The Electrical SubTeam with the Dreadbot Mark IX and their most recent award. Photo by Michael Lindskov.

| 2 min read |By: Krystin Nelligan, Dreadbot Reporter |

The Dreadbots, FRC team 3656, did an amazing job at the Kettering Kickoff off-season competition on the weekend of September 20-21, 2019 at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan. Off-season events are competitions that don’t count towards the season’s rankings and are just for fun and experience.

The Dreadbots finished the competition with a record of 3-3-0, in 15th place, using last year’s competition robot. All of Dexter’s drivers at this competition were rookie drivers. They drove the robot to see if they would like to try out for the drive team for this upcoming year. Even with their inexperienced drivers, Dexter’s matches were very close. In fact, two of their matches ended with just a one-point margin.

Sadly, the Dreadbots did not get picked to be on an alliance and therefore didn’t participate in the finals. While it would have been nice to have the additional driving experience, the Dreadbots still were grateful for being able to compete and meet new people.

Dreadbot mentors, Mrs. Lindskov and Mrs. Bryson, show intensity during their sole opportunity to compete with Dexter’s robot. Photo by Dan Robelen.

Another thing the Dreadbots enjoyed was watching their mentors drive the robot during the mentor matches (just-for-fun matches that let the students enjoy watching their mentors attempt to operate the competition robot). In 2018, the Dreadbot mentors won the mentor match competition. This year there were 2 rounds and they drove the robot very well, but lost the second to another fine alliance of other excited mentors. A great part of this was every mentor on Dexter’s drive team was female. The Dreadbots were ecstatic over this and cheered even louder.

During the awards ceremony, the Dreadbots won the “Excellent Electrical Systems Award” celebrating their ultrasonics systems that they have been working on. The team was excited and surprised as nobody was expecting to win an award. The presenter of the awards stated, “[the award] is given to the team who gave special attention to the details and functionality of the electrical systems on their robot.” The Electrical team felt especially appreciated by this award and are even more confident about organizing their space and training the new team members for the 2020 season.

The 2020 Dreadbot Drive Team Candidates outside the Kettering Competition. Photo by Dan Robelen

This upcoming year, the Dreadbots are looking forward to building an amazing robot with the new game theme, INFINITE RECHARGETM. Although the game rules will not be released until January 2020, the Dreadbots have some suspicions as to its theme. With up to 35 new Dreadbots at their new build space at Wylie Elementary School, the new team members are currently outnumbering the 21 returning students. The Dreadbots are looking forward to a great year demonstrating and inspiring STEM in the community, and the Dreadbot’s outing at Kettering was a great kickoff for the new season.