NB Blitz to go to Robotics finals in St. Louis, Missouri


Team 5148 and their robot, Cupcake, after winning the award and about to pack up to leave the US Cellular Arena.

Both tears and cheers were shown from March 20th to the 22nd during the 2014 Aerial Assist FIRST Robotics Regionals, which occurred at the US Cellular Arena in Downtown Milwaukee. Rookie team NB Blitz Robotics was one of 60 teams at the regionals, sizing up competition, meeting new people, collecting other team’s buttons, and celebrating small successes.

The team’s robot, Cupcake, was the only vacuum robot at the competition, while the other robots were basic scoop and catapult robots which followed a standard model that was created a few years ago, called the 3-Day Robot.  This is where teams take three days to make the robot and then use the rest of the 2 months left to learn to drive it. It is very effective, and many teams decide to make the 3-Day Robot even though it may take away from the overall creativity.

100 rounds were played Friday and Saturday (Thursday was a practice/put together your robot day). Team 5148 played about 9 rounds, switching between the blue and red alliances. The team was ecstatic when the robot made their first shot during the 3rd round that they played. Although it was nerve-racking, the team held their spirits high and still cheered on the drivers and their robot.

During most of the matches, the robot had to go into defense mode because their alliance partners wanted to do most of the work with the ball, but they still shined when they blocked the other alliance from scoring in the low goals as well.

Considering it was their rookie year, they definitely got a lot accomplished, receiving 3 small awards from other teams: favorite rookie , having a creative robot, and not following along with what other people were doing.  They also took the “Rookie All-star” award from the judges, which automatically sends them to the Nationals down in St. Louis, Missouri.

When the team number was announced for the “Rookie All-star” award, the team cheered in the stands (some even dropping the food they were eating). There was a great deal of excitement and even some tears were shed. Even though it was the team’s rookie year and they had won so quickly into their career, nothing could have brought them down at that moment.

The team will be bussed six hours down to St. Louis, Missouri from April 23-26, the week after Spring break. Although it interferes with New Berlin West’s Prom, one of the other Wisconsin teams will be putting together an alternative “Robo-Prom” down by the St. Louis Arch where people who are missing their proms can still go – even if it’s just with their friends.

Team 5148 has high hopes that they will succeed greatly during the competition and are practicing driving the robot, working on the robot, and gathering their team spirit in time for the competition.