Saturday, April 8, 2017

FIRST Robotics Tournament Time - Man (and Woman) versus Machine

We continued to have an array of problems as we went into the second day of qualification rounds.  Hardware issues.  Software issues.  And worst of all the issues the "Dark Halflings", problems that fall into that shadowy area where hardware and software intersect.

We were bug hunting until we got kicked out of the pits Friday night.  Only to return and have the first match of the day Saturday.

So, with a machine and drivers that should have been in the top, oh, 20% of the field we started 4 - 0.  And then went 0 - 4. Sigh.  Middle of the pack.

Well this has an upside.  By not playing in the final rounds we had a couple of hours of pit time to prep for our next event which is in just a few short days.  We went looking for more issues.  And we found some.

We should start out the LaCrosse Wisconsin event strong.  Instead of spending 4 hours getting the robot running and inspected we should manage it in one, then start practice driving again.  Or so goes the theory.

FIRST Robotics tournaments have a "game" format.  This year's is very busy. The robot dangling from a rope in the middle of this shot is ours.  The rope climb is the "grand finale" and we did that part well.

A robotics tournament is one of the few places you can actually wear that vintage tuxedo your wife bought you and then won't let you wear hardly anywhere.  Note safety glasses, team pin and pocket protector.

Because we are heading to another event the robot has to go back into the sealed storage bag until we get to the next venue on Thursday. Hmmmm, the robot is supposed to only weigh 120 pounds.  It seems like we might be a little over.

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