Team 5499 at the FIRST Festival of Champions

Last week Team 5499 and Tsumugi travelled all the way from Berkeley, California to attend the FIRST Festival of Champions in Manchester, New Hampshire, a Super Bowl-esque event in which the champion alliances from the East (St. Louis) and the West (Houston) battled for glory. Team 5499, along with the other teams of the Red Alliance including Team 973, Team 1011, and Team 4188 kicked it off with a two-win lead over the Blue Alliance in the best-of-five competition. Tsumugi did an excellent job at collecting gears for its team mates by accumulating an astonishing average of five gears per match, not to mention the autonomous mode that perfectly scored a gear every match. Tsumugi proved to be a real ape by effortlessly climbing the rope at the end of four matches.  The Team proved it had earned its place in the 2017 Class of Champions with five matches in a row free of errors.

Unfortunately, the Blue alliance snatched the win from the Red Alliance’s clutches with a sudden three-win streak. Congratulations to Team 254, Team 2767, Team 1676, and Team 862 of the Blue Alliance for winning the FIRST Festival of Champions. Team 5499 thanks you all for playing a great game and providing an entertaining experience.

Speaking of entertaining experiences, Team 5499 was graciously invited to attend a tour of DEKA. On the tour, DEKA uncovered some of the many technologies they are currently working on, including prosthetic arms for wounded veterans and stair climbing wheelchairs for disabled people.

The wheelchairs would’ve definitely come in handy when climbing the giant stairs of Dean Kamen’s house where all the teams were invited to eat dinner and hang out. The place was so big and full of art that it felt more like a museum than a home. It even came with its own basketball/tennis court and baseball field. Many teams found joy in rolling down the hills sideways, playing kickball, and Ultimate Frisbee. I even got to talk with Dean himself. Needless to say, it was worth the 30 minute shuttle wait times.