On September 10, 2016, the team took a trip down to Metropolitan Community College to learn about this year’s robot challenge. Mr. Nelson and Mr. Ross each drove their vans and we had nine members or prospective members with us.
Robert Dumler, the FTC director for Missouri and Kansas, led a discussion meeting to introduce the new “Meet” plan being pilot tested this year in Missouri. Because of the large and growing number of teams in the state, it is becoming necessary to add an additional layer in the competition hierarchy. This year, in addition to the usual qualifying tournaments, it will be possible to compete in smaller less formal meets, with points earned there establishing the ranking order for a pair of special meet qualifier tournaments.
Mr. Dumler also had brought with him a large number of spare competition field parts from past years and offered them free of charge to any teams who wanted to take them. We gathered our share, especially a piece with some 1/8″ sheet plastic that might provide useful material for future robots.
Then, we watched the challenge release video, featuring an animated cartoon description of this year’s game called “Velocity Vortex.” Here is a link to that video.
Following the video, we moved to another room where a field was set up with the new features. After studying this for a while and neighboring with kids from other teams, we headed for home, stopping for lunch at CiCi’s in St. Joseph.