RoboSub 2019 – Day 5

I could have slept in a little later than I did this morning. I was up last night writing the blog from the day before and partying with the labelling party (a very PG type of partying; I am aware that I am only nineteen and considered underage in the States). Because of this, I was a part of the night team that was supposed to leave for TRANSDEC later in the day, which meant I was allowed to sleep in. However, that was not the case.

This morning, I was rudely interrupted from my deep slumber by Suzana and Noni panicking in shock beside me. We learned over Slack that Auri had flooded. The hull had filled nearly half-way with water. What had happened was that we failed to shoot the torpedoes at our first pool test at 7 am and became so occupied discussing how we could improve this procedure that we did not notice our robot had sank to the bottom of the pool. It is still a mystery how our robot flooded. The running theory is that the LED strips got caught on the o-ring seals, creating gaps and causing the flood. The morning team brought Auri back to the hotel to replace certain parts and fix her.

The electrical team placed any salvageable electronics in rice and worked on replacing the parts (including the Jetson Xavier). Unfortunately, our camera had been exposed to too much water and didn’t work anymore, so we had to look online for a new GoPro. Jon, Juan, and Gab ended up buying a used camera off a skater here in San Diego, which is just out the safest thing that someone could do. Once we got the camera, everything started to pick up speed. The electrical team took apart and put back Auri’s entire electrical in six hours, the software team made improvements to the code, the mechanical team used soapy water to do who-the-heck knows what (Nic tried to get us to drink the mysterious concoction), and I made myself useful by successfully finding lost o-rings.


Half our team went back to TRANSDEC for our final pool test at 5 pm. Even with our setbacks this morning, we had a successful run and were suddenly back on track! At 6 pm, it was time for us to pick our time slot for tomorrow’s semi-final run. We chose 4 pm at Field B.

After another kiddie pool test to calibrate the cameras, the whole team went out for dinner. The “N’s” (Noni, Nic, and Nathan) went to In-N-Out, and the rest of us went to eat pho. The food was absolutely delicious, and we all filled ourselves silly with a big bowl of noodles and an assortment of drinks. Rumman received a very flattering compliment from the waiter that he looked seventeen.

We went back to the hotel and met up in the Girls’ Room to practice for the static judging presentation taking place tomorrow. James, Suzana, Andrew, Rumman, Juan, and Noni managed to cut down their information-packed presentation to around 9 minutes, which was quite a feat. We ran a pool test at 11 pm, where we found a battery pod leak before putting the robot in the water and flooding it yet again. That would have been very unfortunate, to say the least.