. There are 25 teams in all and the top four placing teams become alliance captains and are able to choose two other teams to add to their alliance. Team Hydrofluoric ran into some problems during the round-robin matches and ended up with a much less than desired 12th place finish. Nonetheless, team Hydrofluoric did not give up and they tried their best to convince the top teams to choose them. They demonstrated their robot in action and proved that their robot could perform exceptionally well. The first place finishing team selected Hydrofluoric as their alliance partner. Team Hydrofluoric was ready to show off the full potential of their robot in the semifinals.

The semi finals are best two out of three rounds. Team Hydrofluoric and their alliance  killed the competition and easily won the first two rounds and moved onto the finals.

The finals began and once again it was best two out of three rounds. Round one started out fine. But then all of a sudden the robot bricked. It couldn’t move for the rest of the round and the team was sure they lost the match. The score went up and miraculously it was a tie! Hydrofluoric’s alliance partner did well enough while our robot wasn’t moving to give us enough points to tie. This meant the round didn’t count so the team still needed to win two games.

The robot did very well in round two. But the opposing team did better and Hydrofluoric lost. This meant the team had to win the next match or they’d lose the whole thing. Luckily, the robot shined during round three. The team had a near perfect autonomous period and they were able to fill the complete “cryptobox” with blocks. Hydrofluoric won the round and got the high score of the day of 397 points!

This meant the teams were going to the final round. The match started well with a perfect autonomous period. But then something bad happened- the lifting mechanism on the robot got stuck and it couldn’t push blocks into the “cryptobox”. Things were looking very bad so with less than a minute left in the round, the team went to their backup plan- the relic arm. The decision was very risky. The arm hadn’t been able to lift the relic all day, but it was their only option. The goal is to grab a “relic” figurine and place it down standing outside the playing field.

With eighteen seconds left in the round, the arm extended from the robot and grabbed onto the relic. Hydrofluoric’s alliance partner had already placed a standing relic outside the field. If Hydrofluoric could get the other one, it would possibly make up the points lost with the broken lifting mechanism. The arm of the robot flopped through the air but hung on tight to the relic. The arm extended out of the playfield and got ready to place it down. The relic was swinging around violently and suddenly hit right into our other standing relic. Miraculously, it did not knock it over. With less than ten seconds left, the team placed down the relic, standing up. Team Hydrofluoric pulled off their backup plan.

But was it enough to secure the win? Yes it was! Hydrofluoric and their alliance partners won the Championships! For being on the winning alliance, Team Hydrofluoric was selected to advance to the Eastern Super Regionals next month in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The team is excited to take on teams all over the East Coast. They will spend the next month improving their robot even more. And if they win in Pennsylvania, it’s on to the World Competition. So best of luck to the HF Hydrofluoric Robotics Team!


Samuel Edelstein