Seeding: Round 3

Score: 86

Yeah, we had a few issues. Our create bot’s arm decided it wouldn’t actually reach above the platform and instead it would get caught. This caused create to completely malfunction to give us a total of zero points. However our lego bot didn’t fail us and it gave us 86 points all by itself. Way to go lego bot. Apparently, Mary didn’t give enough love to create. She’ll have to try harder next time. Our average was 148, however only the two highest scores from the seeding rounds are actually put into the average that decides seeding, and that number was 179. This brought us to finish seeding in fourth place. Not too shabby, all things considered. Hopefully we’ll fix up any glitches and be ready for head-to-head by the time it rolls around. I haven’t the slightest clue as to whom we’ll be playing against tomorrow, but I’ll keep you guys informed. Keep a look out for a blog about the things we do when we’re not playing with robots because I think you’ll be rather entertained.

Seeding: Round 2

Score: 172

We could still do better, but we could also still do a lot worse. My fingers are crossed for scoring so high next round that we have to step on the hopes and dreams of other teams to get there. Not that I condone unsportsmanlike conduct. I intend to crush them in the most polite and respectful way. However the way things are going, I doubt we’ll crush anyone. That’s okay though. We really just want to our robots to function properly and we’re quite sure that if they do so, we’ll do well. We’ve dropped from first to second I believe. There’s another round though and I’m confident we will be able to bring up our score. I think we’d all really love to get first place in seeding. I was really happy with our success at Regionals and everyone would be ecstatic if we were able to keep it up. We’re convinced that our robots do better when Mary personally wishes them good luck. You’ll be pleased to know Mary has promised to give them all the luck she can give before our next seeding round.

Seeding: Round 1

Score: 186

Not our best score, but not terrible. That was actually our average from stress rehearsal. Comparatively this isn’t too shabby. We’re in first place for the seeding as of now but we’ll see how the other two rounds go. Considering how many problems we’ve been having with the create bot and how devastating they’ve been to our practice scores I don’t think we can complain about a 186. We overshot the green line with Botguy, so I think all in all we did pretty great. I believe Benjin and Tucker are working on hardware and software solutions for this problem. We need to continue tweaking the create bot until we get it right. I think our bot gets to the center platform the fastest, and if we’re not the fastest we’re very close. If we can get create to function properly, I’ve got a feeling (pun intended) that we’re gonna go really far in this tournament. On to round two!

St. Louis

Separating the boys from men (and the girls from women).

Yesterday our team, or rather an abridged version of our team, arrived in St. Louis for the Global Conference on Educational Robotics (GCER). For most of us here, this is our first time at GCER and I speak for all of us when I say we’re totally psyched. In between rounds of cards and a trip to the grocery store we began reassembling our robots and practicing our presentation. Technically, Tucker and Benjin practiced their presentation, but the rest of us watched, gave constructive criticism, and provided moral support!

Today I’m coming to you from the pit. All the teams are here to do practice runs before the real competition starts tomorrow. I was told there would be teams from all over the world here but I didn’t think they meant it. We’re stationed two tables away from a team from Qatar, there’s apparently a team from Norway, and I just spoke to a couple of guys from Poland.

We’ve been having some trouble in the practice rounds. Our first go we had a miserable create fail. The second time we had minor technical issues, but we improved. After that we continued to improve, however there were issues with the dirty duck grabbing. The next round was sabotaged by poor board setup. It wasn’t our fault though so I guess it wasn’t that bad. For our fifth round of practice, Tucker and Benjin had to give the presentation, so I had to accompany Albert to the practice table and help set up. (I did an excellent job if I do say so myself.) Unfortunately, regardless of the fact that Albert had the most capable hands working with her, our create bot failed epically once again. Round six: I went up again, worked my magic again, create failed again. This does not please me. Seventh time is a charm? Not exactly, but our create bot didn’t commit suicide this time!

Before I mentioned Tucker and Benjin had a presentation to do. Two representatives from each team have a meeting with the judges in which they discuss the entire process their team goes through before competition. I’ve seen the guys presentation a couple of times and it was great. They came back feeling pretty good about it so I trust it went well. We really appreciate Tucker and Benjin stepping up and giving the presentation (at Regionals, Steven and Liam were tasked with it). My first day at Globals has been a memorable one. I cannot tell you how much fun I had. Highlight of the day: Benjin Dubishar Rick Roll’d me with his very own singing. Can’t wait for tomorrow.

Head-to-Head Round 9 : The Last One

Once again, we faced the team that stacked the cups on their back and then drove them all across to the other side. This time, we even got all of the cups off our side, the clincher that would have given us the lead in our previous loss to this team. But this time, that wasn’t enough.

The Legobots ran into each other while crossing the bridge, and both fell off. Both Creates sorted tribbles well, and theirs went around stacking cups on its back. When our Create got across the bridge and into their shelter for those crucial 30 points, we all clapped and cheered, knowing we had done the best we could do. But their Create made it to our side too, taking with it -16 points in cups. It was a good round, we’d done all we could, and it was very impressive to have gotten as far as we did.

103 – 110

This gave us the third place title in Head-to-Head, following up a 6th in Seeding. Overall, we scored 4th. To be the 4th best Botball team in the world? I consider that an honor. We did the best we could, had a great strategy, and put up a very competitive fight against the best teams out there. It was nice.