As a school, we take great pleasure on congratulating Mr. Mark Devlin and students Aaron Crossan, Aaron Doherty, Stephen Doherty and Amin Omer who took home second place in the Vex Robot Competition in ATU Letterkenny on Friday 27th. Our students started building the robot at the beginning of December during lunchtimes; it was a challenge to get the robot built, programmed and tested before the competition, but their diligence and commitment has paid off!
When they arrived at ATU Letterkenny, their robot had to go through inspections to make sure that it was built to the competition’s standard and that it was built within the correct dimensions. The robot passed with no complications which allowed the team to prepare prior to the competition’s commencement.
The competition itself had 24 overall qualifying rounds where each school in the competition was paired with another throughout the competition. Team CCS was first up in qualifying Round 2 where they were teamed up with Choliaste Cholmcille. The round started very strong for CCS but Choliaste Cholmcille got into difficulty when their robot got stuck within the arena. CCS came to the rescue, and they lifted their teammate’s robot with the claw CCS had installed on their robot. Qualifying Round 2 ended with CCS and Choliaste Cholmcille winning the round.
Team CCS were then called up for qualifying Round 4 where they were teamed up with Choliaste Cholmcille again. The autonomous round didn’t go to plan this time for CCS as they encountered difficulty within their programme (the robot went backwards instead of driving forward). This round ended with CCS and Choliaste Cholmcille winning the round again. At this point team CCS were coming in first place in the competition; however, it was Amin’s quick-thinking on the laptop that resolved some errors in the programme.
The boys then had some down time to watch other schools compete and come up with a strategy to get them the most points within the competition. Following this, team CCS were called up for qualifying Rounds 9 and 10. At the beginning of this round, CCS were still in first place. In Round 9, CCS and Deele College were paired up; everything was going great for the two schools until the last 10 seconds when the opposition took 3 disks out of their box resulting in them loosing that round.
During Round 10 team CCS met with Deele College again. This round didn’t go to plan either as Deele College’s robots encountered problems meaning Team CCS had to do the work of two robots. Unfortunately, we lost by 1 point in this round, but it was still a great achievement, showcasing the fantastic skills of our students, being one robot down.
After a quick lunch, team CCS were ready and excited for the last qualifying rounds. At this point, team CCS were in fourth position in the competition. Round 14 CCS and Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair were paired together. Team CCS won this round.
Qualifying Round 18, team CCS and Royal & Prior were paired up. Throughout this round the two schools worked very well together as team. They then went ahead and won this round, and this led CCS moving up to 3rd position in the competition.
The last two Rounds for team CCS were Round 21 and 22. During Round 21 CCS was paired with St. Martin’s College, Monaghan. At this point the rounds were getting very difficult as each team was coming up with stronger game plans. Team CCS were very good at collecting disks and gathering up the points in each round. The oppositions soon noticed this and throughout the round they were trying their best to steal the disks from our corner. Team CCS held up a very strong round and ended up winning this round.
Round 22, team CCS were paired with Crana College. The two teams worked well together but lost the round in the last 10 seconds as the opposition took out 4 of our disks. At this point in the competition team CCS were top point scorers within the competition and were now in 3rd place overall.
With the excitement building, team CCS were through to the semi-finals. We were paired with Errigal College. At the end of this semi-final round, we won by 8 points meaning that team CCS were now through to the final. Unfortunately, team CCS lost in final by an extremely close margin, but we couldn’t be prouder of our team, given that this was their first competitive experience.
The lads in team CCS were over the moon in coming second place and showed great teamwork both within team CCS and working with other schools during each qualifying round. Plans are already being put together for the Vex Robot Competition were we hope team CCS can bring the trophy home next year!