July 26, 2017 – Day 3: Murhpy’s Law

 

“Get up everyone!” Jon bawls at those sleeping sacks of exhausted engineers like a military corporal who caught his soldier’s sleeping on duty. “Oh god, not again” I think to myself. The first pool test is scheduled for 7:30 so its no surprise that everyone was essentially sleep walking as we piled into the van and sped off at 20 km above the speed limit towards the transdec pool .  As of late I’ve been reflecting on the validity of murphy’s law: whatever can go wrong will go wrong. Well any doubt about whether or not it was true was immediately banished from my mind today as the GoPro connection fails due to a faulty HDMI connection. Jon, myself, and Kirill are immediately dispatched to purchase replacement parts while the rest of the team was left to reflect on why they joined this club in the first place. Determined to get the most out of the 10 AM pool time, the undaunted software team courageously forges ahead and connects AURI to an XBOX controller in order to collect data for the vision systems.

Meanwhile back at Fry’s Electronics I was geeking out over gopro equipment, kirill was trying the latest VR (and sucking at it), while Jon waited for a time to pick up the robot decals for our sponsors. Finally making it back to the pool the software team jumped into action along with Brayden to replace the faulty connections in time for our 1:30 PM pool test. All the ethernet ports were updated and all systems checked. Well, all except one. Remember murphy’s law? When the robot was first placed in the miniature pool there was no reason for concern. The water was tranquil and AURI was happily blinking away with the ESC’s making cute R2D2 like sounds.

WATER.

 

LOTS OF IT.

 

I get a sick feeling in my stomach as the scene in front is eerily similar to the previous flood not many hours before. Acting like it was the 100th time we had done this, Brayden  and I deftly lift AURI out of the pool being careful not to slosh the water on the electronics while bystanders gawk and utter under their breath, ‘Oh sh*t”.  Fortunately, we were so careful that hardly any water made contact with the electronic trays. The perpetrator of this heinous crime was a stray electrical cord that was trapped between the acrylic hull and the double 0-rings-exactly what had happened with the earlier flood.  Or as Brayden so astutely later noted: “For some reason water like to go to places with no water. I’m not sure. Its just being a b*tch.” As a precaution the boards are not run for several hours while the dual hair dryers are set to the maximum robot protection setting. However, our tribulations we not over yet: after the robot was assembled again the Jetson TX2 developed an attitude and began booting the software team from accessing it. This was remedied quickly enough with the combined genius of Noni and James and the robot was able to pass through the qualification gate and towards a green buoy. It was a tough day that tested everyone’s patience but as they say: what doesn’t kill you makes you build dope robots.

Written By Andrew Schroeder-Electrical and Admin Team

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