The team robot build season is a six week period from January through February. Regional competitions take place during March. We found out on Saturday January 5th, 2019 what this season’s build challenge will be.
The 2019 build is Destination: Deep Space!, which celebrates 30 years of FIRST and 50 years since the Apollo 11 mission that put mankind on the moon. Two alliances comprised of three teams each face off to fill rockets with cargo and secure them with hatches to earn points. The alliance with the most points at the end of the match wins.
Team 3197 won the Innovation in Control Award at the St. Louis Regional and qualified for the Detroit World Championship at the Milwaukee Regional after being the #4 alliance seed. The HexHounds chose FRC Team 7498 – “Wingus & Dingus” from New Zealand and FRC Team 2077 – “Laser Robotics” out of Wales, WI to join our alliance. A well planned and executed strategy lead us to the finals after upsetting the top seeded alliance in the semi-finals! We fell just short of winning in a tiebreaker match due to some robot malfunctions but ended as the Wisconsin Regional Finalists. With this came a wildcard entry into the World Championships! This is the second time the HexHounds have qualified for the World Championship.
The 2018 build was Power Up!, a three on three dynamic strategy game where milk crates/cubes were manipulated to score on a high balance scale or low balance scale. After a long and grueling build season the HexHounds entered the Wisconsin Regional with high aspirations. After putting in several hours of building, fixing, scouting and driving the team entered the eliminations rounds as the #8 seed and the #7 alliance captain. The Hexhounds chose FRC Team 2194 Fondy Fire and Nicolet FEAR to join our alliance. A well planned and executed strategy lead us to the finals against a great alliance. We fell short of winning but did earn a wildcard birth to the World Championship in Detroit, April 25th-28th. This was the first time Team 3197 earned an entry into worlds. The HexHounds also won the Imagery Award at regionals during this season.
The 2017 build was Steamworks, which invited two adventure clubs from an era when technology relied on steam power to prepare their airships for the ultimate long distance race. Each three-team alliance scored points and prepared to take flight by building steam pressure, gathering materials to start the rotors, and boarding robots onto their airships. The adventurer club with the highest score at the end of the match was the best prepared for the race and won. The HexHounds won the Innovation in Control Award at regionals during this year’s competitions.
The 2016 build was Stronghold, a medieval-themed game played by two Alliances of three robots each. Robots scored points by picking up a 10″ ball, crossing obstacles called defences, and shooting the ball into a goal. The field had a castle that was to be captured by the alliance per the medieval theme of the game.
The 2015 build was RECYCLE RUSH, a recycling-themed game played by two Alliances of three robots each. Robots score points by stacking totes on scoring platforms, capping those stacks with recycling containers, and properly disposing of pool noodles, representing litter. In keeping with the recycling theme of the game, all game pieces used are reusable or recyclable by teams in their home locations or by FIRST at the end of the season. The HexHounds won the Creativity Award at the 2015 competition for their design of a floating rear axle suspension system. This award-winning design helped their robot keep all four mecanum wheels on the ground at all times, which is necessary as the robot traverses different terrain throughout the challenge field.
The 2014 build was Aerial Assist, a game in which the robot had to cooperate with other robots on an alliance to throw a 2′ diameter ball through a goal about 7′ off the ground.
The HexHounds also won the Rookie Inspiration Award at their first FRC competition ever in 2010.