As the CSPA Miners walked into Ore Creek Middle School Friday night things weren’t looking good; the issue: an nonfunctional robot… After a near 3 1/2 hours of programming, the team were forced to leave with an once functional program that had all of a sudden stopped working. The next day… The Miners arrived in their red hardhats reluctantly, but still willingly to find the diagnosis to their program. Luckily for them they were given two very important things 1. more time 2. a collection of experienced mentors, coaches as well as other kids from other teams to help them. However, they only could do so much before time ran out. Things were probable. The real test approached: the robot qualification. Basically if the robot (Clem) did not move on a judge’s command within a certain amount of time, The CSPA Miners would be disqualified. But! In the mast 10 possible seconds Clem decided to move qualifying The Miners to compete. Still, Clem didn’t work by controller and this was an issue. This meant one thing… the programmers would have to go back to the drawing board.

After even more vigorous work The Miners along side their mentors got Clem to function, just in time for their first match. This hard work paid off as their alliance had won. Now just minutes later they would once again go at it. This time though they couldn’t get the robot to work, luckily however with the support of our alliance we won. Now we had time to fix the robot, or so we thought… We ended up with another match won but because of our alliance. Now we had time between matches to program and prepare, and we now legitimately thought we had the problem fixed; and technically we did as the robot moved. But, we had an issue with the two controllers we were provided… The issue was they were inverted.

This meant the two controllers were mixed up, and nonfunctional. Our last round came around (after 5 previous) and it worked but just our luck, we lost. However we had won 5/6 which as a rookie team was awesome (even though we couldn’t of done it without our alliances) and we placed as the #6 seed. This meant we had a chance of being part of the qualifying rounds for states and we did make it to semi finals in an alliance with Howell FTC (Team Kaos) and The Steam Stingers. After a valiant effort we lost but as a rookie team placing 6/23 teams and making it to semi-finals was awesome! Just when we thought things were done with…

The award ceremony rolled around. We weren’t expecting any awards (but as a few select of our team found out last year in FLL when you think you of going to get an award you get one) but we received The Think Award for excellence in our Engineer Notebook, which is ironic because we felt this was something we needed drastic work on. We were and still are extremely grateful for many things; the teams that helped us with our program, the parents, coaches, and mentor who helped us get where we went and the learning experienced at our first competition.

But our season isn’t over, so I must get back to the mine for Captains callin’

Good News! Our Robot, Clem ‘The Rock’ Sutter is a moving robot via Logitech controller. The three functions are both analog sticks to move, the ‘x’ button to open the claw, and the right and left bumpers to raise arm. Hopefully I can later post a video, but no promises…

If you were wondering about the Robot’s name: Clem ‘The Rock’ Sutter here is our reasoning/origin. Clementine was the name of the daughter of the miner in the song “Oh my Darling, Clementine” and we changed to Clem for short. ‘The Rock’ an alternative title was based off the fact that our team name is the ‘Miners'; also after Dwayne Johnson. Finally Sutter, California was the place of the first gold rush and we felt it fitting to put that in there. So those are the name origins, just our thoughts…

Have a rock-ing day (oh the puns),
Got to go… Clem ‘The Rock’ Sutter