Day 5: Second Day of Competition

We arrived at the venue at 7:20AM and we were all VERY tired (and slightly sleep deprived… our team is probably averaging 5-6 hours of sleep a night, 7 if you add in the naps throughout the day). We were somehow able to focus and start working on the robot to prepare for our first task, Traverse, which was at 10:00am. Our first task didn’t work very well; our robot was working, however we couldn’t get it over the lip of wood to get onto the test platform and were unable to complete the task within the allotted 15 minutes of time. Our second task of the day, align, didn’t go well either either; the new code to get the cameras’ servo motors to move interfered with the code for the drive motors, making the robot unable to move. We fixed the issue between the second and third tasks and about fifteen minutes before our third task, Negotiate, we realized our robot was too tall to complete the task. We adjusted the arm to be able to fit under the wooden bars and got to the task on time. Going into the task, we weren’t sure we could actually accomplish everything—the PVC pipe hanging down seemed like it could fall easily if we hit it the wrong way and although there were hinges attached to wood and the pipes, we weren’t sure how easily they would move.

We completed the task, AND got FIFTEEN POINTS!

Between Negotiate and our fourth task, Crossover, many people took naps. Earlier in the day, Zach reminded us of a vine of a little girl who wanted to take a nap and we all decided between the tasks that we were incredibly exhausted, just like her (so most people took a nap).


We had connection issues again for task four (crossover) and only scored three points, which was kind of a bummer because we knew we could do the task and thought we could get a ton of points again, but hey WE GOT POINTS.

Our fifth task of the day was to open a door. Biggest challenge: the arm wasn’t working. The gears were still broken and the programming wasn’t working. We didn’t think we were going to even be able to open the door.

We opened the door.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get THROUGH the door by the time the task ended, but we opened the door without a working arm.

We then went to our SIXTH task of the day: traverse. Now, some of you may be wondering why we did traverse twice in one day and here’s your answer: redo. The true challenge of the task was NOT to get over the lip of the wood and onto the angled platform but rather to accomplish the task on the platform (drive straight, turn, drive at an angle, turn, drive straight), so the judges built little steps to allow Ro-Bert to get over the lip so we could accomplish the task. Because we had attempted the task the day before as well, the judges gave us two redos of the task (which was VERY good for us, since our first redo didn’t work either; the beagle bone and power distribution weren’t working properly). Our second redo is on 03 July at 1:30PM.

We got back to the hotel by 8:15PM, the earliest we had arrived there since the trip began, and everyone split into groups to go get dinner. Most people went to a Greek restaurant near the hotel and some people went to the hotel restaurant. Although our day didn’t go exactly as we had planned, we still had some great triumphs and although some triumphs didn’t count for points, we exceeded our expectations. Ms. Hoogenakker said on the first day of competition that “We aren’t competing against these other teams, we aren’t competing for points. We’re competing against the arena and we’re competing against ourselves.” I’d say that overall, today, we beat that arena and did more than we expected to be able to do going into today, making today a pretty good day overall.

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