Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow Day Showdown II

At 6:15 in the morning the Green Meadow Polygnomes set out from home base to head two hours south to Hightstown, New Jersey. Despite the tired faces, we were all optimistic about the competition. We asked ourselves many questions, including whether the robot would even run or not. We arrived at around 7:45, and unloaded our "mustard bus" which is a mustard color (shocker!). At around 8:00 we had signed in and set up the pits, and were ready to go to mechanical inspection. Despite a questionable size (18"...just ) and no flagpole, we passed the inspection and we headed to software inspection. Software inspection didn't go according to plan, seeing as we didn't have "enabled" and "disabled" worked in to the program. After a quick talk with Steve Rhodes, the programming wizard, we passed the software inspection. Upon passing inspection, we tested all of our programs and found out that our autonomous program didn't work. Another visit from Steve fixed that.

The opening ceremony was short and to the point, explaining the rules of the game and stressing gracious professionalism. Since our robot wasn't in the first match, we utilized the time to view the match. Zaq, Noah and I got ready to compete in the second match since Zaq and I were driving and Noah was the coach. I was a little nervous, but the excitement was far too great for it to be of any effect. The first 30 seconds of autonomous went great, and we successfully knocked one bin of pucks to the ground. The first operator control went great as well, and we successfully scored three pucks into the triangle. Our first match ended in victory!

The rest of the matches went similarly and all ended in victory, much to our satisfaction. We had many people comment on our robot (a few on the gnome) and we gained many fans. We also had a bye in the first round of the finals because there were only six teams and we were in first place. The second round of the finals was great, for the first match. Upon starting the second match, our robot wouldn't move, and we suspected the field because it had happened to another team as well, four times. After about thirty minutes of attempted repair, we graciously stepped aside to let the second seed team take our place as we made repairs. We ended up in second place, but we were all proud of our performance and besides, we had won the "Think!" award for the best engineering notebook thanks to Emma's handwriting and neatness and Noah's organization sheets. All and all, the competition was a huge success!!!

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