Community News

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The Anacortes FIRST Robotics Team 3238 are winners again, after competing against 39 other FIRST robotics teams from Washington State, and finishing as District Champions and winners of the Industrial Safety Award and Imagery Award last weekend. 

The 2016 competition game “FIRST Stronghold” has five castle defenses on the field that must be breached by a teams’ robot. Defenses include ramparts, a rock wall, a drawbridge, a moat, a sally port, a cheval de fries, a portcullis, and a 15 inch low bar. After breaching (going under, over, or through) the defenses, the robot collects  “boulders” (10” foam balls) that must be shot into an 8-foot high or ground-level goal in a castle tower on each end of the game field. Points are accrued by breaching the different defenses and shooting balls into the low and high goals, as well as parking on the “batter” – ramps at the bottom of the castle tower – and parking there without rolling off when the game ends.

With 9 wins and 3 losses in the qualifying matches, Team 3238 finished 6 – 0 in the finals, bringing home the win. The Cyborg Ferrets scored the most balls in the high goal for the entire weekend and was the only team able to breach the opposing castle’s defenses every match.

Thanks to the performance during the Mountainview competition, Team 3238 is already being recognized for its robot’s ability to go over the cheval de fries or under the portcullis during the 20-second autonomous period when the robot operates solely off a preprogrammed code.  F.R.E.D (Ferret Robotic Entrenching Device) – as this year’s robot is fondly known – is also developing a reputation for being a very consistent and dependable machine with a drive team to match.

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In addition to the Winner award, Team 3238 also brought home the coveted Industrial Safety Award which is sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories. This award celebrates the team that progresses beyond safety fundamentals by using innovative ways to eliminate and protect against hazard. The Cyborg Ferrets spent many hours focused on improving their safety program this year and this award is well deserved. 

The Cyborg Ferrets also brought home the Imagery Award which recognizes the team with the strongest branding and visual aesthetics. At the beginning of the build season, when the medieval theme of the season was fully explained, the community outreach students and mentors decided to construct a “castle” using our pit superstructure as a base. With the help of many mentors and the whole team, the pits resembles a castle, with stone walls, torches, tapestries on the wall, crenellations and machicolations on the ramparts, and a portcullis behind the arched entryway. The Imagery award was won based on the pit design, team shirts with a medieval banner and castle crenellation motif, team buttons that showed the logo mounted on a castle, and a sponsor board on the robot that also sported crenellations.

The success at Mountainview is based on the hard work and effort the team put into the six-week build season. On January 9, 2016, FIRST Robotics supplied all of the teams worldwide with the challenge they had to tackle. The teams then had 45 days to build a robot to meet the challenges laid out in the Stronghold game.

Team 3238 spent many hours studying the 150-page rule book and designing robot prototypes that could meet the challenges and earn the most points. The team then completed a working prototype by the end of week three which allowed the drive team to begin practicing. After several days of test driving, the team built the competition robot updating some systems and adding needed improvements 

Team 3238 will compete at the District Competition being held on March 19-20 at the Mount Vernon High School. All members of the community are invited to attend. Opening Ceremonies begin at 8:30am on Saturday and qualifying matches begin immediately after. For further details, visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.