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Our 1st Year

Hangin' Around

2006 - 2007

TEAM NICKNAME: The Combine (from the game Half Life)

TEAM NUMBER: 3632 as well as 3367

TEAM LOGO: An International Harvester Combine Harvester being driven by a Combine (the game) soldier

We competed in the Bellevue FIRST VEX Challenge Competition. The game was "Hangin' Around", and it was the first year that FIRST allowed anyone to sign up for the game because 2006 was a limited-release pilot program. We also chartered Explorer Post 2036 this year as well.

We built our main robot, "Otis", which had a tank tread lifter that sucked softballs off the field and placed them on a tray on top of the robot. The tray then elevated to place the balls into the highest goal. Otis was heavy and powerful, but we hadn't learned how to effectively build large robots that could maneuver easily, so it struggled to move on the foam mat. Despite clicking clutches and various other frustrations, Otis managed to make its way to the semifinals.

In addition to Otis, we also built another robot called "The Goat" just for fun. We took it along to the tournament to show it off, and since the tournament was small that year, with only about a dozen teams (some teams didn't come at all), the event organizers allowed the Goat to compete using team #3367. The Goat only had limited ability to handle softballs, but it specialized in tough defense, could score a decent amount of points into the low goal, and could hang from the bar. Ironically, the "fooling-around" robot ended up being more successful than Otis, and made it into the finals before losing to an alliance of robots from the Sky Valley Education Center in Monroe, Washington.

The team members were Chris H, Kris N, Tristan S, David T, and John T. Chris, Kris, and John were all seniors so this was their last year on the team. Tristan lived in West Seattle, so he quit after the first year because he could no longer get a ride.

This was the first year we held the spring "Robothon" scrimmage, which we hosted along with the Sky Valley Education Center in Monroe. About 10 teams participated, and it was a blast! This would also be the only year our entire club would fit into one Honda Odyssey, including all the tools and robots.

The mentors for this first year were Bruce Haley, Rob Krasser, and Rick Tyler.

Our primary sponsor for this year was LexisNexis, which allowed us to use their facilities and provided sponsorship money.

Overall, the team only won one award that year: A Regional Finalist award won by The Goat.