T-minus 8 Weeks

Technically it’s 7 weeks and 6 days. But who’s counting?

Well, we are to be perfectly honest. Competition is quickly drawing near and in order to prepare, Mr. Grasmeder called a team meeting today. We discussed the workshop next week, which our veteran team members and mentors will have the pleasure of assisting with this year. Next Mr. Gras laid it on us: we need to shift into overdrive. Eight weeks sounds like a long time, but considering how much work everyone has to do, it’s really not too far away. We’ve got a few robots to build and a few programs to write and it’s not as easy as it sounds. Of course by “we” I mean the rest of the team. One of the many perks of blogging is the absence of a ticking clock working against me. Although, Mr. Gras is riding me about getting the movie done.

Welcome Alanna. The expression on your face tells me you'll fit in just fine.
Welcome Alanna. The expression on your face tells me you'll fit in just fine.

What’s this movie you ask? I refer you to my previous blog in which I mentioned that exciting things were coming for the Dead Robot Society. This aforementioned movie is one of the exciting things I was talking about. Another exciting thing is our new member! We welcome Alanna to programming. It makes me feel better that I am no longer the newest new kid. Thank you Alanna.

Today has been a pretty chill day. Everyone is buckling down and getting things done. I took advantage of this atmosphere and did quite a bit of questioning. I asked Alanna how her first day in the BotCave was and she said she was enjoying herself. I asked Kelly and Mary how the program was doing and they said, “Uhh our robot won’t stop moving…” (Not to worry though, the issue was resolved.) I asked the hardware team what they were up to and they said, “Workin’ on the duck grabber. It grabs ducks.” Then Mr. Gras tried to explain what he was teaching Alanna and I asked, “…what?” Not a Sunday goes by where Mr. Grasmeder doesn’t lose me in conversation.

However I have assimilated quite well into my own role. In fact, today Allison punched me and I responded with, “Hey! That’s my blogging arm!” I promised myself I wouldn’t become a nerd, but apparently it’s unavoidable. Enough about me. As usual our marvelous team has made excellent use of their time here. Alanna is picking up on her job quickly, the rest of the software team is chugging along with their program, and hardware is making headway with the duck grabber. In addition, Mrs. Newcastle went above and beyond her call of duty by preparing not only taquitos, but mini tacos as well!

Just another day in the BotCave.

If at First You Don’t Succeed…

…do something else.

That’s the uplifting message that got the software team through a few programming blunders.  After a few trial and errors, the lovely ladies of software were able to successfully make the robot recognize and move toward the green frog game pieces. I took a gander at the program the girls are writing and it appears that parentheses are used quite frequently. Apparently this abundance of parentheses is not excessive, it is critical. The reason I was picked as a blogger and not a programmer is becoming blatantly obvious.

After I was done gawking at the software team, I took a few steps over to the hardware team and gawked some more. However in this case it was less confusing and more visually exciting. The hardware team’s basic task was simple and to the point: build an arm. That much was clear-cut even to a simple minded blogger like myself. As I further inquired upon their assignment, I realized that their work was equally challenging. Granted they don’t have to use any parentheses, but they have to think around the various physical obstacles of the  game board and the limitations of the parts they are given to build with. A glaring similarity between the two teams is that I would be of no use to either of them.

Although I don’t seem to be on the same page as the rest of my team, I have made myself useful. Today I did a wee bit of updating on the homepage. Ten points if anyone can spot it (minus the select few to whom I’ve already pointed it out, you’ve been disqualified.) With the help of Mr. Gras I was also given my own to do list. Due to the fact that said list includes items aside from just blogging, I have inferred that I am indeed an indispensable asset and a multifaceted member of the team. And from that statement you as a reader can infer that there are exciting things to come in the imminent future for the Dead Robot Society.

Can anyone say yum?
Can anyone say yum?

On the whole, we’ve had another highly productive session. The arm, or the “piece of magic” as Liam called it, is quickly on its way to completion. With a little persistence, the software team has the program for identifying a game piece running smoothly. I become more computer savy with each meeting. Mrs. Newcastle has perfected the cooking time for her brownies. Mr. Grasmeder dipped out early, though I can’t imagine why he’d want to spend his Valentine’s Day anywhere but the BotCave.