Friday, March 9, 2018

Robotics Tournament 2018 - Rising above Adversity

Final report will have to wait a day or two, as the outcome is not determined yet.  I'm typing late Friday, tired at the keyboard.

After a very strong practice day we started the real matches with a bit of a stinker.  And it was due to the most common of problems, human error.  Our most reliable student flipped the wrong switch in the "on deck" circle disabling a major system.  To his credit he acknowledged the goof up, apologized and soldiered on.

From there we were stronger every match, with the robot and its drivers performing heroically.  Our slow start notwithstanding we are still well in contention at the 2/3 point of the qualification matches.  Just a couple of highlights...

If you see half a dozen judges clustered around a machine it is usually a bad thing.  But in this case, no.  So many teams follow a standard template, order pricey stuff from the same suppliers, bolt it together in similar fashion.

Not our team.  We had some things on board the judges had never seen before.  Ridiculous heavy duty steel bars for our elevator.  Rated for 1600 pounds they can sure handle a 2 pound box.  And because this stuff is heavy we have an air brake.  Designed, machined and constructed by one of our students.  It uses several components in a very creative, and cost effective way.  Judges who saw it summoned others.  I think we had four separate groups visit all of whom wanted us to pop the hood for them to take a look.  True creative work, proud of the kids who did it.

We have several white boards.  They come in handy for match schedules and pit check off lists.  One has sort of become an "open board".  People write whatever they want.  My idea of a robot waking up and my advice for the day"

"Fate Favors the Bold but Rewards the Pathologically Organized."

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