New Students Joining Team

We hosted our “open house” today and had quite a few new students come join our team! Great to see people excited and ready to jump right in, whether getting started on their VEX bots or learning about roles on the FRC team. We will all be ready to hit the ground running come competition season!

We have one more new student welcome meeting on Monday 9/9 and hope that some additional recruits make it out to our shop for some introductions and fun. Still deciding? No pressure, just come see what we are all about!

VEX Worlds in Kentucky!

WOW. What a week it has been!

Two of our VEX teams (K and R) qualified to compete on the world stage in Louisville, Kentucky for the 2019 event. Our travelers had such amazing opportunities to collaborate with teams from across the globe.

Some photos of the trip, courtesy of our parent chaperones to whom we are incredibly grateful.

Team cheer

Team cheer

2 adjacent pits, each 10 x 10 feet. PLENTY of room for a 12 x 12 field!

2 adjacent pits, each 10 x 10 feet. PLENTY of room for a 12 x 12 field!

Right hand side of pit. Yes, they took all the parts as checked baggage on the plane.

Right hand side of pit. Yes, they took all the parts as checked baggage on the plane.

2158 takes on Worlds

2158 takes on Worlds

Team dinner Hard Rock Cafe

Team dinner Hard Rock Cafe

2158K was selected for an Alliance to enter playoffs, with their partner from China.

2158K was selected for an Alliance to enter playoffs, with their partner from China.

Finals match and closing ceremony

Finals match and closing ceremony

Team members with our AMAZING Mentor/ Coach/ Teacher, Mr. Wrencher

Team members with our AMAZING Mentor/ Coach/ Teacher, Mr. Wrencher

FRC World Championship Houston: WOW!

We are still reeling from the experience. IT WAS AMAZING!!!

More details to come, but for now here’s the school announcement!

Anderson Robotics, the ausTIN CANs, is having our best season in our 13 years existence.  We shocked the state with hosting VEX state championship and the first Texas FIRST District tournament this year.  Last week the state was still buzzing about how much fun they had at Anderson while we competed in the FIRST Robotics Championship in Houston.  For the first time we finished with a winning record 8-2, first time making the playoff, and first time being an alliance captain, earning the 4th top team in our region of 68 teams.   We took a big step in our program in FIRST Robotics.   How do we follow this exciting week, we are heading to VEX World Championship in Louisville, KY.  This the first time in four years we have sent both our robotics teams to the world championships.  Please congratulate any robotics team member in your class on our best season ever.

Introduction to another round of play in the Hopper division: This time as Fourth Alliance Captains!

Introduction to another round of play in the Hopper division: This time as Fourth Alliance Captains!


Well, we only thought it was over! We finished the District Tournament just below the cutoff.

Today, we received an invitation to attend Worlds and we enthusiastically replied YES!

Did you know it happens NEXT WEEK?!?

We will be scrambling to secure funding, travel plans, etc. It will all be great.

Looking forward to some fun! Want to help us get there? Please visit our Donate page!

District Championship Day 3

Well, the CANs finished strong at state -- 26th out of 64 --but not quite strong enough to make it to the top ranks in the state for the season overall and advance to Worlds. BUT, these kids amazed us all season long with their perseverance and trouble-shooting skills and they improved at every tournament.

They learned invaluable design, programming, presentation, and networking skills that will translate directly at the collegiate level and throughout their STEM careers. AND -- they had fun. At the end of the day, that's what it's all about!

Proud of you, ausTIN CANs!

Destination: Deep Space challenge has been fun!

Destination: Deep Space challenge has been fun!

District Championship Day 2

Day 2 of the FIRST IN Texas state tournament included 7 great matches bringing us to a 6-4 records and a 28/64 ranking — which is an improvement from how we started the tournament! Plus some nice news coverage from our local ABC affiliate for both our team and our sister team, the Lady Bots! Bring on day 3 and fingers crossed.

Want to watch the video on the local news? Scroll down or use this LINK!

The Drive Team (plus a camera-shy mentor) between rounds of play Day 2 District Championship

The Drive Team (plus a camera-shy mentor) between rounds of play Day 2 District Championship

Many thanks to our local ABC affiliate, KVUE, for helping us to #MakeItLoud on the local news!

OMG ROBOTS!!! CANs going to State!

Our FRC team played in Week 1 and Week 4 Events. Week 5 is the last of the District Events, and included Pasadena and Dallas excitement. Week 6 is the District Championship.

Pasadena ended on Saturday, and we cheered for our friends the Lady Cans (2881) as they won Chairman’s after almost going to the Finals. Tiebreakers in Semis are so tough!

On Sunday, going into the Final rounds in Dallas, the ausTIN CANs were ranked 59 in the state. The ten Chairman’s Award winners plus the next 54 ranked teams qualify for District Championship.

We held our breath as the Dallas tournament progressed. Award winners leapfrogged ahead of us in the rankings. And then… when it was all finalized… we DID qualify for the District Championship! Very exciting, in an anxiety-inducing way.

So happy to get to plan on seeing awesome teams this week downtown. It ought to be exciting!

Follow along online HERE.

District rankings here.

CANs advance to Playoffs in Greenville FRC event

So proud of our FRC team who had a great tournament in Greenville and wound up chosen as the #7 Alliance partner to advance to Quarterfinals. Here is the Blue Alliance summary for all the specs! It was good to see some familiar teams there, as well as getting to meet and compete with some new faces.

We were honored to be awarded the Imagery Award at the tournament as well. Congrats to our CAD team for that!

We will be eagerly watching the rest of the FIRST in Texas results as we are hoping to earn a spot at the District Championship next month. More to come soon!

CANs Host VEX Middle School Championship

Once again, Anderson High School has opened its doors to host an important tournament in the robotics world. Several teams from middle schools across the area converged at Anderson High School for the chance to advance to the world competition next month.

Members of the CANs teams served as volunteers, including refereeing matches. Many thanks to all the local parents who helped as Judges or worked to assemble/ tear down fields, run concessions, and cheer on these great teams.

Complete event information can be found here.

Congratulations to Bailey Middle School for winning all the berths at *Worlds! Have fun in Kentucky and we will be cheering for you from Texas!

*Excellence Award: 83009F, Bailey Middle School

*Tournament Champions: 83009B, Bailey Middle School

*Tournament Champions: 83009C, Bailey Middle School

Design Award: 8512C, Murchison Middle School

Judges Award: 83009C, Bailey Middle School

Robot Skills Champion: 83009G, Bailey Middle School

CANs take a well deserved break from their duties

CANs take a well deserved break from their duties

VEX Regional Championship

The ausTIN CANs had 5 VEX teams qualify for the Southwest Regional VEX Championship tournament held in Kerrville on 2/23/19. It was a dramatic finish that sadly ended with none of our teams advancing to Worlds. Tournament information can be found here.

We wish all the best to the teams that will represent our area of Texas at the next level of competition.

In the meantime, we will strive to ensure that our hosting of the Middle School Championship is a good experience for all involved. Stay tuned!

VEX Signature Event Night at the Museum

ausTIN CANs VEX team 2158K participated in the VEX Robotics Signature Event in Chantilly, Virginia in January 2019. What a tournament! There were robots from across the country, and they made for some amazing competition.

Signature Events are new in the VEX system, and this is the first one that ausTIN CANs members have attended. Team K qualified for the event by winning at the Houston Maker Faire in October, and they were in the company of several other tournament winners in D.C.

DC infographic.png

Traveling to a national event was interesting. The team planned ahead with their parent chaperones and everyone was excited to stay in the nation’s capital for an extra day of sightseeing/ college visiting. However, there was a small matter of an extended government shut down that interfered with the best laid plans. The venue (the National Air and Space Museum, part of the Smithsonian) was closed. In a logistical frenzy, the hosts were able to secure an alternate venue and the tournament was able to proceed. Sightseeing plans were scrapped, and K was just happy to have a chance to compete. Robot and tool boxes/ tournament supplies were creatively packed for air travel and off we went.

The tournament set up was amazing. An army of volunteers were serving as inspectors, judges, referees, hosts and presenters. Team members were able to meet other students from across the country, as well as some of the college faculty of the area schools. Pretty cool. One of the other teams was even able to meet for some late night practices at the hotel Friday night.

The robot’s performance was solid, which was great fun. But with an autonomous loss here and a repeated signal connectivity issue there… we missed out on some of those potential wins. The high level competition did not leave any room for error, and we watched our ranking plummet to the middle of the pack.

While we did not come away with any trophies, we did get some great experience and some new ideas to try out for our upcoming State competition. Hope to be back for this fun event next year!

Cinco Ranch New Year Pow Wow VEX tournament

Event website here.

Six ausTIN CANs VEX teams planned to travel Killeen to compete in a tournament on 1/12/19. However, with a last minute cancellation of that venue, only one of our teams was able to switch gears and go compete in the Houston area instead. Many thanks to the tournament hosts and to our mentors for getting us registered so late!

2158K took their (newly redesigned) bot to Katy where we met the friendliest hosts on a beautiful and spacious campus. It was a pleasure to compete in such a setting, and we were happy to see some familiar faces there. Still, we missed having our fellow CANs there.

The tournament started off well and then… it proceeded to reveal some areas for improvement. All to be expected with a redesign, but still a little disappointing. (Did you know it is POSSIBLE to earn zero points in a quarterfinal???)

Team K did take home the Design Award which was well-earned. Congratulations!

Design Award: 2158K (Jake, Gretchen, and David)

Design Award: 2158K (Jake, Gretchen, and David)

FRC Deep Space Launch Date!

The ausTIN CANs team met Saturday January 5th to get started with FRC Build Season. While watching Dean Kamen on the big screen was fun, the highlight is getting our hands on that game information and starting to plan our strategy. We had some members travel to Dripping Springs to pick up sample game pieces. LOVING that yellow safety goggles poster, which is already hanging in the shop and is well coordinated with our team colors!

Let the planning begin!