FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 686, Bovine Intervention, a FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) high school level robotics program at Catoctin High School in Thurmont, competed at a FIRST, off-season, 2022 West Virginia Robotics Extreme (WVRoX) competition, held at West Virginia University (WVU) in Morgantown, West Virginia, hosted by WVU and FRC Team 2614 MARS.
WVRoX, “the world’s first and only FIRST Robotics Competition endurance event,” is 26 hours and 14 minutes of a marathon-style robotics competition, with events occurring biennially. The 2022 event began on Friday, August 5, and concluded on Saturday, August 6. Bovine Intervention was the only WVRoX participating FRC team from Maryland and competed with 23 other FRC teams from Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Bovine Intervention finished the competition ranking 8 out of 24 teams and was promoted to the fifth playoff captain with their alliance selections to Team 117, Steel Dragons Robotics from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Team 325, Respawn Robotics from Hamilton, Ohio. Their alliance competed in the playoff quarterfinals.
Participating at WVRoX was part of Bovine Intervention’s summer-training program. This training benefited new rising first-year students to Catoctin High School who joined the team in June and were unfamiliar with FIRST and FRC. Existing student team members increased their skills and competition game strategies. Students also collaborated with other teams from various parts of the United States, whom they usually don’t meet during the FIRST Chesapeake District in-season competitions. To accomplish the entire duration of the marathon-style competition, students took breaks periodically at the team’s designated resting area at the event. Overall, the WVRoX unique experience inspired students, provided opportunities to operate the team’s robot, and generated much fun.
Bovine Intervention comprises various Frederick County Public School (FCPS) high school students. Students on the team are inspired and learn valuable STEM skills related to computer programming, CAD, and engineering principles for designing and building a competition robot. The team is growing and will continue their training during the fall, with outreach and another off-season event in October. All of this is in preparation for the January 2023 FIRST FRC season kickoff event. Their robot workspace and testing lab are currently held at a commercial building in Thurmont.
To learn more about Bovine Intervention and FIRST, for information and links to Facebook and Instagram sites, or if you would like to join the team, please visit the team website at www.bovineintervention.org.
An above-ground view of the robot competition field (showing six robots/teams per match in two groups or alliances of red and blue).
Team 686 Bovine Intervention (high school students and mentors).