In previous years, FIRST introduced a new, challenging robot game each January at an event known as “Kickoff.” With the 2020 season being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Kickoff launched an “at home” version INFINITE RECHARGE – the 2020 robot game.

3 separate challenges combine the practical application of science and technology with the fun, intense energy and excitement of a championship-style sporting event. Teams are encouraged to display Gracious Professionalism, help other teams, and cooperate while competing. This is known as Coopertition. These at home challenges allow teams to engage from “home” and virtually compete with teams from around the world. Teams are free to compete in as many of these as home challenges as they would like. WildStang has chosen to compete in all 3 of these challenges.

The 3 Challenges we will be competing in include, INFINITE RECHARGE at Home, The Game Design Challenge & The FIRST Innovation Challenge presented by Qualcomm.

1 – The INFINITE RECHARGE at Home invites teams to engage in two ways: compete for judged awards using their 2020/2021 robot and compete in a Skills Competition, a series of challenges for teams who have access to their robot.

  • Judged Awards:
    • Where teams describe their Robots technical qualities by sharing information with judges remotely to compete for traditional machine awards.
  • Skills Competition:
    • Teams demonstrate what their ROBOTS and drivers can do in a Skills Competition inspired by the INFINITE RECHARGE game. Events include various scoring and steering challenges.

For the judged awards, we’ll be doing presentations on the robot that was constructed by the team last year and competed with at the 2020 Midwest Regional Competition.

For the skills competition, all teams have the option of using their Infinite Recharge robot, or building a new robot. WildStang has decided to build a new robot, and use this opportunity to test a drive system, called Swerve Drive. This will give the team an opportunity to evaluate Swerve and determine if this is a system that we could consider using for future competition seasons.

2 – The Game Design Challenge invites teams to design a FIRST Robotics Competition game and compete for judged awards and an opportunity to share their design with FIRST Robotics Competition game designers. In addition to developing a game, each team that participates in the Game Design Challenge answers specific questions in their submission to be considered for awards and possible advancement.

WildStang is participating in this Game Design challenge, with a focus on improving how the team looks at official FRC games and develops our strategy when competing.

3 – The FIRST Innovation Challenge presented by Qualcomm invites teams to identify a real-world global issue and develop an innovative solution. Through S.T.E.M, teams will identify a real-world problem related to this season’s theme, design a solution, build a business model, and deliver a pitch to compete with other FIRST Robotics Competition teams for judged awards. The challenge presented to the teams is to identify a problem and design a solution to help people achieve optimum physical and/or mental health and fitness through active play or movement.

The FIRST Innovation Challenge is similar to the FIRST LEGO League Innovation project. And with many FLL participants being members of WildStang, it was an easy decision to move forward on this challenge. The team will focus on building our presentation skills, which are a key part of the judged awards during a typical competition season.

While WidStang student participation in these challenges is not mandatory, most team members have elected to participate, while continuing to work on the WildStang Fuel Duel in-team competition, with the goal of having completed robots to compete in the Fuel Duel Challenge game at the end of this semester.