Past Robots 1997 – 2001

1997 – Toroid Terror

The Game:

Teams hook inner tubes corresponding to their team color to a central goal. Human players, seated on the sidelines, are allowed to throw the tubes or restock their robots.

Our Robot:

New and Interesting:

Regionals appeared for the first time – regional winners qualified for the national competition.

The Competitions:

We apologize for the boring match on this video: this is the only footage of the 1997 game we could find. 151 teams competed in 3 regionals.

1998 – Ladder Logic

The Game:

Teams lift large balls of their own color onto a horizontal ladder or into a middle bin. Balls on the ladder earn points, whereas each ball in the bin doubles the team’s score. Hence the name “Ladder Logic” – teams must strike a balance between earning points and earning multipliers.

Our Robot:

New and Interesting:

More regionals sprung up and FIRST began to grow.

The Competitions:

191 teams competed in 5 regionals.

1999 – Double Trouble

The Game:

Teams earn points by lifting and keeping “floppies” (pillow-like objects) off the ground. A team can triple its score by having its robot climb onto the “puck”, a wheeled platform, and double its score again by keeping said puck on their opponent’s side of the field.

Our Robot:

New and Interesting:

Game-play was 2 vs. 2 – alliances of multiple teams were introduced for the first time. Every game since then has featured alliance play. 1999 saw the rise of the modern seeding system: qualifying rounds; followed by alliance selection, where top-seeded teams create alliances; then elimination to produce a winning alliance. Both members of the winning alliance are considered equal winners – a policy that continues today.

The Competitions:

271 teams competed in 8 regionals.

2000 – Co-opertition FIRST

The Game:

Alliances of two teams each attempt to move balls into an elevated bin of their color. Bonus points are awarded for robots hanging from a central bar at the end of the match.

Our Robot:

New and Interesting

Seeding was changed to encourage co-opertition (helping opponents win). In qualifiers, the winner received seeding points equal to three times the loser’s score. Thus, no team wanted to blow out its opponents, as it would receive few seeding points.

The Competitions:

372 teams competed in 10 regionals.

2001 – Diabolical Dynamics

The Game:

A 4 vs. 0 game – all teams on the field work together. Robots try to dump balls into a tall, mobile goal. Making things more difficult, the field is fenced into two halves, with a see-saw being the only way across. 2001 marks the apex of the multiplier – there are a myriad of multiplier bonuses, ranging from 2x for balancing the see-saw to up to 3x for ending the game early.

Our Robot:

New and Interesting:

The one-alliance match setup is the biggest feature of Diabolical Dynamics. Because of the multiplier for finishing the game as quickly as possible, there was a strong incentive for teams to specialize, making robots that only dragged the goal around, for example.

The Competitions:

515 teams competed in 13 regionals.

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