Robot Release Video

Our highest scoring match at the Spring Arbor event 

In this semi-final match we scored a whopping 123 points with team 7501 and 3322.  

Quickly after this match we got to finals and fought the top team in the event.  

Summary of the  Spring Arbor Event 

At the Spring Arbor Qualifier on March 3 and 4, we had a rough start in the competition, with belts breaking, code not working, and broken can wires not working consistently. However, we also had a number of successes during the course of the qualifier. But, to achieve these, we had to solve the aforementioned problems. 

Our first problem was in the first match, where the can wire broke and our arm stopped working. A can wire communicates with all the motors and sensors and tells them what to do. When our can wire broke, it disallowed us to actively use our arm during the match. Thus, we became a defense bot. We prevented other robots from being able to speedily gather and place game elements. At first, we weren’t sure what the issue was, and we believed it to be a coding issue. However, through further inspection, we found a broken wire that prevented our motors from working properly. It was very hard to find because when the bucket was a certain way, the wire was connected, and worked just fine. But, when it was flipped the other way, it stopped working. This made it difficult to locate the issue.  To fix this, we replaced the wire to make our motors and sensors finally work. 

We were also faced with the problem of belts in our arms breaking. They were under immense stress because of the speed at that the arms were moving. This caused the belts to break. However, because the kind of belts that we used was very specific, we could not ask other teams for belts for our robot. This led us to super-glue the belts together, which led to problems in the long run.

While we did have a number of problems during the competition, we also achieved success. We were picked by the 8th alliance captain and went on to become finalists for the 2023 Spring Arbor Qualifier. We also won the Rookie All Star Award which boosted us the State Competition. Overall, this competition was great exposure to the new members of the team, and everyone had a really fun time during the competition.

Our highest scoring match at the Lakeview event   

Summary of the Lakeview #1 event 

At the Lakeview #1 qualifier, our team ranked first place after all the qualification matches and was the captain of the first alliance. We also scored our highest point match of 143 without penalties during a qualifier match! While picking teams for our alliance, we partnered with team 5675, the WiredCats and team, 4810, I Am Robot. Our alliance was successful in its round 1 but was unfortunately sent to the losers bracket in round 2 because one of our robots tipped over! The match resulted in a 126 to 144 point match, sending alliance 4 to the winners bracket. However, our alliance fought our way back up to finals and faced an intense best 2 of 5 matches due to 1 matched tie and 1 match that was shut down because of a safety issue involving the field. Our alliance won finals and we were the champions of the #1 Lakeview event! Our team, 9312 NERD Spark, also won the Highest Rookie Seed and the Rookie Inspiration awards at the qualifier! 

Our highest scoring match in States 

Summary of States event

At the FIRST in Michigan State Competition, we faced a number of successes and failures. Our auton code was not working for most of the competition and we worked throughout the competition to fix this. In between our last qualifier and the State competition, we worked on getting a two-cone auton using Java code. In past qualifiers, we used a different language called Labview to run our auton. However, for the State competition, we decided to use Java in order to be able to use path planning. But this came with a few problems. During our qualifying matches, the Java code was not working because it not opening the gripper right and the paths were off. So, we had to switch back and forth between Java and Labview depending on how Java worked and how we needed a balance. Despite all this, we still placed 13th in the APTIV division! We got picked by the 7th place alliance and won against the 2nd alliance before we lost and were eliminated from the competition during the semi-finals. During these playoffs, we decided to use our two-cone Java code after further changes and testing throughout the competition. We were able to successfully deliver 2 cones during auton, with the second cone landing in the bottom node. We ended up as the highest-placed rookie seed in the APTIV division and later went on to win the Rookie All-Star Award which secured us a spot at the World Competition in Houston! All in all, this was a great experience for all team members and after-hours with the team brought the team together in ways unimaginable. We all had a great time and can’t wait for the World Competition in two weeks! 

Our time at the Worlds Competition event


For awards, we won the Rookie All Star Award of the Johnson Division, Championship Division Highest Rookie Seed for Johnson, and Championship Division Winner for Johnson. This was done with hard work and dedication from our leadership, build, and programming team. We all worked to do our best during pit interviews, and our drive team and programming team were focused on doing the best we can during our qualification matches and our playoffs.


At the beginning of the Worlds Tournament, we played 10 matches in qualifiers, in which we won 6 with one tie. During the qualifiers, we were running our 3 cone auton, where we would place all 3 cones into the bottom hybrid node. At the beginning, the auton was inconsistent, and led to us having to fix it in between matches, and not getting time to test it. This led to us losing some matches in the beginning, however, after much fixing, we managed to get the auton working, where we started winning more of our matches. Despite this, however, we were able to be in 17th at the end of the last day of qualifiers, and we were then picked as the second pick of the first alliance.


Then after finishing with a record of 6-3-1 we headed into alliance selection being ranked the 17th team in Johnson Division. As the first round of picks went by we did not hear our name called. Then as the 2nd round of picks started to roll out we still did not hear our name but as it was the number 1 alliance's time to pick they called out Team #9312 NERD Spark and we gladly accepted to be picked by the number 1 overall team and fellow Michigan Native (#2075 Enigma Robotics). They formed an alliance of  #2075 Enigma Robotics, #973 Greybots, #9312 NERD Spark, and #4607 C.I.S. During our playoffs, we switched our code from Java to LabVIEW because it fit better with our partners. We mainly ran Java in quals and LabVIEW in playoffs. But our LabVIEW auton code in the beginning was not consistent and not performing as well as we expected, but we did make up for it in teleop by doing numerous cycles each match. As we went through the playoffs of the Johnson division we beat the number 8, 4, and 2 alliances to put us in the finals. Then when we got to the finals of the playoffs on Johnson we had to face a very fierce opponent. They were the number 6 alliance who almost consistently scored over 200 points. The first game of the best of three we lost mainly because our alliance was less coordinated. But in our next 2 games, we adapted and won both matches, making our alliance the winners of the Johnson Division! After winning in the Johnson Division we were on to the Einstein Field where it would get much harder. Moving into Einstein the energy was exuberant and electric, some could say we were charged up! Our first match was against the Daly Division which we unfortunately lost to. During this match our auton failed to climb onto the charge station which gave Daly the early lead and eventually the win, sending us to the lower bracket of Einstein. After this match, we were subbed out for #4607 C.I.S  who performed very well and helped our alliance win our next two matches on Einstein against Milstein and Newton. Then we met the Daly Division once again in our 4th match. It was a intense match and we ended up with a tied score of 201 to 201 but we unfortunately lost on tech fouls. It was a tough loss but our first Worlds experience was very fun, energetic, and a great environment to be in and express our love for Robotics. 

Summary of the Indiana Robotics Invitational (IRI) event 

Indiana Robotics Invitational (IRI) is an off-season competition in which top FRC teams from around the world are invited to compete in a two-day tournament. We were the only rookie team invited because of our performance this season. NERD Spark got the chance to attend and interact with much more experienced and established teams. We enjoyed competing with and against some of the best teams in the world. We met new teams and learned about not only their robot, but the inner workings of each team, their outreach, and their history. We made many new friends and hope to see them in future competitions.

Summary of the Rainbow Rumble event 

For the Rainbow Rumble Event, I, along with many others on the team, got to experience driving the robot for the first time. For the event, we had 2 people for each of the drive positions (driver, co-pilot, and human player). This event allowed us to use a new drive team that wasn’t able to practice driving in time for the events, but still wanted to try driving the robot, or be on the drive team. We decided to have 2 main drive teams for this event, where we would alternate every round. Although our drive team was fairly in-experienced, we still managed to place fairly high in the rankings, placing 9th after qualifiers. In alliance selection, we were paired with 7211, 7197, and 4327, where we got to round 3. Overall this event let members of the team be able to practice driving in a safe environment, and we also had a lot of fun doing so.

Summary of the Goonettes event 

Goonettes is an off-season robotics competition where the girls are encouraged to run the show. Many of us girls on NERD Spark hadn’t spent much time driving the robot as that wasn’t our main focus on the team. However, when we heard of this competition we all jumped at the chance to try out our skills. At the competition, we managed to make it onto the first alliance as the first pick, and we ended the competition as finalists. It was an amazing experience, and we hope to attend for many years to come. Thanks, Goonettes!