ThunderChickens Bring the storm to New York Aubrey Stellman

UCS's FIRST Robotics Team 217 showed off their robot, Alexa, during another hard-fought competition over the weekend of March 14.

Following a loss in quarterfinals after ranking fifth at Kettering University's competition the week prior, the ThunderChickens were ready to step up their game, this time at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.

Each match begins with a 15-second period called the Sandstorm. During this time, the drive team's view is obstructed and the robot must be operated using only on-board cameras. See the ThunderChicken drivers take on that challenge in the video below.

During the endgame, the last 30 seconds of each match, robots may climb to one of three levels of the platform in front of the Alliance Station, each level varying in height. Although it came with challenges, the ThunderChickens were eventually able to conquer level three, the highest level platform at 1 ft. 7 in. tall from the first platform.

Overall, the ThunderChickens ended up ranked eighteenth at the competition and, again, lost in quarterfinals. However, the results of the two quarterfinals matches were mind-blowingly close, one of them ending in 217's loss by one measly point, and the other by six.

Despite the lesser showing than many members had hoped for, the team stuck with the FIRST Robotics culture and continued to have fun and be loud and proud until the end.

Even though Team 217 didn't win the competition, they were congratulated by the judges for winning the regional's Gracious Professionalism® Award, Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.

The award celebrates a team that amplifies FIRST's core values, encourages hard work, and respects and benefits others in the community.

This was the ThunderChickens's second Gracious Professionalism® award in the 2019 season.


Aubrey Stellman, Christina Stellman

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