Cinco Ranch High School Robotics Team Cryptonite Wins Greater Kansas City Regional Tournament

Kansas City, Missouri Team 624 (CRyptonite) from Cinco Ranch High School won the Greater Kansas City Regional qualifying tournament and in the process established themselves as one of the top scoring teams in FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition (FRC) teams so far this season.


As part of the tournament’s fourth-seed alliance with Team 1987 (BroncoBots) from Lee’s Summit, Missouri and Team 5801 (CTC Inspire) from Independence, Missouri, they faced the high-scoring number one seed alliance in the best-of-three semi-finals – an alliance that included a local team which has won this tournament four of the last five years.

They defeated the top alliance robots in straight matches 418-377 and 397-329.

In the first semi-final they did something that hadn’t been done by any alliance in the 6,402 matches that had been played all over the world to that point – delivering enough gears in autonomous to start two rotors (An animated explanation of the 2017 FRC game, STEAMworks, is at: )

In the 2 minute, 30 second teleop (driver-controlled) phase that followed, the three alliance robots delivered enough gears to start all four rotors turning, for a 100 point bonus, which had been achieved by very few teams world-wide at that point in the season. All three Alliance robots climbed their ropes before the end of each semi-final match for another 150 points.

“All three of the robots in our alliance could score gears in both autonomous and teleop and they were consistent climbers,” said sophomore Amelia Kleiber, the team’s head of scouting at the tournament. “This was critical in being able to defeat the powerhouse number one alliance.”

In FRC tournaments, teams are ranked top to bottom based on performance during the qualification matches. Before the start of the elimination matches, all teams send a representative to the field and the top eight teams choose their first alliance partner. Then the number eight seed chooses their third partner and picking works its way back up the rankings with the number one seed having the final pick.

“Scouting is very important, and like most FRC teams, we have scouts at every tournament,” Kleiber said, “We evaluate every robot’s performance in all the qualification matches. Then we have a meeting with other team members and come up with a pick list of robots we think will help us the most in the elimination round.”

“CTC Inspire was also high on Broncobots pick list,” Kleiber added. “When we were standing down there on

the field waiting as the lower seed alliances made their [second and then third] picks, we were wondering ‘how are they still available?’ We were so happy to be able to pick them and they performed exactly as our scouting predicted they would.”

The CRyptonite alliance won the final in straight matches, winning the final match by scoring a tournament high 494 points.

“We improved our performance over Hub City [first tournament of the season],” said sophomore Danny Perego, the team’s driver. “We made a few small mechanical changes which helped our scoring in autonomous and also our ability to shoot.”

“At Hub City, we faced a lot of defense, so we practiced against defense before Kansas City,” said senior Jan- Felix Abellera, the team’s robot manipulator and one of their programmers. “We tuned the [robot] controller to Danny’s liking and that played a big role in better turning and maneuvering around other robots defending against us.”

“Also, Danny and I are working better as a team,’ Abellera added. “When we go behind the opponent’s airship, we lose sight of the robot. Even though we have an on-board camera, many times Danny’s actually driving the robot backwards. He’s better now at positioning himself in the driver’s station to be able to see the robot and I watch the camera view on our laptop and tell him references like, ‘there’s a robot behind you or in front of you’. “Yes, he’s my eyes,” Perego said with a smile.

For the second time in as many tournaments, CRyptonite won the Industrial Safety Award. Sponsored by UL, the award celebrates the team that progresses beyond safety fundamentals by using innovative ways to eliminate or protect against hazards.

CRyptonite will be competing at the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship tournament in Houston April 19-22.

Each year, all FRC teams receive that season’s challenge the first week of January. During a hectic six-week build season, the robotics students, working with adult Mentors, design, prototype and construct a robot to accomplish specific tasks required to compete in that game.

The FRC 2017 season game, STEAMworks, has a “steampunk” theme in which two “adventurers clubs” (alliances of three teams) compete to prepare steam-powered their airships for a long distance race. alliance robots score points in one of three ways:

  1. Build steam pressure. Robots collect fuel (balls) and score it into their boiler, which has a low and high ‘goal’.
  2. Start rotors. Robots deliver gears to pilots (human players) on their airship for installation. Once the gear train is complete, they turn the crank to start the rotor.
  3. Prepare for flight. Robots must latch on to their airship before the end of the match by ascending their ropes and activating a light which signals that they are ready for takeoff.

Each 2 ½ minute match begins with a 15 second autonomous period in which robots operate only on pre-programmed instructions to score points. This is followed by the teleoperated period in which the drivers control the robot.


About FIRST : Founded by inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was created to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. FIRST Robotics Competition is an annual competition that helps high school students discover the rewards and excitement of science, engineering, and technology. The 2017 season includes 3336 teams from 25 countries.


FIRST Robotics Competition combines the excitement of sports with science and technology to create a unique Varsity Sport for the Mind™. Participants are eligible to receive over $30 million in scholarships from some of the finest science and engineering schools in the country.

About CRyptonite: Since its founding in 2000, Cinco Ranch High School’s FIRST Robotics Competition Team 624 (“CRyptonite”) has achieved international recognition in all areas of FIRST Robotics Competition.

Highlights of the 2017 season include winning the coveted Regional Chairman’s Award at the Hub City Regional qualifying tournament, winning the Greater Kansas City Regional qualifying tournament, advancing to the semi-finals at Hub City and the Lone Star North Regional qualifying tournaments, winning the Industrial Safety

Award at both Hub City and Greater Kansas City, winning a FRIST Dean’s List Award for individual student achievement, along with an Innovation in Control Award at Lone Star North.

Team highlights from the 2015/2016 season include advancing to the Divisional Quarter-Finals of the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship, winning all three of the 2015 Regional Qualifying Tournaments the team entered: Dallas, Utah, and the Lone Star event in Houston, advancing to the finals of the 2016 Alamo Qualifying Tournament, along with winning Regional awards for Industrial Design, Quality, Imagery, and FIRST Dean’s List Awards for individual student achievement.

CRyptonite has also won team and individual student awards for Industrial Safety at the World Championship (2014), and won second place in the world-wide FIRST Safety Animation Contest (2014).

This has been possible through the generous financial and mentor support of our corporate sponsors, including founding sponsors BP America and Oceaneering Intervention Engineering. Other corporate sponsors include: ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil Chemical, Texas Workforce Commission, Phillips 66, Wood Group, IPT Global, AECOMM, Bechtel Corporation, Subsea 7, Kinder Morgan, National Instruments, Katy Area Economic Development Council and Texas Hydrographic Society, Houston Chapter.

Team 624 has formed a partnership with the Katy Area Economic Development Council to promote awareness and support for robotics programs across Katy ISD.

We’re also indebted to numerous teachers, parents, mentors and our incredibly hardworking students.

To learn more about FIRST Robotics Competition:

For more information on Team 624:

For more information on the 2017 FRC game, Steamworks: