July 27, 2017 – Day 4: Is This Turning Into a Pattern?

The alarm that is Jon blared loud throughout the rooms, waking all of us up. From under my pillow, I peaked at the clock. In red block numbers it showed 6:30. Wow, that’s early. But I guess we have our static judging today at 8:50, so we have to be prepared! For breakfast, it was cereal yet again. No shock there. An hour later, we were at Transdec and working on the robot. At this point, there have been so many little problems with the robot that I was not surprised when the software team had panicked looks on their faces. Is this turning into a pattern? Turns out the TX2 continued to randomly turn off, so the electrical team just did what they could to fix it.

10 minutes before our static judging time, the TX2 was still having its problems, so the electrical team just said screw it as we don’t need to have a working robot for the presentation, grabbed it, and carried it to judges building. We fit around 8-10 people at the front of the room because we knew that we had too many people for the judging. The presentation started as I introduced the team, followed by Jon speaking a bit and introducing the mechanical team. They were efficient with their 5 minutes of time and successfully talked about the genius design of Auri. It then moved onto the electrical team, and the judges loved it! They immediately took interest into how we improved our electrical systems this year and 7 minutes later, it was software’s turn. “2 more minutes”, declared one of the judges. The software team had panicked looks as they dove right in to what they have done throughout the year. Skipping to our neural network, they talked about that a bit, Jon squeezed in our useed campaign, and the time was up. Needless to say, the judges were fairly impressed with our robot and our fundraising throughout the year. We walked out of that proud, but upset the software team didn’t get more time. Oh well, at least that’s over now!

As we carried our robot back to our tent, we were told that after static judging we needed to take team photos! So we carried Auri to an empty table in front of the pool, and took some pretty good team photos.

We soon were back at it; working on Auri. We had a pool test at 10:45, so five minutes beforehand, we carried her to the docks. Of course, something wasn’t right. We took the hull apart, checked, and sure enough the teensy on the motor board died. Thank goodness Brayden  had an extra one that he carried in his pocket for emergencies! He went to replace it with the broken one, and sure enough that one was broken as well. Dang it. By this time, our pool run had already begun and our extra teensies were holed up in our hotel. We ended up giving up our run to FEFU, the Russian team, and Jon went on his way to the hotel to get a new teensy.

A half an hour later, we had our new teensy, flashed it, and thank god it worked! Just to make sure, we tested it in the side pool, and it was still working really well; no hardware issues in sight! Our next run was at 2:30pm, so all we had to do was sit back, wait, and not touch Auri. We were sitting under our tent when a guy from Oregon Institute came up to us and asked if we wanted to switch practice times with them. They had a 2:00pm time slot, and weren’t ready for their run. Lucky for them, this was a rare occurence where we have been ready a half an hour before our time slot, so we agreed. After looking at the clock, it said it was 1:50pm, so we grabbed Auri, went in the pool, and started the test!

What a successful test it was! The first few attempts were a little rocky; we passed through the gate, followed the path, and just missed the buoy. Finally, our last run was successful as Auri ended up detecting and hitting the red buoy! After celebrating a bit, we finished up our run, packed up, and headed back to the hotel sicne we couldn’t find any more time slots to use.

I had to stay until 6:00pm for the big meeting. The semifinals time slot were chosen in order of who qualified for semifinals for. Since we qualified on the first day, we got a pretty good time slot at 1:45pm for tomorrow. I guess everyone is staying up late tonight to get the buoy detection perfected. Let’s see!