Robot March Madness

By: Press Release
By: Press Release

On Pi (π) Day, we’d like to recognize & congratulate the SAIL High School Octo-π-rates in placing 7th out of 63 other high school teams in the First Robotics Competition’s (FRC’s) international robot contest. ( They brought fierce competition to one of FRC’s toughest regional events.

The Octo-π-rates played some great basketball, scoring balls autonomously, picking them up off the court and shooting goals from over 40’. If you like human basketball, you will absolutely love robot basketball!

FRC’s Rebound Rumble was played by two competing alliances on a flat field; each alliance consisted of three robots. They competed to score as many points as they could during a 2 minute and 15 second match. The higher the hoop in which the basketball is scored, the more points the alliance received.

Each match began with a 15 second hybrid period in which robots operated independently of driver input. Baskets were scored during this period were worth extra points. For the remainder of the match, drivers controlled their robots and tried to maximize their alliance score by scoring as many baskets as possible.

The matches ended with robots attempting to balance on bridges located at the middle of the field. In qualification matches, robots from each alliance also tried to balance on the white CoopertitionTM bridge to score additional points for each alliance. SAIL’s Octo-π-rates scored more points than any other robot when it came to balancing on the bridges.

Wow; what an adventure. We weren’t sure if our robot would perform; during practice (Thursday 3/8) we had some coding issues that prevented movement on the arena court. The team got everything working properly Thursday night, so that by Friday morning (3/9), we were ready!

During the qualification matches we scored:

1. 8 points in our 1st round (by now we were ranked 21st out of 63)

2. 29 points in our 2nd round (by now we were in sixth place overall!!!)

3. 35 points in our 3rd round (by this time we were ranked #1!!! – I’m not kidding; we were the highest ranked of the three robots on our alliance, so when our alliance won, that put us at #1)

However, our momentum slipped slightly and we scored:

4. 27 points in our 4th round (we slipped to #2)

5. 12 points in our 5th round (we slipped to #3)

6. 3 points in our 6th round (we slipped to #5)

But we improved after that:

7. scoring 6 points in our 7th round (we slipped to #6)

8. and 10 points in our 8th round (we slipped to #7)

We were ranked high enough (7th out of 63 teams) to select our other two robot alliances, but were eliminated in the final matches (which were the best two out of three). But we made the finals!!!! For a 2nd year team that is great!

We did so well, we really want to thank our sponsors:

§ Lowe’s Foundation

§ Motorola Solutions Foundation

§ Consortium of Florida Education Foundation (CFEF)

§ JCPenny

§ Lively Technical Center

§ Florida State University

§ Foundation for Leon County Schools

§ Burdick, P.A., Attorneys at Law

§ Sunshine Savings Bank

§ Applebee’s

§ Publix

§ Hopping Green & Sams, Attorneys and Counselors

§ National High Magnetic Field Laboratory

§ SAIL High School Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO)

§ SAIL High School

With their help, we raised $23,000 dollars this year to make all this happen. We have some money left over that we are going to put into more tooling. We also just had a lathe and mill donated from the Mag Lab that will allow us much more capability in working with materials.

Also a big hip-hip-hooray and lots of pats on the back to all our students, mentors and parents who put in the many long hours to make it all happen. We look forward to having more of our fans and supporters join us in Orlando for next year’s competition.

We also anticipate the months of training that teach the next generation how to be on the cutting edge of Science and Technology.

§ Designing in 3D modeling to the thousandths of an inch

§ Calculating the Forces and Energy required for each assembly, component and material

§ Measuring, machining and welding using top safety practices

§ Marketing and fundraising

Our robot

Name: The Farrell Beast

Weight: 111 lbs.

Size: 28 x 38 x 58” tall

Power: 12 volt, 18 amp hour battery

Drive Train: 4 high friction independent wheels with encoders

Shoot and Conveyor: Picks balls up off the ground, storing 3 balls and shooting autonomously

Bridge Arm: capable of exerting over 25 ft/lbs

Feel free to access the club website ( for more details.

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 20, 2012 at 01:57 PM
    SAIL High School Rocks! Way to go!
  • by Cricket on Mar 20, 2012 at 01:30 PM
    So proud! Congratulations!
  • by Surly Location: Grrr on Mar 20, 2012 at 11:01 AM
    Way more impressive than real basketball!Congratulations!
WCTV 1801 Halstead Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32309
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 143429336 -
Gray Television, Inc.