After winning the Slovak FLL Finals, our team received an invitation to the FIRST Championship 2023, a four-day event held on April 19 to 22 in Houston, USA. This event brought together 108 of the best teams in the world. In total, more than 30,000 teams worldwide participated this season. We are very proud to have been part of it. The successful participation of our team is underlined by the result in the robot game, in which we placed among the top 20 teams.
First competition day was about sharing ideas and knowledge. Each team presented its work – the story of the team, the robot and the innovation project – all in the Pit Area booth. Many visitors stopped by and were curious about our innovation project Energized Sink. It was also a time to reunite with our friends. We were happy to meet with the team Roadsnack from Norway, that we met at last year’s Open International tournament in Rio de Janeiro.
Second day of the competition started with the Judging session. In 45 minutes, we presented the results of this season’s work to a panel of professionals. They were impressed by the maturity of our team. Later we continued with testing the robot, as it had to be disassembled for safe airplane transport. Testing rounds showed top-of-the-line consistent results. In the evening after the competition, we moved to a nearby park to play ultimate frisbee with fellow FIRST LEGO League, Tech Challenge and Robotics teams.
In the early hours of the third day, we used our spare time to visit the other programs at the FIRST Championship. Seeing the big robots from Tech Challenge and even bigger ones from Robotics in action was quite impressive. Later in the robot game, our robot scored 380 points out of a maximum of 415 points. We are glad that we could compare ourselves with the best of the best and be among the top 20.
The Encore (alliance) challenge marked the last day of the competition. Within one hour, two teams have to get together and solve a prior unknown task. We formed a strong alliance with the team Electric Eagle Eyes from New York, USA. Together we made it to the second round and we are happy to have partnered with such a cool team. Finally, a teaser of the upcoming season’s theme and playing field was revealed at the awards ceremony.
After the competition, it was time to visit Houston. At the beach in Galveston, our team enjoyed swimming in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Later we went to the NASA Space Center where we saw the Saturn V rocket. What a machine!
Finally, we would like to thank the ones who made this journey possible. Big thanks to our coaches, mentors, former members, experts, our families, friends and many others.
We would especially like to thank all our fundraising campaign supporters, FLL Slovakia and the companies aSc, ABB Robotics Slovakia, Pinkyline and Copex.
Team members: Dominik Bezák, Jakub Klabník, Matej Klabník, Sarah Klopstock, Hana Siebertová, Peter Siebert
Mentors: Dušan Bezák, Marcel Klabník
Our support team: Zuzana Siebertová
Official robot game results: