Vandegrift ViperBots robotics competes at Worlds

Vandegrift’s Ouroboros FTC team holding 1st Place Design Award, FTC Edison Division, at 2024 Championships

By TED GAUNT, Contributor 

This year’s 2024 FIRST Championship for youth robotics was held in Houston as a “World’s” level playoff for teams that had already won their respective divisions, states, or countries from around the world. The Vandegrift ViperBots robotics program is proud to have had teams Valor and Ouroboros earn the right to compete at this highest level, and to have done so with great success.

Team 4545 Ouroboros

Ouroboros is in the FIRST Tech Challenge robotics program, which builds amazingly complex robotics that fit into a 18 inch starting cube and play in a 2 vs 2 robot game format. The Ouroboros team created an innovative robot which amazed the judges at the world’s competition and were recognized with a 1st place Design Award in the Edison Division. 

Just a few weeks earlier at the Texas State Championship, different judges had awarded the team with the 1st place Connect Award.

“This season has taught me so much about teamwork, leadership, and software. I absolutely loved hanging out with my software team – spending hours in Krish’s garage fine tuning auto,” said Sophia Zhang, project manager and software lead on Ouroboros. 

She added it was amazing to see all the hard work in software pay off at competition. 

“This year has been a season of constant growth, improvement, and learning,” shared Tharunkumar Ananthakumaran Rajeswari, assistant project manager and hardware lead on team Ouroboros. “It was an amazing opportunity to meet like minded individuals from around the world, to see cool robots, and to truly experience what robotics is all about. Winning the Design Award at the World-Championships level was a true honor, and I can’t wait for the next season to start back up again.”

Team 6800 Valor 

Valor went to Worlds by building a trajectory of winning successes. Valor is in the FRC robotics program, which allows for larger, advanced robotics, weighing up to 150 pounds, extreme acceleration, advanced software control, and 3 vs 3 robotic action in an indoor arena.

During the short eight weeks of competition season between Waco and Worlds, the Valor team tackled three major rounds of system redesigns to dial in peak performance. They showed spirit and skill while calculating risk versus reward to chase down each redesigned improvement.  As a payout, they generated a nearly continuous improvement in offensive scoring and general game play.  Valor came into their division seeded lower, but their improved game allowed them to prove themselves at the top of the field.  They finished the division qualifications in 3rd overall.  As captain during playoffs, Valor put together a dominating alliance that quickly put up the highest scoring matches in the entire division. Their alliance made it to the last Semi-final match, where it came to a heated end, finishing in 3rd place.

“What an incredible experience and honor it is to be the driver for Valor this season,” said Tyler Lowe, Valor’s driver. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to work closely with our brilliant mentors to build and fine tune our robot. Competing with the best on the world stage and advancing farther than ever in Valor’s history has been an unforgettable experience.”

Valor has a lot to be proud of this season – they performed amazingly as a team. They have built the experience and skills that will give them the edge for next season’s challenges. Valor really enjoys having other local FRC teams over to practice on their robotics field, but it was a special treat to host the visiting team Barker Redbacks from Sydney, Australia. Valor got to practice with the Redbacks at Vandegrift on their way to Houston.

FRC Team Valor poses after four days of competition in Houston at the FIRST Championships aka Worlds.

The 6800 Valor drive team and robot.  

A summary of ViperBots earlier FTC competition results:

  • Texas State Competition:  Team Recoil won 3rd place Connect Award.  Ouroborus won 1st Connect Award.  Stryke competed. 
  • Texas UIL: Team Leviathan had set high scores and ranked 4th in qualifiers.
  • Austin Area Championship: Recoil took 1st place Inspire Award and captained a division semi-finalist alliance. Ouroboros took 2nd place Inspire Award. Stryke won Think Award 2nd place with an alliance to division semi-finalist. Hydra won 3rd in Control Award and captained an alliance into the division finals. Leviathan won a Connect Award 3rd place and captained an alliance to division semi-finals. QuadX won a Design Award 3rd place.

ViperBots Recoil wins top Inspire award at Area Champs and competed at State Champs to win 3rd place Connect Award.

ViperBots Stryke advanced to play at State Championships.

Team Valor being interviewed by Tyler from First Updates Now on YouTube.

6800 robot takes shot on goal.