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Pierre, SD 57501
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FTC Robotics Sponsorship

Published 2 years ago

The Smart Software Solutions sponsored FTC Robotic Team 5250 Loading… had another successful season. This season's game is Cascade Effect (http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/game). The kids did a great job designing and building their robot, along with improving it as the gained experience over the course of the season.

This year they were able to participate in a scrimmage for newer teams in Bismarck, ND. It's a great way to kick off the season and they were able to give presentations to new teams on the experience they've gained over the last 4 years. The team was able to participate in 3 State Competitions this year, being one of only two teams in South Dakota there was a lot of travel involved.

The first tournament was the North Dakota State tournament. They did very well in this tournament taking second place in the field competition and taking the top prize Inspire Award home. This was very exciting as it qualified the team to participate in the Super Regional Tournament in Des Moines, IA and a chance to move on to the World Competition. In addition they were nominated for the Think, Control and Motivate awards. These awards are given to teams based on their engineering notebook, autonomous programs, and team spirit.

They followed up their success in North Dakota with similar showings in both Nebraska and Wyoming. Having previously won an Inspire Award they were not eligible for it in these tournaments but they did win the Control award and got first place in the field competition in both tournaments. The team also received nominations for the Think, Design and Innovate awards in these tournaments.

The Super Regional Tournament was the one tournament the team had been looking forward to all season. It was a chance to compete against the best 71 robots from across 14 central states. As expected the competition was tough. They did well in pool play and were ranked in the top 4 until their last match. Unfortunately a tough loss in that match knocked them back several positions. They were disappointed but were happy to still be picked as an alliance partner for the championship bracket. They won their first match in the championship but were unfortunately knocked out in the semifinals. Overall the tournament was a great experience and the team learned a lot they will be able to use in next year's game.

The team set the goal of going to Worlds at the beginning of the season and was disappointed when they missed qualifying by a few places. The disappointment was gradually replaced by relief as the 8 month season came to an end and they could start their summer activities. The team would like to thank Smart Software Solutions and their other sponsors for providing the support needed to purchase robot parts and travel to these tournaments.

AUTHOR Scott Darnall

Scott has nearly 20 years of software and web development experience, including 16 years in South Dakota State Government prior to joining Smart Software Solutions in May of 2010.  He holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Computer Science and a Master's degree in Technology Management both from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

Scott lives in Pierre with his wife and two children.  When he's not helping with or attending one of his children's many activities he enjoys running, biking, hunting, bowling, racquetball or anything that gets him up and moving.