The mission of the Louisville Centrons FIRST Robotics Team is to allow our students to explore a synthesis of academic disciplines, including Engineering, Informational Technology, and Business Marketing. Our members will work to design, build, and market a competitive robot while supporting the ideals of FIRST.
We started our FIRST team in 2019. The plan was to create a student-centered team that would create experiences that would lead to future academic success. Our students had successfully competed in 15 VEX tournaments in the four year prior, as well as hosting two tournaments of our own, but we felt that FIRST would be a great step forward. We were able to have university Engineering students assist with design. Our goal was to successfully design and build a FIRST robot and to compete in a regional event.
The result was a ninety-six pound, four foot tall beautiful robot that actually worked! We were able to attend the Smoky Mountain Regional in Knoxville where we performed far better than we expected. Fifteen of our students spent the first few days of their spring break at the event, and all of them came back with happy memories. Later in the year, we took the robot to various demonstrations, including Louisville's Maker Faire.
Our second year was a bit tough. In March, our newest robot was almost finished, and we were all set to go back to Knoxville. Then all of a sudden everything dropped out from underneath us; COVID shut our district down. All field trips were cancelled for the next year and a half. We were able to finish our second bot, but we never found out how much of a contender it could have been.
When everybody finally returned to school, we were ready to get going again. In August of 2021, we started building a practice bot to get reacquainted with the process. In January of 2022, we designed and built a new bot.
In April 2022 we attended our second Knoxville tournament. We won a number of matches, but there were some design flaws in our ball intake. It gave us the opportunity to do some serious on-the-fly engineering. Our students kept the robot going for the entire tournament.
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