Beginning rounds, called seeded rounds, consist of one robot navigating the challenge unopposed. After each team has played three of these rounds, they begin double-elimination rounds.
Charlie Banes, part of the three-man Hampton High School team along with Ian Waldschmidt and Braden Duderstudt, said double elimination is his favorite part.
“Normally you have one robot in the challenge,” he said. “In the double-elimination rounds, you have your robot and another team’s against each other.”
The rounds certainly went well for the Hampton boys, who came in fourth overall and won a special Judge’s Choice Award.
“At our regional tournament we made zero, zero and another zero,” Banes said. “Here, we haven’t made any zeroes.”
Participants may travel from far and wide to take part, but a Normanite scanning the program would find several familiar names. Whittier Middle and Alcott Middle school attended, as did the TechMakers of Oklahoma City and Southwest Covenant School from Yukon.
The name that carried the day, however, was Norman Advanced Robotics. The team carried a perfect record into the final match of the double-elimination portion Wednesday. The Dead Robot Society of Herndon, Va., had taken one defeat but had a reputation as a team to watch.
The crowd was still and breathless as the match started, but the air quickly filled with exclamations, groans and cheers as Norman’s bot lifted two plastic booster sections and transferred them to a section of pipe, earning 40 points. The Society’s bot attempted the same maneuver but ultimately failed as it caught a pole at a confusing angle and couldn’t maneuver away.
The Norman bot reached for another set of booster sections but dropped them both before it reached the pipe. Fans tensed at the mistake, but with the Society’s bot still bumping against the pole, time ran out.