RoboSub 2019 – Day 4

The morning team should have consisted of Jon, Juan, Gab, Nicholas, Moira, James, and Andreea. Sadly, Juan and Nicholas missed the van that left at 6:00 am sharp. The vehicle was already gone by the time Juan rushed out, and Nicholas wasn’t even aware of the fact that he was a part of the morning crew. All was well, though, as our first pool test still had one person from mechanical, electrical, software, and admin team in attendance. We ran a full mission, but the robot became confused and we weren’t able to complete it.

The night team (plus Juan and Nic!) made it to TRANSDEC at 9:30 am, where the software team was scrambling to get PRs in for the next test scheduled for 11:00. After the second pool test concluded, we placed the robot in the kiddie pool to test the torpedoes. This was a semi-successful task. The torpedoes went through the holes occasionally, to which we all cheered. Meanwhile, the whole software team was busy making sure aspects of the robot were working correctly. In particular, Jacky was occupied with training the new vision models for the buoys and the gate. For our third pool test at 4 pm, the team ran the torpedoes. Most of our torpedo shots went through the holes, so we decided to push our luck and tried aiming for Dracula’s heart. We had never practiced nor prepared aiming for the heart, so it was a true surprise that we missed!

After that test, we went to see if there were any more times available for a final pool test. Thankfully, the Texas team cancelled their 5 pm test time, so we penciled ourselves in and adjusted the robot accordingly. When we arrived for our last pool test, the Harbin team was already there doing their own testing. Turns out, the Harbin team received verbal confirmation from the Texas team stating that Harbin had permission to use their pool time. However, since we had penciled our team in, ARVP had official permission to the pool. Noni expertly communicated this information to the Harbin team. They apologized for the misunderstanding, explaining that they did not realize that our team had official permission (of  course, translator Noni interpreted this for all of us).

On the menu for dinner was a nice, hearty Chinese feast. Apparently, having a member who can speak Cantonese is a huge plus when visiting a Chinese restaurant. The owners of the restaurant were pleasantly surprised with Suzana’s Cantonese skills and ended up giving us an extra tray of rice! We got five party trays of food in total, which was more than enough for the team. Nathan grabbed an unmentionable amount of free food containers to store the leftovers to feed himself for the rest of his life.

The last events of the night were preparations for a pool test and yet another labelling party. The focal point of the pool test was to put in a PR that would accurately detect the torpedo target pinger. As for the labelling party, the main highlight was Willard’s rendition of “Boom Boom Pow”. Fun fact of the day: Willard now goes by the stage name Will.I.Ard and is ARVP’s better, younger, more hip version of Will.I.Am.