This year's championship was held in Breda, RTF qualified, but on the same day there was also an official FTC scrimmage in which Team FROG took part. Team RTF unfortunately came last in the robot game due to various errors, but they still won the support award which was endowed with $500. Team FROG reached the 4th place in the scrimmage and first place in the small self-programmed game by Team Space. Afterwards, on the way back, the local dunes were visited on the way back.
The robot teams ILF-International Lego Frogs and K.K.S.T. Keep Keen Show Tech were in Kaiserslautern from Thursday to Saturday, and on Friday and Saturday the competition took place at Kaiserslautern High School on the American airbase in Kaiserslautern. Entry to the airbase, where real American laws apply, went smoothly this time thanks to prior registration. We spent the night at Bauer Schmidt's and ate well. Friday was judging (short presentation to the jury) and robot and field inspection. ILF had never had a judging before and therefore practiced their texts diligently. K.K.S.T. also talked through who said what and what the judges should definitely know in order to increase the probability of an award. The actual robot matches took place on Saturday. Each team had 5 qualification matches, after which the best 4 teams could choose which teams they wanted to ride together in an alliance. The ILFs could have chosen themselves and been captain of an alliance as they had reached 4th place, but ILF then teamed up with the best team Flippy from Wiesbaden High School. K.K.S.T. was selected by the third place team, so they could also participate in the semifinals. Unfortunately, K.K.S.T.'s alliance could not prevail against the opposing alliance. However, ILF and their alliance were able to beat both opponents in the semifinals and the final, so they won the robot matches.
As our partner teams from Oberkochen were also picked to the semi-final teams, or were allowed to vote themselves, there was a German team in each of the 4 semi-final alliances.
At the award ceremony, K.K.S.T. won the Connect Award and ILF the Winning Alliance 1st Pick Award.
We all had a lot of fun at the competition and also had enough time to explore the high school. It was very technologically advanced and had many opportunities to relax or work in the hallway. That really impressed everyone. We also spoke to teachers and found out about school life. It was interesting to watch the drill club marching in the gym.
The food supply was excellent. In the morning we had a small breakfast with burritos, mandarins and milk on both days, and at lunchtime we had pizza with salad or fruit and milk. We were surprised that the disposable plastic tableware was individually wrapped in plastic, so it wasn't banned like in Germany. It was also interesting to see how much (chocolate) milk Americans drink. On Saturday, the real American, freshly baked, warm and very tasty cookies were the culinary highlight.
This time we were in Bladel for out second League Meet. Unfortunately the day before the Expansion Hub of team KKST stopped working, so they had to modify there robot so it works with just 4 motors. The League Meet itself started with the obligatory inspections and a judging, which was new this year. After passed inspections and successful and creative judgings the robot games began. Like last League Meet, the games went differently well. KKST could win one match, RTF won half of their matches and team FROG won every game except the last one. But at the end of the day every team can count this day as a win. Team KKST got the Inspiration of the Day Award, Team FROG got Winner of the Day and Team RTF was qualified for the Dutch Champoinship at the 24th of February in Eindhoven.
The original plan was to be in the Dutch lessons again, just like last year. However, this didn't work out in the end, so we spent the extra time with the Dutch FTC teams Stanislas Tech Team and Stanislas Tech Academy instead. We exchanged ideas and practiced driving together. The next day was the first competition of the season. Team SPACE programmed an arcade game, for which the team with the highest score received an award at the end. The competition went very well for some teams, but not for others. RTF finished 2nd, KKST 6th and FROG 18th out of 20 teams. The next day we went to the Rembrandt Museum in Amsterdam.
Our scrimmage was attended by 10 teams from Oberkochen, Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Göttingen and Ljubljana (Slovenia) and we also saw many of our alumni again. It was a good opportunity for all teams to try out their robots under competitive conditions and to drive on a full playing field. In addition to the 12 robot matches, there were also trial judging sessions and plenty of time to make and maintain contact.
From Wednesday to Friday in the first week of October, we were at a training camp at Haus Lutzenberg in Althütte near Schorndorf. There we had the opportunity to try out the principles of our robots and explore this year's playing field. We set up the pitch for the first time at the training camp and were able to see the various elements such as the backdrop, stage door and height limiting bar in real life. There were all four KKST-FTC teams (F.R.O.G, RTF, K.K.S.T and ILF), two KKST-FLL teams (ILF, Lego-Kekse) and two EAG-FTC teams (EAGlets, the agent group) from Oberkochen. We took advantage of the beautiful late summer weather not only to make progress with our robots on both the hardware and software side, but also to do team activities such as the bucket challenge (all team members have to stand on a bucket) or general walks and outdoor games. As every year, it was a very enjoyable and productive time for all teams.
On February 25th- 26th, the teams RoyalCats and F.R.O.G. participated in the DODEA Europe Championship in Kaiserslautern. Over 30 teams from different American military bases, the Netherlands and Germany (both FTC teams from EAG and two from our school) competed here over the course of two days. On the first day, there were the inspections, as well as the Judges interview. Having a day more than at other Championships, we had plenty of time to test our autonomous periods several times on the actual playing field and to also have longer conversations with other teams. For example, we talked to team SHAPE from Belgium for quite a while about different school systems and thoughts about these, Calculus curriculums, portfolios, outreach and many other parts ofFTC. On the second day, the matches took place. Our former student Leontine was a referee there and we were more than happy to see her. Team F.R.O.G. had a hard time in the matches in the beginning, having a different driver's team than usually, but that improved over the course of the day. Team RoyalCats did consistentently well throughout the matches. Right before the semi-finals, RoyalCats ended up being 5th and F.R.O.G. on 6th place. Through the alliance picking process, team F.R.O.G. became part of Ubbo Tech Team's alliance with Thunder Wonder (both of which are Dutch teams), meanwhile RoyalCats were picked by Pink to the future and Stanislas Tech Academy, also both from the Netherlands. Both alliances won each of their respectivesemi-finals and were up against each other in the finals. After a few very close final matches, ti was unclear until the very last match, which alliance would win the Winning Alliancetitle. The last match was very exciting and close, both alliances facing mechanical issues, but in the end, Ubbo TechTeam and F.R.O.G. won that match together, Ubbo Tech thus qualifying for the World Championship in Houston. The Championship was absolutely incredible and also a great last Championship for this season.
In the beginning of Feburary, the Benelux Championship in Eindhoven took place. Even more so than at the league meets, the hall was densely packed with the awesome pits by all of the teams. Like on all FTC competitions, there was a lot of chess played at this championship. Teams here were from the Netherlands, Belgium, Lithuania, and the German ones were from Oberkochen and Stuttgart. The achievements and level of accomplishments had risen a lot compared to previous years. Still team K.K.S.T. got Control Award 3rd place and team F.R.O.G. got Inspire 2nd, Think 2nd and Control 2nd Awards and was in the semi-finals in an alliance with Pink to the future and Blood, Sweat and Gears (both from The Hague). In contrast to other championships, the Benelux championship was only one day long, which lead to a fairly long event. We also gave team Pink to the future a crocheted pink hat in their team colours. Seeing the other teams was very interesting and insightful, as this year’s game was determined by strategy. In the end, we were very tired after the Championship but very happy to have had a great time. On our way back, we visit ed the monastery of Maria Laach.
The week after the Zeist League Meet, all of us competed at the inofficial Oberkochen tournament at the Ernst-Abbe-Gymnasium Oberkochen. Besides our teams (some of which were still struggling with Covid infections), teams from Oberkochen, Hannover, Göttingen and teams from Königin-Olga-Stift in Stuttgart competed. For the first time this season, there were actual judging interviews in English or German and Notebook/Portfolio evaluations. For the teams from our school, this competition decided which two out of four teams would go to the Kaiserslautern Championship, as there were only two teams per school allowed there. In a round of final matches, that could not have been closer, the alliance of EAGirls and F.R.O.G. very narrowly won against the alliance of K.K.S.T. and RoyalCats. After the event, it was decided that F.R.O.G. and RoyalCats would advance to Kaiserslautern.
The second League Meet was in Zeist, close to Utrecht in the Netherlands. On the day before the League meet, we had the opportunity to also visit Dutch classes in the subjects Biology, Science, English and German and were also shown the robotics room of the school. Both was very interesting and insightful. The robotics room was also used for other STEM subjects if they needed to experiment, which was a foreign but great concept. We helped build up the playing field for the following day and were afterwards invited to have drinks and snacks in the teacher’s room. At this league meet, the teams were quite a bit stronger. Among the competing teams, there were all of the winners of the day from the first three league meets. Despite all teams going strong, only the teams KKST and F.R.O.G. made it to the Benelux Championship, where the first ranked 24 teams could compete. This competition wasn’t entirely free of challenges for our immune system either, as after the league meet, 5 students had Covid
The originally Dutch league officially expanded to the Benelux League this season, where all of the teams from KKSt competed. On League Meets in Hasselt (Belgium) and Zeist (Netherlands) in December 2022 and January 2023, we had the opportunity to qualify ourselves for the Benelux Championship in Eindhoven. In December in Hasselt, we rather competed against our own immune systems instead of the other teams. All of the teams had issues and a lack of team members due to sickness around that time. Still, all of our teams competed, partially with extra control systems, others got help by former available students from our school. At the league meet itself, there were some more and some less fortunate and good matches. We were very happy to meet a really nice Norwegian Rookie team and also a great Lithuanian team. We reached the following results that day: Royal Cats (16.), RTF Robotic Tech Frox (10.), KKST Keep Keen Show Tech (8.) and F.R.O.G. (1.). A journey to Belgium without trying traditionally Belgian food would’ve been impossible, so we went to a Belgian Christmas market and tried some French fries (chips for the British) and waffles, which were great. On the way back, we also visited the Belgian Hovering chapel and a parc around the Kasteel van Bokrijk, where one could see plants like bamboo or bananas.
On the 26th of November a special event united 8 of the German FIRST Tech Challenge teams and the Slovenian team of the FIRST Global Challenge! We call this event scrimmage, where we organize friendly matches to test the robots and prepare for the League Meets and competitions. In the morning every team programmed the robot, practiced driving and repaired a lot of things. But that was not the most important thing about the event. The best thing was being united all together for one reason: helping each other to fulfill the tasks of this season! All the teams were helping each other, talking about different topics, getting to know each other and communicating about diverse things. After lunch, in the afternoon, the matches started and the teams got to know their strengths and things they should work on more. We had two moderators who led us through the event. After the matches the teams left the school building with good memories of the day. A group of our school’s FTC teams and the Slovenian team went to the Christmas Market. We had some really good time talking! After all we always leave with a smile and learn something new in everyday of our journey to fulfill our dreams and make the world a better place!
This year, a CAD course was held again, but led by a student. First the basics were told by constructing a cube. Afterwards the potentials of CAD Software got shown with an assembly exercise.
It was planned to organize a training competition (scrimmage) at our school on December 4th. Teams from the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany were expected. Such a scrimmage has already been hosted several times by our school, most recently in January 2020. However, due to the increasing number of cases in Baden Württembwerg, the scrimmage had to be canceled at short notice.
For the second time this year, a free CAD workshop was offered at our school for FTC members. In this workshop, participants learn to design 3D models on Onshape, which can then be printed by a 3D printer. Because a wide variety of building materials are allowed at FTC, robot-specific, individualized components or mechanisms are often 3D printed by the teams themselves. For example, this season Team F.R.O.G designed their collection box and capping element themselves.
Also, 3D models of the entire robot are made via CAD to better plan further work steps and to have detailed views for the "Engineering Notebook" and the "Portfolio" . As always, the workshop was led by FTC Coach Werner Fick.
Despite strict Corona regulations, it was possible for the two school teams F.R.O.G and K.K.S.T. to participate in a competition - the first League Meet of the Dutch Championship - in presence for the first time in almost two years. For the rookie team K.K.S.T. (Keep Keen Show Tech) - also called "Ducks", it was the first competition experience. The venue was the Frits Philips Lyceum on the outskirts of the Dutch city of Eindhoven. Despite initial teething troubles, both teams were able to demonstrate their skills. Especially K.K.S.T. shone with strong matches for a rookie team. Team F.R.O.G. (Frog Robots Of Germany) was able to set the daily record at times with a comprehensive Autonomous and was the first to crack the 100 point mark.
After 8 matches each, Team KKST finished in 18th place and Team FROG in 4th place. The second Leaguemeet, scheduled for January 2022, will decide if the performances are enough to qualify for the Championship in February.
Aside from the competition, the two teams visited the Phillips Museum in the evening and stopped at Cologne Cathedral on the way back on Sunday.
Today was the first of 7 League-Meets in the FTC-League-St.Louis-Southwest. Actually there are 29 teams in this league, but due to the Corona measures only 6 teams could compete. The two KKST teams now occupy 3rd and 5th place after the first round, with Team F.R.O.G. scoring 99 points, their first European record this season.
Nevertheless it became really clear: The real real contact with the other teams, the atmosphere on site, the effort and tension, the driving away together and spending the night, what makes the attraction of a FTC competition weekend, was more than missing.
The participation in the USA is possible because the whole competition is carried out as a remote competition, i.e. online, because of Corona. Since Stuttgart is the twin city of St.Louis, we are of course also stimulating the exchange between Germany and the USA through this participation, even if only virtually. In addition, we have been in close contact with Team #9911 Rampage from the MICDS school for several years.
We are looking forward to the participation and hope to learn a lot from the US teams. Maybe there will be an opportunity to start in St.Petersburg/Russia in the near future.
All three teams achieved good results at the Spain Open in Vic. Team F.R.O.G. made it through to the robot final and became finalist Alliance Captain. To the surprise of the afternoon, there was another prize for the frogs, the Inspire Award. This meant they also won the competition and qualified for the world final in Detroit. Unfortunately, this had to be canceled due to the corona pandemic. Spanish TV report
The teams F.R.O.G. and Royal Frogs competed in the Kaiserslautern Invitational at the US-American Rammstein Airbase. The latter won the Design Award as their first prize of the season. Team F.R.O.G. reached the semi-finals as an alliance partner and also won the Motivate Award.
After Team F.R.O.G. and Team RoyalCats successfully asserted themselves among the other European teams at the Dutch League Meets in Veldhoven and The Hague, both were invited to the Championship Netherlands in Breda. Despite some robot problems for both teams, F.R.O.G. were able to secure a place in the semi-finals and the Think Award. The latter was awarded for an outstanding notebook, which is now being used as an example for new teams.
Team F.R.O.G and RoboCats won three trophies at the FTC competition in Barcelona. F.R.O.G. won the Winning Alliance Award in a proven alliance with the German-EAGles from Oberkochen. They also won the Design Award for the extraordinary design of the robot. Team RoboCats won the Collins Aerospace Innovate Award for the clear design and execution of their robot.
Team F.R.O.G. took part in the FTC World Final at the Cobo Center in Detroit and finished in 53rd place. 128 teams from all over the world competed.
Team F.R.O.G. won the Innovation Award at the Stuttgart Invitational and thus the ticket for the world finals in Detroit. Team F.R.O.G. was the winner in the alliance with the German EAGles from our partner school, the Ernst-Abbe-Gymnasium in Oberkochen. In the overall ranking, which takes into account not only the robot game, but also the documentation in the engineering notebook, the planning for the competition and the communication with sponsors and the other teams, the German EAGles came second and the F.R.O.G.s received the Inspire Award 1st place. Both teams were thus invited to the world finals in Detroit.