New to FIRST?

Hello, Robolions team members, mentors, friends, and community members! Welcome to "The Fourth Law of Robotics," home to University City High School's FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Team. We hope to use this blog to inform you about what we're up to.
We compete in the FRC (First Robotics Competition), an annual competition where we have six weeks to build a robot from scratch. This year's game is Recycle Rush. We'll post updates here to let you all know what we're up to with building (and competing with) our robot!
We also are now competing in FTC (First Tech Challenge), the next level down from FRC. The game was called Ring It Up!

Friday, April 29, 2011

CRio problem fixed!

So earlier I had mentioned that our CRio module died during the match today. Well, we just recieved notice from our coach that the CRio has been replaced (so, basically our robot got a brain transplant) and is now working! Horray!

Recap on today

Today was an interesting day at the competition. There were ups and downs. We won 2 out of the 4 matches, and the ones we lost were against really good teams.

Our third match was great. Our alliance partners scored beautifully and we defended like beasts, so all together, it was a great match.

In our fourth match of the day, our robot stopped in the middle of the match. We couldn't move it at all, and couldn't figure out what was wrong. So we took it back to the pit after the match (which we unfortunately lost) and checked it out- turns out our CRio module was dead. Now, this is very upsetting because the CRio is like the brain of the robot, and is not supposed to break. Last I heard they were getting it checked out by a National Instruments guy at the pit, but haven't heard anything since.

We will be back at it tomorrow, with two matches- our first match is at 8:45 am. Then after tomorrow morning, that's it- elimination rounds begin tomorrow afternoon, and we are crossing our fingers to make it to elim rounds, but we are happy to have just made it to the championship at all.

Tonight is the big and special guests show for all FIRST students, so we are all excited for that.

Photos can again be found at the facebook page, UCHS Robolions. Check us out, become a fan! Peace!


CORRECTION- We will NOT be in the Dome today. They switch around which teams are in the dome every day, so we will be playing in the Convention center. There will be bleachers for people to sit in and watch.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Follow us on Twitter!

We are officially on Twitter now! I'm having some difficulties setting up the page, but you can still follow us- @Robolions3397. Check it out!

First day at Championship!

It was a great first (FIRST, haha no pun intended!) day at the International Competition! We met teams from all over- Mexico, Canada, Australia, Israel, and more! There were also teams from all around the country- even Hawaii!

Competitions went smoothly. Our new arm design worked like a dream, until it broke in the last match. But it will be an easy fix. Anyways, we won 3 of our 4 matches, and currently our team is placed in 12th out of 88 teams. It's very exciting! There are so many good teams there- everyone has amazing robots. And of course, everyone is super nice :) Our newest member, Chip, commented on that when he got to the competition, saying "Everyone here is so nice! They just come up and talk to you!" He's right- it's a great, friendly competition!

For those of you who are interested in the mechanics of the competition, I'll just give a few details on that. We have been playing defense, with our new arm designed to fold down and take tubes to our alliance's side of the field, essentially stealing them from the other team. It works well. We have also been blocking the other teams from getting to their pegs to hang the tubes. We choose our strategy depending on who we are up against. If it's a team that's very good at scoring, we will usually try to block them. If it's a team that's a bit slower, we just steal tubes from them, and give them to our team members to hang on our pegs.

Tomorrow is another day of qualification rounds, and our first match is at 10:54 on Galileo field, which is in the Dome. Our cheering section is section 115, so if you would like to come watch, you can find Ucity fans there :) Be sure to wear your black and gold!!

To see pictures from the competition, you can become a fan of us on Facebook. Here's our page:!/pages/UCHS-Robolions/100562556650786

Tomorrow night is the big FIRST concert/party thing as well. and "special guests"- we're hoping the rest of the Black Eyed Peas- are going to be there, as well as the famous Dean Kamen, and rumor has it that Morgan Freeman is going to be there too! They will be walking around the pits, hopefully we will catch a glimpse and maybe get an autograph or two!

One last thing- our views  have gone over 1,000! Thanks to all of our readers! Be sure to share us with your friends and coworkers, and see you at the competition! Peace!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Final Minibot Design- WORKS!

Follow the link to see our minibot work!

(for some reason I couldn't get it to embed...:( Don't know why)

Fresh new look!

So upon entering the AutoCAD room this evening, we discovered a surprise waiting for us. Our teacher sponsorer, Mr. Gibson (who is the AutoCAD teacher as well as football coach) had gifted us with fresh new black-and-gold warmup jackets! They are complete with the logo and everything! The coaches got official-looking coach's polos, and all of us students got the jackets and pants. We look like the awesome team we are now. Thanks, Mr. Gibson! It's a gift better than we could have imagined!

Also, Chris brought in the banner that his mom graciously made and donated to the team. It looks awesome as well- thanks, Mrs. Matthews! Hey, if you are interested in her making banners for your team or business, visit her website,

We also got Boeing lables to stick on our robot to show our thanks for the company, who has donated time, money and mentors to help our team get started and acquire the resources needed to get the most out of this experience! So, thanks to Boeing as well!

Overall, it's been a good day (if you couldn't tell.) Right now the parents and mentors are having a meeting, and the students are working on the final stages of the minibot construction.

We can't wait for the competition to start! Only 48 more hours :) See you at the competition!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Just a reminder to all our lovely readers that we are still selling FIRST lightbulbs! To refresh your memory, here are the statistics about the benefits of these lightbulbs:

  • They are LED- safe to use, no harmful mercury, easy to dispose of!
  • They shine as bright as a 60 watt lightbulb while using only 7 watts of electricity!
  • They only cost 84 cents a year to run!
  • And they last for 9 years on average!
  • They support a program that teaches engineering, problem-solving, and life skills as well as encourages kids to find innovative solutions to the problems of the future- nurturing a generation that's ready to solve problems like the energy crisis, water crisis, and other issues that will affect every one of us.
At only $20 a bulb, they are a great deal, and the benefits that come with them will stay with you for a long time. Plus, here's a special deal- if you order 5 or more bulbs, you can get a dollar off each bulb!

If you are interested in purchasing lightbulbs for you or your business, you can comment here, or contact us at


Updates- the robot, the closing of Lambert Airport, etc.

Whew, it's been a whirlwind of a month since our last post! Our team has been working hard to finish up the new arm design. The new arm is designed to be more of a defensive apparatus, with a PVC pipe hook-like device that can grab tubes out of other robots' grasps. We are planning to attach the new arm to Quorra on Wednesday night when we set up at the Dome.

In other news, Saint Louis was just hit by a huge storm! We had major thunder and lightning, with heavy rainfall and even a tornado or two. In fact, Lambert International Airport was hit by a tornado, and has been closed indefininitely. This obviously poses a problem to FIRST teams trying to fly in for the competition! Lambert has not said when they expect to have the airport up and running, so for now, teams will most likely be diverted to other airports such as the Chicago airport or Kansas City. For more information and for weather forecasts, please visit:

Now for the exciting news: The competition begins on Thursday! Yay! So for all of you interested in coming out to watch us, we will be on Galileo field. Volunteers can help you find where that is. Here is the rest of the where/when/what information:

Where: Edwards Jones Dome and the Convention Center in Downtown STL. Here's venue information:

When: Matches begin Thursday, April 28th and go until Saturday, April 30th.

And for any of you UCity Students, you can earn extra credit for Mr. Brooks' chemistry class if you come to the competition on Saturday anywhere between 8:15 and 10:30 (our last matches are then.) and get a signature from one of the coaches. Other teachers might consider extra credit as well!

We hope to see everyone at the competition! And good luck to our alliance teams from the St. Louis regional- the Hazelwood East Robohawks and the Camdenton Lasers!