Dexter Dreadbots Battle it Out at Bellville

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Freddie Babe and Mason Portice take the robot onto the field for a match.

From Cahne Smith, Dreadbot Reporter

The Dexter Dreadbots robotics team completed their first competition of the 2021-2022 season at Bellville. This was Dexter’s first time on the field since 2019 and they’re electrified to be back.

While going up against plenty of other phenomenal teams from all over Michigan, the Dreadbots progressed to the quarterfinals, and that’s not all. These dedicated students earned the coveted Innovation in Control award for the outstanding application of electrical, mechanical, and software control on their robot.

The Dreadbots after receiving the Innovation in Control Award

Judges specifically mentioned the Dreadbot’s turret and ball-handling system. Many students worked on the five unique subsystems: the ball feeder, turret targeting system, trajectory directing hood system, flywheel, and vision targeting camera.

The Dreadbots aren't going to sink yet. The team has been working hard at further system improvements and still has the Jackson competition on April 8-9 (set up on the 7th) to sail towards (held at Spring Arbor University, McDonald Athletic Center, 220 2nd Street, Spring Arbor, MI). The event will be live-streamed from FIRST’s twitch page and can be viewed there, or can be attended in-person free of charge. If the Dreadbots perform splendidly they will then be invited to FIRST’s statewide competition, held at SVSU on April 13-16.

Ethan Norush led the “EGGS” chant to cheer on the team, with the help of Calvin Ophoff, Conner Koch, Josh Fernandez, and Will Weiszhaar. Note: Team 3656 numerals can be re-arranged to spell “eggs.” Just because.

Team spirit and gracious professionalism are very important elements of robotics to the Dreadbots. The Dreadbot lead cheers to help support their robot and drive team on the field and keep the energy positive! Gracious professionalism is showing respect to other teams and keeping the spirit of the competition true, and is valued and respected greatly by the Dreadbots.

Don’t let the excitement of the field let you forget about what happens behind the stage. In the pits of the competition, FIRST judges interview students from each team about their progress. Discussions are not limited to the robot, teams will talk about their community and other service projects they may have done. This is not only a way to show off more of the robot but helps the judges see what the students learned. Many different awards can be given based on these interactions, and awards come with points to help qualify a team for further advancement and competitions.

Cahne Smith, Cole Scheller, and Liam Harkness explain the Dreadbot team and robot to the FIRST judges.

The Dreadbots appreciate all the community support that has helped the team weather the pandemic, and continue their mission of “Building People by Building Robots!”

The Dreadbot’s website can be found right here.

Photos: Courtesy of Dreadbots

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