In late 2009, the Eagle Imperium was founded at Skyline High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan by physics teacher David Coupland. The team was comprised of only freshmen and sophomores, as the school was only two years old. The mascot of Skyline High School is an eagle, so that’s where the eagle part of our name comes from. We chose to add a Roman element, and as such, we chose the name “Eagle Imperium.” An imperium, as we defined on our 2012 t-shirts, is a sphere of influence or dominion — an empire. The Romans, well known for their incredible empire that stretched across Europe, were legendary engineers. Thus, our Roman theme is actually quite fitting for a robotics team. Furthermore, the Romans were fascinated by eagles, as they adorned their legionnaire standards with them. Currently, we are comprised of first through third year members through all four grades.
In 2016, our member size went back down to around 50. During the pre-build season, we had “modules”, where anyone who wanted to could learn from the leaders of each subteam, potentially becoming a member of the team. We changed the team organization a lot this season; we combined the programming, electrical, and aesthetic duties into the Controls team. Instead of the mentors handling everything, we elected three team captains to take on more of the organization of the team, including leading team meetings, keeping everyone on task, deciding team activities, and leading the newly created Systems subteam – a subteam of the subteam leaders to organize the team. Instead of JV taking on some of the supporting duties, since that resulted in them having nothing to do each meeting, they made their own robot, essentially functioning as a separate team with close connections to the Varsity team. Through this, we could evaluate the members to move to Varsity, get the Varsity members practice teaching/explaining their ideas to the JV team, and allow all members to learn and get experience with robotics. In place of the JV team doing the supporting duties, we opened up temporary teams to work extra.
After our three years of generously being allowed to use the Maker Works space to work and store tools, we moved our main base of operation to Skyline, although we still used the Maker Works tools, as Skyline did not own a lot of the specialized tools necessary to build our robot.
We named our robot Q-bot, after our long-time mentor Quentin, who had to leave the team after many years of dedication. We made it to the finals in our second district competition, narrowly missing the championship by 4 points in the second round.
Read more about our 2016 robot.
In 2015, we had a large increase to about 60 members. In the pre-build season we divided up into several sub-teams. The sub-teams worked on general improvements and necessities before week zero. We where still stationed in Maker Works back then. We divided up into JV and Varsity teams fairly early on. The JV teams where mostly composed of Freshman and a few Sophomores. They where in charge of building a practice field, rebuilding the robo-cart and making a new and improved laptop moving rack thingy. The Varsity teams were Marketing (Media P/R and Chairmen’s), Drive Train, Above and Below Chassis and finally Programming/Electrical.
The robot was called Jimmy John in dedication to two of are mentors who left after the 2014 season ended. With the Jimmy John bot, we made it to worlds. According to Tom Natter( the “famous” FRC game announcer) we “broke the periodic table”, by stacking two stacks of gray totes with only one recycle bin. At states our team actually met the governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder.
In 2014, our members moved up from 50 to 54. Now that the team’s been around for a while, our numbers are rounding off. We have also settled into the sub-teams of Drive Train, Above Chassis, Programming/Electric, and Marketing/Communications. Also, we have the Junior Varsity teams of Temple Redesign, Field Elements, and LED Display. We stayed at Maker Works for our build space.
For 2014, the game theme was Aerial Assist. We participated in the Howell District Competition; everyone did a great job, and we won the Judges Award, though our robot was damaged in one of the matches. We also participated in the Livonia District Competition, where we made it to the semi-finals and were awarded the Imagery Award. This put us far enough up in the rankings to get us to the Michigan State Championship.
During the 2013 year we had an increase of members from 46 to about 50. Due to to the great performance of the team last year not much was changed from the 2012 to the 2013 season in terms of team structure. We also moved over to a new build space donated to us by Maker Works (3808), with 830, 1076, and a few independent companies.
We participated in the game Ultimate Ascent. In the Kettering competition we made it to the quarter finals in the sixth seed alliance, with 3773 and 703. In Grand Blanc we were Quarter-Finalists in the seventh seed alliance, with 1025 and 508. We were also awarded the Imagery Award in Grand Blanc.
However we didn’t make it to States or Livonia this year. It was disappointing but we didn’t lose our team spirit or our graciously professional attitude. After the season we happily showed up to many events including an all-girls competition in Bloomfield hills.
The third year of Eagle Imperium’s existence also marks the first year that Skyline High School holds a class for all grades. A full school of students also meant a full team of eager students, ready to learn and experience the fun of FRC. From 2011, Team 3322 grew a great amount to 46 students from 32 students. With such a large number of students, the team took an unprecedented step by splitting the team to have a captain and two co-captains. Each of the two co-captains leaded either sides of the team, engineering and marketing. Beyond the engineering-marketing split, each side of the team also had several sub-teams. Engineering included an Effector, Drive train, LabView programming, and C++ programming team. Marketing included a Media/Public relations, and a Website team.
The 2012 season build season came and passed faster than expected and the team was never more ready to compete. After just one event at Kettering University ending up as finalists, the team hoped for a better showing at Livonia.
The team got just that! Team 3322 seeded first at Livonia and selected Team 1023, Bedford Express and Team 2620, The Titans to become the winners of the 2012 Livonia Competition. This is the first time that Team 3322 has ever won a banner. Team 3322 also ranked 4th in the FIRST in Michigan ranking system. At the Michigan State Championship, we managed to make it to the semi-finals before being knocked out, and we ended up being ranked 11th in the FIRST in Michigan ranking system, which allowed us to take a trip down to St.Louis for the International Championship. There, Team 3322 was picked up by the first seeded alliance in the Galileo Division, where we ended up going on a losing streak and being eliminated from the rest of the competition.
The biggest change from our 2010 season was the number of students that were on our team. We expanded from a low number of 14 to a high number of 32 students. With this new level of man-power, the team was able to sub-divide into sub-groups to design and build various parts of the robot. The sub-teams that existed included drive train, arm, minibot, and media/public relations.
The season started off in January of 2011, but unlike last year, we did not have Team 830, working in the same space as us. That meant that questions and knowledge did not flow as well between the two teams. The team also changed its build space from Washtenaw Community College to Skyline High School.
The participated in Logo Motion. Our first competition was the Kettering Competition, where we successfully became the an alliance captain. The next competition was actually hosted at our very own Skyline High School, where we became an alliance captain again. There, we won the Imagery Award for our minibot. While we didn’t make it to the state competition that year, we traveled to St. Louis for the FIRST Championships.
In our rookie year of 2010, Eagle Imperium fielded a very simple robot named Seizure. Our team’s mentors and students together held zero years of cumulative FRC experience, rendering the entire team new and inexperienced.
The participated in the game Breakaway. Building the robot, we worked in a local community college’s machine shop alongside the experienced FIRST Robotics Team 830, Rat Pack, who showed us the ropes of how to be a FIRST team. Within the team, ideas about how to play the game quickly developed. But challenges became harder to fix as the season progressed. The team lacked a programmer, so a freshman named Shailen P. took up the challenge of learning LabView within the six week build season. The team spent a lot of time reading the guides that FIRST provided in order to learn simple electronics and pneumatics configurations and setup.
After two district events, we won the Rookie All-Star award twice, and we were also ranked the highest rookie seed at the Ann Arbor District Competition. As a result, we made it to the Michigan State Championship Competition and played against the top teams in the state.