Team 1710 Brings Home Two Huge Awards at KC Regional

On March 12-14, 2015, FIRST Robotics Team 1710 won the Chairman’s Award and was on the Winning Alliance at the Greater Kansas City Regional. This event featured 54 teams from Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa, who played ninety qualification matches before entering into elimination rounds. Team 1710 was the second pick of the sixth-seeded alliance, joining alliance captain Team 1785 (Blue Springs Robocats – Blue Springs, MO) and fellow alliance partner Team 1723 (The FBI – Independence, MO). Using an effective teamwork-based strategy of 1710 and 1785 building tote stacks, and 1723 topping off these stacks with cans for a points multiplier, the alliance advanced into finals. In final matches, the alliance faced off against the first-seeded alliance, Teams 1730, 1806, and 1777. Team 1710’s alliance won the first two hard-fought matches of the best-of-three, and was named the winner of the regional.

Just minutes later in the awards ceremony, Team 1710 was also named as the recipient of the Regional Chairman’s Award. The Chairman’s Award is the most prestigious award of the FIRST Robotics Competition, recognizing the team that best embodies the ideals of FIRST, both on and off the field. This was Team 1710’s fifth Regional Chairman’s Award, and it’s fourth in the last four years.

Interestingly, all six teams on the field were in their tenth year of competition, and all were started with grants from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. All six finalists qualified to the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship in St. Louis on April 22-24, due to qualification wildcard’s generated by 1710 winning both robot and the Chairman’s Award, as well as having won the Engineering Inspiration Award at the World Championship last year. Team 1710 looks forward to seeing it’s fellow Kansas City teams next month in St. Louis.


More information about the 2015 Greater Kansas City Regional can be found at:


More information about the 2015 FIRST Robotics Competition game challenge Recycle Rush can be found at:


Team 1710’s Design Review

Students, mentors, alumni, and coaches alike gathered in the Raven’s Nest Friday night for the annual Team 1710 Design Review. The goal of the event was to discuss prototypes and design ideas in order to finalize a design for the most effective robot we could build. Students presented prototypes built over the past week in front of a panel of mentors, coaches, and alumni, who critiqued each concept as well as presenting possible challenges and ideas of their own. After Kaitlyn Weeks and Josh Patterson, the team’s Co-Chief Operations Officers opened the review, John Miguel began the demonstrations with the prototype of the hook system. The hook system would lower one-way hooks over the totes, then lift them up to make room for another tote to enter the system. Then the hooks would lower and the process would repeat until the robot has an acceptable stack height. The panel liked the potential speed of stacking with one-way hooks, requiring only an up-down motion to operate, but worried about the need for precise positioning of totes before lowering the hook arms. Paige Jewell, Karisa Goss, and Zach Loveall later presented the pneumatic clamp system as an alternative to hooks. The pneumatic clamps would contract to grip a tote or can, lift to one tote’s height, then lower onto the next tote, unclamp, lower to the bottom clamp, and repeat to stack. The consultants appreciated the ease of gripping differently sized and oriented objects with the same force, but also pointed out the many problems with pneumatic systems in general and also how many steps were necessary to operate the clamps, significantly increasing the cycle time. Many other designs for lifting gathering and driving were presented, and each weighed by the mentors.  After two hours of presentations and criticism, each of the consultants stated which designs they liked best and cited reasons for choosing one over another. These considerations will be taken into account for the final design of Team 1710’s 2015 robot.