Upcoming events

Building season surely was a busy time for the students and technical mentors, but although the robots are already built, and the competitions are over until the fall, there is still much to do in the robot room!

Here are the two major events for which we are currently preparing:

  • Monday, March 23 – 5pm to 7pm – Open House. The public is invited to come and talk to the students and mentors, see the robots, and even drive the robots!
  • Saturday May 2 – 7 am to 2 pm -KC Robotics Team is hosting their 1st annual Craft Fair/Yard Sale.

Please come and show your support for the Robotics Team. We would love to see you there!

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FRC Palmetto Regional 2015 Recap

This post was originally written by Team Leader, Mr. Sullivan and it is posted with permission. 

It was an exciting few days for the KC Robotics Team members and members from the 65 other FIRST Robotics Competition teams that participated in the Palmetto FRC Regional Event Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (February 26th-27th).

We took students from four schools (Camden Middle, Camden High, Camden Military Academy, and Lugoff-Elgin High), several parents of students, and several team mentors. I think we all had a good time at the competition.

Thursday was the day for teams to practice on the playing field with their robot. This was a great day for us as we had the opportunity for our students to drive the robot at least six times. The learning from those drive times really helped prepare them for the competition.

Friday and Saturday morning were the qualification rounds where robots competed, 3 per group, in this year’s game – Recycle Rush. Our robot performed very well except for some computer related challenges. We overcame some of those challenges on Friday and were ranked 7th of 66 teams at the end of the day. On Saturday we had some bad partner robots and some other challenges and we did not score many points. That reduced our rank to 31st at the end of Saturday morning. We did not get selected to compete in the elimination rounds, but we were all happy that our robot worked well. All of us adults were thrilled at how well the students increased their game knowledge, worked with their partner teams to develop game strategies, and interacted with lots of students from other teams.

Our students were well behaved and represented Kershaw County well.

We don’t have funding to attend additional FRC events so this is the only one we are participating in. We will participate in the one day South Carolina FRC event and the one day North Carolina FRC event this Fall.

Thanks for everyone who has provided support for the team.


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Thank you for your support

I received the performance statistics from our Facebook page and I am blown away! Thank you very much to each of you that took the time to like a post, picture, or video. Special thanks to those of you that shared our page! We went over the 100 follower mark at the beginning of the weekend :) If everybody that likes our page shared it on Facebook, we should have no problem reaching 200 followers! Do you accept the challenge?

Also, remember that we are active on Twitter and Instagram (@kcroboticsteam for both). Follow us for the latest news and pictures!


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FTC SC Championship Recap

Last Saturday, our middle school team participated in the 2015 South Carolina FTC Championship. Five students and 3 mentors woke up really early that day to travel to Gaffney High school where the competition took place. The team chose to name their robot “Cupcake” because Mr. Stanek, one of the mentors, always makes sure there are cupcakes ready in the robot room for the hungry teenagers

From left to right; front row: Michael, Hudson, Stefon (CMA), Daniel and Kelly (CMS). Back row: Paul Sullivan, Jamie Hames, Henry Bull

From left to right; front row: Michael, Hudson, Stefon (CMA), Daniel and Kelly (CMS). Back row: Paul Sullivan, Jamie Hames, Henry Bull

After arriving to the competition site, the team set up their toolboxes and the robot in the pit area and began checking the robot’s hardware and software before inspection. The robot passed both inspections with flying colors! After inspection, all the students had to participate in the judging section, in which students explain how the robot works to the judges.

Once the preliminary events were completed, the students were able to practice driving the robot on the competition field.

For the qualification matches, KC Robotics was able to participate with in 2 different alliances: Blacksburg High RoboCats and Aiken County School District Atomix,

Blacksburg High RoboCats

Match 1

Aiken County School District Atomix

Match 2

By the end of the qualifying rounds, our team was ranked #3 overall, which gave the students the opportunity to select alliances. The team chose to team up with the hosting PokiBots, and the team from Charleston County School District.

During the elimination matches, one of the alliance robots did not function properly, and our team did not get to participate in the final round. However, the students were a great sport and exhibited Gracious Professionalism (c) throughout! In fact, the picture above was taken right after getting eliminated–look at those smiles!

During the awards ceremony, KC Robotics team was recognized for the following 2 awards:

  • 1st Place Rockwell Collins Innovate Award
  • 2nd Place for the FTC Inspire Award

The Inspire award is very special as it recognizes the efforts of the team as a whole and provides an invitation for the next tournament stage: the Super Regional Championship, in which teams from Texas to Florida compete for a chance to go to the National Championship.  We are elated about the opportunity to go and are currently working out the logistics to send students, mentors, and the robot to San Antonio, TX, in mid-March.

Below are the judging guidelines for both awards. Well done KC Robotics Team!

Inline image 1

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An Award Winning Team

Team work, problem solving, using tools… That’s so much fun! But winning is also fun! Did you know that KC Robotics Team is an award winning team? Check out our awards page and see for yourself.

As the competitions approach, we would like to win more awards, on top of enjoying all the fun of robotics competitions. Today, the FTC team was working hard on updating the Team Notebook, practicing driving, and making inventory of parts used in the robot for the Bill of Materials.

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The FRC team had a brainstorming session with Mr. Bull to improve the design of the lifting mechanism.


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Trial and Error

The FTC team is focused on practicing driving the robot and figuring out strategies to get the most points. At this point, the robot is programmed to get 70 points in autonomous mode by doing the following:

  • driving off the ramp
  • dragging the goal to the team area
  • dropping the plastic balls in the goal

Check it out!


The FRC team focused on finishing up the elevator and they got to test its limits!

One crate….

Two crates………….

Three crates!! There is definitely room for improvement!

What would you do to stabilize the elevator?

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We are social!

Are you enjoying this blog? We are active on the web through several social media sites. Follow us through your favorite social media site, or all of them!

Instagram: @kcroboticsteam

Twitter: @kcroboticsteam

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KCRoboticsTeam

Google+: KC Robotics Team (kcroboticsteam@gmail.com)

YouTube: KC Robotics Team

In your opinion, are there any other social media sites in which we should participate? Let us know in the comments!

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Holiday Workday

We took advantage of the Martin Luther King holiday today to have an intensive workday instead of the regular afternoon session after school on Tuesday.

When I walked into the robot room, it was obvious everybody was at work. There were students drilling, sounds of metal clanking, tools everywhere, the deafening sound of the vacuum… There is no reason to waste time! The clock is ticking, and every moment spent working on the robots or straightening up the room out helps in getting ready for both the FTC and FRC competitions. We even had Mrs. Welch running an errand to refuel the mentors with coffee and the students with soft drinks! Thank you!

The FTC team (208) came back from their scrimmage on Saturday with quite the list of upgrades needed to improve our performance in the game: the bucket was too low, the string for the telescopic arm was sticking, the wheels were lagging, and more practice was needed to score points correctly. Needless to say, this scrimmage proved invaluable in getting the team ready for the competition. The middle school students worked hard today to fix these issues.


The FRC team continues to work on the frame and elevator truck for the big robot.


The students also made gear boxes for the wheels and attached a motor to the boxes.


The media team (Mrs. Putnam and I) worked on updating the FTC engineering notebook and of course, this website.


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Buiding Season Week 2 Recap

Today, the FTC team is at a scrimmage competition in Hartsville, SC. There will be a later post outlining the details on that.

The FRC team made progress in building a frame for the base and the elevator mechanism and figuring out a prototype to turn the totes from the upside down position. There was math, measurements, and tools involved in the process. Even I was put to work and learned to use the drill!

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No School, No Problem!

Even though the public school students did not have to attend school on Tuesday, we had a good group of students show up to play with robots!

The FTC team has been working on updating their engineering notebook by adding pictures and short snippets about the students that are participating in the upcoming scrimmage on January 17. The students were able to practice driving the robot and were able to fix some problems that came up.wpid-img_20150113_164256580.jpg wpid-img_20150113_164133058.jpgThe FRC team had several tasks from which to choose so there was plenty of work for everybody. The software has been installed in the computers. Some of the students worked on making a prototype for the frame, elevator truck, making wheel supports, or figuring out how to turn over a crate from the upside down position and from the sideways position.

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