Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Competition Highlights

Hey, guys! So it's been a while since we last updated, and as you know, the competition happened in the time between then and now. Of course, I'm sure you're wondering how we did, so here's what happened.

On the morning of the competition, we drove to Maxwell, where the competition was being held, and set up shop in our own booth. We had inspection and setup done quickly so that we would have time to look at the robot and make any repairs that would be needed in the future. Before we could start the robot matches, we would have to go into a room for judging. There we would tell the judges all about our season, what we did, and how we did it. We made sure to include as much detail as possible without going over the time limit. They like to see a lot of outreach and creative innovation for ideas on the robot.

We left the judging room feeling pretty okay, and went to start the robot matches. Our first match was a bit difficult because our motor control malfunctioned and stopped working right before it was our turn. We had to work fast if we were going to compete in that match, and we managed to get it working just in time, which was quite serendipitous. We have videos of some of the matches that you can watch.

In our first match, we learned that the debris on the ground was going to be a real pain to drive over. We kept getting stuck on it and it would clog our wheels to the point of being unable to move. Thankfully, we never managed to stay that way, and we managed to finish the match.

As the matches progressed, we realized that the amount of time that it took for is to hang was far too much  for us to do it in the two minutes and thirty seconds that was there. But every single match brought us closer and closer to hanging, and in the very last match we were so close that we would have only needed about three more seconds and we would have hung.

The extremely cool part about all of that was that everyone there began to watch us, in hopes that we would hang. They began cheering us on, and even the judges wanted us to hang so badly. I'm being serious when I say that we were the only team there to come as close as we did to hanging. And that fact really encouraged us to keep going and to not give up.

Finally, the matches ended and it was time for the final alliances to unite. Unfortunately, we weren't chosen, and we didn't participate in the final rounds. However, during the awards ceremony, we were met by a surprise. We won the Motivate award, and we were third place for the Inspire award! We were so happy, because this allowed us to advance to the state competition in February! Normally, our team doesn't advance from the first qualifier, but this year we did, and it was awesome.

After the awards, everybody cleared out and we followed the yearlong tradition of going to dinner with everybody after competition. We went to a Mexican place down the road and had dinner there, and I think it's safe to say that we were so tired that we didn't need desert that night. We had a great time, and everyone went home.

The perfect finish to an awesome competition!

Now we're back at the garage, trying to figure out ways to make our hanging faster, finish our scoring mechanism, and also hopefully find an easier way to shoo debris out of the way so that we won't get stuck on it. The real competition has only begun.

Here are some pictures and videos of the competition from the 12th.

Crash coding - am I right?!!!

Rehearsing judging lines

Our banner. :)

Outside the judging room!

During the judging period.

Done with all the presentational speaking, WOO HOO. :D

It's robot time.

So far, so good.

Inspection time.

On the practice field.

Trying to fix our motor controller right before the first match.



Winning the Motivate award. :)