Team 1519, Mechanical Mayhem, is a FIRST Robotics Competition team made up principally of homeschoolers from southern New Hampshire. This team was formed primarily around a group of high school students who had graduated from Mindstorms Mayhem, a FIRST LEGO League team that won the Director's Award at the International Invitational in Atlanta, Georgia, in April 2004. With this award came a challenge grant from The LEGO Group to create an FRC team and compete in a regional competition in 2005. The Mindstorms Mayhem team accepted the challenge and Mechanical Mayhem was born.
St Louis World Championship
On April 27th our team, Mechanical Mayhem, with our alliance partners The Killer Bees (33) of Auburn Hills, Michigan, and team Las Guerrillas (469) of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, claimed first place in the Archimedes Division at the FIRST Robotics Championships held in Saint Louis, Missouri. Winning our division earned our strong alliance the privilege of competing in the playoff matches against the three other division Champions during the culminating ceremony on Saturday afternoon. Our alliance defeated our opponents in the Championship semifinal round in order to progress to the World Final matches against an alliance composed of Texas Torque (1477) of The Woodlands, Texas, Theory6 (1241) of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and The Coyotes (610) of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Our alliance sprung out to a quick 1-0 lead in the best-of-three finals, but fell short in our goal to emerge as World Champions. Instead, we were awarded the World Championship Finalist award for our silver-medal finish.
At the FIRST Robotics 2013 World Championships, four hundred out of 2,548 teams worldwide competed with robots they designed and built to throw Frisbees into goals and climb nine-foot steel pyramids. After 134 qualifying matches, the top eight teams chose their alliance partners to continue into the playoff rounds. We were ecstatic when the second-ranked team chose Mechanical Mayhem for our ability to score Frisbees sixty feet across the full length of the field.
Nathan Streeter, one of our amazing team mentors, notes about our alliance's second semifinal match in the Archimedes division, "Our score of 266-216 set the world record for highest score without penalties! That match also sets the record for highest un-penalized combined score, with 479 points combined! The "Killer Mechanical Guerrillas" alliance definitely had a lot of disc firepower!"
Coach Ken Streeter says, "I'm so pleased by the hard work, perseverance, and teamwork by the students, parents, and coaches -- not just at the 2013 Championship event, but in the weeks, months, and years preceding it. God is gracious."
Posted - 5/2/2013 10:15:39 AM
North Carolina Regional Competition
A thirteen hour car ride in a cramped chaotic van from southern New Hampshire to Raleigh, North Carolina was not enough to quench Mayhemers' zeal for the long-awaited North Carolina Regional (NCR). On March 14th, fifty-seven teams streamed eagerly into the breathtaking Dorton Arena, ready to fling Frisbees and climb pyramids. Intriguingly, a vast amount of the teams were in their first year of robotics participation, yet continued to impress the competition with their robust robots. One team, The Rembrandts (4481), traveled all the way from the Netherlands to compete.
Photo taken by Danny Levenson
Although the competitors were indomitable, we ranked 3rd place at the end of seventy-five qualifying matches. Partnered with the number one seed team, The Robodogs (435), and a rookie team, The Robo Eagles (4828), we continued undefeated all the way up to the final match against the 3rd seed alliance, captained by The Blue Eagle Robotics (1539). Taking first place, our alliance reigned victorious.
|Photo taken by Danny Levenson|
Posted - 3/21/2013 9:35:29 PM
Granite State Regional Competition
On the first day of March, Team 1519, Mechanical Mayhem gathered at the Verizon Center along with fifty-three other FIRST Robotics high school teams to compete in the Granite State Regional. The following hours promised a day full of thrilling competition against a myriad of competitive and creatively constructed robots. Our robot is fondly named "Discobolus Rex." Its name originates from the famous Greek sculpture of a disc thrower, combined with its dinosaur-like arms. Towering over the rest of the robots on the field, Discobolus Rex reaches 60 inches tall, focusing on full court shooting from the feeder slots. Our robot is equipped with a complex climbing system that, when completed, should perform a thirty point climb all the way to the top of the pyramid.
At GSR, our robot ranked seventh out of the fifty four teams present. In alliance selections on March 2, we were picked by Team 885 from Vermont, the Green Team. They were one of the few robots that were capable of harvesting Frisbees off of the floor. Together with Team 133, B.E.R.T., from Maine, our alliance fought strong in the quarter finals, yet, nonetheless, was eliminated in the semi finals by the number one ranked alliance, led by team 610, the Coyotes from Canada.
At the award ceremony, we were astonished to have both of our Dean's List Nominees chosen as Dean's List Award Finalists. Both Aaron P. and Jackson V. are homeschooled juniors with unique leadership skills that contribute tremendously to our team's success.
Posted - 3/6/2013 9:22:44 AM
Saturday, the 5th of January, 23 students and 19 mentors packed into a Milford basement. Their eagerness grew as the clock ticked towards 10:30 am. While the majority of Mechanical Mayhem waited in the Grays' basement, a small posse of tie-dye blue FRCers got situated in the stands on site in Manchester. After eagerly enduring the long hour of anticipation, the whole team watched as Dean Kamen announced this year's challenge - Ultimate Ascent! The moment the Frisbee flashed across the screen, Mayhem erupted. On the field, four goals are set at either end along with three feeding stations. The game consists of two alliances scoring Frisbees into the goals and, towards the end of the match, climbing a steel, three-level pyramid. This game instantly posed a challenging competition. As the following week progressed, Mayhemers gathered nightly to discuss stratagems and brainstorm solutions to the daunting obstacles. We divided into sub-teams to complete our goals more efficiently. So far, much progress has been made.
Posted - 1/14/2013 9:24:44 AM
We were extremely successful on the Saturday of GSR! We realized our robots strengths and strategized accordingly with alliance partners. We made every attempt to perform coopertition balances with our opposition. We won two of the matches and tied another. By the end of qualification matches we were seeded 11th. We created a pick list from the data our hard working scouts recorded for us.
Many teams picked within the top 8 teams and we quickly moved up to 7th seed. We couldn't have made better picks from the robots that were still available. We chose team 885 for their reliable teleop and autonomous scoring. We chose team 2791 because we knew (from our scouting) that they were one of the best balancers at the tournament! Because we ranked teams based on many factors, we knew who was the best teleop scorer, autonomous scorer, and balancer. This helped us find robots that may have been overlooked by other teams who could complement our abilities!
After alliance selection we quickly started strategizing with our alliance partners. We tried a three robot balance with our alliance partners on the practice field before the quarter finals, but between the differing weights of the robots and the fact that our two alliance partners were four wheel drive, we could not find a way of doing it without one of our partners either toppling off the top end of the bridge or getting flipped by the bottom end of the bridge as it tipped up. We tried all the different combinations of robot order, and several combinations of having the robots facing forwards or backwards, but none of them worked. If one of our partners had been a six wheel drive robot, we think we could have done it, but that was not to be. We decided that we would balance at the end of the match with team 2791 for the 20 point bonus.
Once again we had a great alliance and strategy that built on the strengths of all three robots. We came extremely close to winning GSR three years in a row! Unfortunately team 2791's robot blew all of the motor controllers for their drive motors during the second finals match, which was why they were stationary for much of the match. This could not be repaired in time for the third final match, and we were unfortunately too late in realizing that we were going to need a backup robot. It was exciting to see how many teams were rooting for us during the finals. More than one team asked if we needed any batteries, and others said that if we needed any help they would be glad to do whatever was needed.
It was a lot of fun to see a large quantity of tie-die blue waving and cheering during all of our matches. We were very fortunate to have made it as far as we did and our alliance ended up placing second for the regional! Our team also won the Team Spirit award, and team member, Amelia Jennings, was selected as a Dean's List Finalist. It was another successful GSR for team 1519. Our team will be spending the next three weeks making appropriate changes to our robot to prepare for a second regional on April 5th-7th in Raleigh, NC. We are very excited to compete again!
Posted - 3/10/2012 12:46:46 PM
This year our robot has a 2-speed, 8-wheel drive base, and is equipped with a harvester, a shooter, and a reliable balancing capability.
We recently competed at the Granite State Regional. Here is some news from the Friday of that competition!
During Friday of the Granite State Regional we played six matches, and had one of our busiest days ever in the pit. We burned up two or three harvester motors, and played a couple of matches without the ability to pick up balls (or to fire more than one in autonomous). Towards the end of the day we decided to give up on fitting the azimuth to the shooter. To do this we had to raise the shooter by a half inch. This meant that the feed roller, which moves balls off the top of the harvester and into the shooter wheels no longer had good contact with the ball sitting at the top of the harvester. This meant we only fired a single ball in autonomous sometimes. It also meant that the only way to shoot a ball was to have another one underneath it in the harvester to push it up into the feed roller.
There was one match where we did nothing all match, because our robot was disabled because of a field issue. The issue was fixed after the match and providentially our alliance still won the match. It was extremely frustrating to have our robot disabled for a match through no fault of our own, but at least we still won.
Another thing we found was that we are shooting the balls at GSR further than any of the balls we have at the practice field, even the new ones. It took us a while to dial the shooter calibration down to allow the camera targeting to work. We did manage to score some balls in autonomous and at least one in teleop.
During qualification matches, we had scouts in the stands all day watching other robots and entering each robot's strengths, weaknesses, and general abilities into a computer based scouting system. Instead of ranking teams based on wins and losses, our scouting system ranks robots by their ability to score and earn points for their alliance. Our scouts communicated our findings to our robot drive team to help them develop match strategies. This helped the drive team know who to approach from the opposite alliance in order to perform a coopertition balance.
We had good success balancing the bridge, and were directly approached by a couple of teams who wanted us to be their partner for the coopertition bridge, which was flattering. We are one of the few teams to have done two middle bridge balances. Unfortunately we had two occasions where our coopertition partner was a no show. On one occasion, we were quick enough to go to our own bridge and balance that on our own anyway. We also had some success playing defense, and several teams congratulated us on the way we played hard defense without conceding any fouls.
Posted - 3/10/2012 12:32:45 PM
Build season 2012 is almost over! We're planning to compete in the Week Zero tournament this Saturday (2/18) at Nashua High School South. Also we will be competing in two regionals this year, the BAE Granite State Regional at the Verizon Wireless Arena (March 1st-3rd), and the North Carolina Regional at the Dorton Arena (April 5th-7th)!
Posted - 2/15/2012 7:39:23 PM
Last fall several students attended PTC's Design and CAD training workshops to learn how to use their CREO CAD and MathCAD software.
Posted - 2/11/2012 5:02:51 PM
We competed at River Rage at Manchester Memorial High School. The first pick at this off season tournament was random, we ended up drawing team 78! We then chose our friends from Hollis, team 1073 for our third robot. We had a blast at this off season tournament and ended up winning!
Posted - 2/11/2012 5:01:12 PM
Our team traveled to Indiana to compete in the Indiana Robotics Invitational on July 22nd and 23rd. We were seeded 10th after qualification matches and were picked to join the 6th seeded alliance of teams 11, 1538, and 2337, as their back-up bot. We were able to help out our alliance in a couple elimination matches but were knocked out in semi-finals.
Posted - 2/11/2012 4:56:58 PM
Yesterday, we participated in the "Mayhem in Merrimack" tournament held by Merrimack High School, FRC Team #166.We fielded two robots (1519 and 9151) at Mayhem in Merrimack using "rookie" drive teams of Jackson/Kaileb/NathanG for 1519, and DavidJ/Amelia/AJ for 9151. We were seeded #4 (1519) and #5 (9151) after 8 qualifying matches. 1519 chose 138 as their alliance partners; 9151 chose 238. In the double elimination tournament, we had the misfortune of playing each other in the 1st round (1519 beat 9151) and then again in the loser's bracket (9151 beat 1519). 9151 then continued on to the "loser's bracket finals" where they lost to the finalist alliance (40 and 166). The tournament winners were the #1 seed alliance of 190 and 1073.
Posted - 6/5/2011 8:55:24 AM
We competed at BattleCry on May 20th and 21st. We won BattleCry with teams 1073 and 238!
1073 was the #4 seeded alliance captain and chose us as their pick; 238 was assigned to the alliance in the random assignments. We enjoyed the Friday night social as well, which included icecream, karaoke, DDR, CRUD, games, and much more!
Posted - 6/3/2011 9:54:49 PM
We were invited to demonstrate our robot for the attendee's at the NHHTC End-of-Year Awards Banquet. Also in attendance were teams 151 from Nashua, and 166 from Merrimack.
Posted - 5/10/2011 8:24:28 PM
We brought our robot to show the students at Wilton Head Start. We also brought other activities for them to learn about different aspects of engineering a robot.
Posted - 5/10/2011 7:08:21 AM
We held a demonstration of our robot at the Milford Rotary Club's annual Seniors BBQ.
Posted - 5/9/2011 4:18:38 PM
We competed at the Championship event in St. Louis from April 27th to 30th. We competed in the Curie division. Here is our drive team placing a tube! We had 3 wins and 1 loss on Thursday, 2 wins and 2 losses on Friday, and 1 win and 1 loss on Saturday. We were selected by the 6th seeded team 1983 and our alliance was subsequently joined by team 2363. Unfortunately we were eliminated in quarterfinals, but we had a great time competing and watching other teams!
Here's our robot placing a tube in autonomous during one of our qualifying matches.
Posted - 5/8/2011 7:24:25 AM
We're now all back from the Smoky Mountains Regional, and it was a great experience! Thursday morning we brought in an upgraded claw and deployment system but did not immediately install them. After we uncrated, we began the inspection process, and received our sticker before the first match began! This allowed us to fill in for the first 4 matches, at first as the only robot playing. Throughout the day we interspersed as many practice matches as possible with our upgrades and repairs. This extra practice helped us significantly in preparing for Friday.
Friday we came in to a ready robot, and after a quick system check, we learned from inspectors that there were 10 teams left to be inspected. Of these, one was with us in match 4, and another in match 11. After learning this, our drive team and pit crew spread out to help, and after many trips back to our pit for parts and tools, both teams got their sticker and were on the field! We had 7 matches on Friday of which we won 4. We had a couple of unexpected issues that caused us to not play as well as we could have. One adjustment to our deployment system permitted too much movement of the minibot, which allowed the minibot to be out of position when we went to deploy. Fortunately we were able to have the NASA machine shop make a new part that perfectly held the minibot. We also faced undiagnosed control systems issues. A couple times we spontaneously lost connection with one of our joysticks or game-pad, causing the driver station to re-order the remaining ones, completely messing up our control of the robot. We still don't know the root of the problem, but after switching to a classmate from spare parts, buying a new USB hub, and using a spare game-pad, we didn't encounter the problem again on Saturday. During Friday's award ceremony we were honored with the Best Website Award for the second time this year.
After strategizing at length Friday night for our Saturday morning match against an undefeated team, we went on to win all three matches we had remaining. This placed us in 9th place for the alliance picking. We were chosen by the 3rd seeded team 1741, Red Alert, with whom we had partnered last year in North Carolina. Along with 451, we faced a tough alliance of 1592, 1024, and 829. After the first match the score went up and we had won, but then it was adjusted as a red card was called on our alliance for contacting an opponent's robot in their zone. 1741, having been pushed into the zone, continued to discuss the play with the referees. After much discussion between our alliance, the refs, the other alliance, and even GDC member Aidan Browne, the play was called as the one-move-to-win as described in update 16. This resulted in a red card for our opponents, so that we won the match 1-0. The next two matches we were outscored, and lost the quarter-finals.
We enjoyed watching the finals and congratulate 71, 48, and 2974 on their win. Congratulations also go to 79 for winning Chairman's; their gracious professionalism was evident and appreciated throughout the tournament. We were excited during the award ceremony when one of our members, Sarah Bell, was selected as a Dean's List Finalist!
Posted - 4/3/2011 9:42:32 PM
We had a wonderful end to a great tournament. We were ranked 8th at the end of qualifications, and were chosen by the 3rd seeded 175. Along with 176, we went through the eliminations undefeated. Huge thanks to Buzz and Aces High for being such great alliance partners to bring us the win!
We now have 4 weeks to prepare for our second regional in Knoxville TN, after which we will be ramping up for Championships in St. Louis!
Posted - 3/5/2011 11:23:47 PM
Today was a hectic day filled with some disappointments, but so many more rewards. We played 8 matches of which we won and lost 4 each. However, the FMS had issues for a period of time in the morning, including during our second match, that caused one of the red robots to not move. Because of this, several matches were replayed at the end of the day changing our record to 5-3-0.
Some time before another match we discovered that our claw had loosened from our arm, and we went about fixing it. Unfortunately, we finished and arrived at the queue moments before our match started -- too late to participate. This disadvantaged our alliance such that we lost the match.
We continued to score a top row logo in many matches, sometimes with an ubertube. We also got our minibot working, and successfully launched it several times. The end of the last match was hard on the minibot, however, when it got stuck at the top of the tower and filled the arena with magic smoke. Upon examination, we found that one of the thermal protected cables had literally burnt, and the corresponding motor was dead, but thankfully the other motor was fine. We have a replacement ready, and will have the 'bot back to working early in the morning.
The awards ceremony was not until after 7:00 because of match delays, but was an exciting time for our team. We were honored with both the Excellence in Design Award for our animation and the Website Award for what you see here! Today has been great and we are looking forward to what tomorrow brings.
Posted - 3/4/2011 11:05:38 PM
We're now back from our first day at the Granite State Regional. Thank you to BAE Systems and the numerous volunteers for once again putting on this event!
We were relatively successful today, accomplishing what we had hoped. We came in with 20 lbs. of withholding allowance materials and installed it on the robot which we had bagged. Various tasks relating to that took up most of the morning, causing us to miss our first practice match, but we were able to get inspected easily around midday. We were able to get to the field for the remainder of our practice matches and were frequently able to score an entire logo on the top row, sometimes in addition to an ubertube.
We also had a lot of work to do with our minibots. In the past week we built a new design that attaches to the pole with magnets and climbs using direct driven 1/4" shafts. With a lot of finishing touches today, this design was able to deploy and climb smoothly in the pit area this evening. We have also improved our 'clam shell' design in the past week by modifying our gearboxes and lightening the bot to greatly increase it's speed. This has another minor issue to fix, but we hope to have two working minibots early tomorrow morning!
Posted - 3/3/2011 10:32:46 PM