FIRST Robotics Team 324, CHIPS, is a robotics team that was created as a partnership between Clear Creek Independent School District (CCISD) and NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC). The team was established in the summer of 2019 in preparation for the 2020 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) season.
Chips is the fourth NASA JSC house team and the second CCISD team. The team’s workspace is located at Clear Brook High School in Friendswood, TX. The school district’s head-quarters is located in League City, TX.
On January 9th, 2021, the Chips team met in the Clear Brook HS cafeteria for the first (and hopefully last) completely virtual FRC kickoff. Because of the CoronaVirus pandemic this was to be a very different type of FRC year. There was a hint of a slim possibility of in-person competitions, any such competitions would be a replay of the 2020 game with minor modifications to the rules. There would also be several challenges that would be played out completely at home. The At Home challenge was a collection of five skills events that would be done at home with video submissions for competition. The Innovation Challenge was a competition of teams developing concepts and designs of things to help with people’s health. The Game Design competition allowed teams to develop a completely new FRC game. There were also the traditional judged awards such as the Chairman’s Award, Woodie Flowers, Dean’s List, and robot design awards that were done completely virtually.
After some discussion Chips decided to participate in all of the competitions and challenges. With the intent of creating a new robot designed to play at in-person competitions when they were rescheduled. After a few weeks FIRST announced that there would be no in-person competitions so Chips went all-in on designing an At Home challenge robot. While still working on the other challenges.
Chips finished 9th in their division for the Robot Challenges. Chips won the Creativity Award for Game Design.
As a “new veteran” team, Chips participated in the Channelview FIRST in Texas district event (March 6 – 8) with our robot Ahoy. After qualifying matches, Chips was ranked 3rd with a record of 8-4-0. Chips accepted an invitation by the 1st seed, 5427, SteelTalons and was joined by 5908, Spartans for the elimination matches. The alliance won 2 of 3 quarterfinal matches and lost both semifinal matches. Chips was also presented the Innovation in Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation. Chips was temporarily presented with the Highest Seeded Rookie award but promptly returned the award because of the new veteran status instead of rookie status.
Shortly after the Channelview event, the FIRST season was suspended due to the Coronavirus. At this time, Chips was being listed/voted as the fourth best team in the south by FIRST Updates Now (FUN).
The remainder of the suspended season was cancelled.
As a pre-rookie team, Chips participated in The Remix 2019 off-season competition. Chips rebuilt the Robonauts 2019 Everybot to compete in the competition. We rotated through a collection of drivers and human players to give as many people as possible the experience of being behind the glass. We were the 25th pick, the 3rd pick on the 1st alliance, joining team 3310, 148, and 5417. We finished in 2nd Place.