Lazy Day in the BotCave

No school for us Catholic School kids.

Joe, Albert, and I have decided to spend a portion of our day, or all of our day in Albert’s case, at the BotCave. This is going to be a fairly short post seeing as we’re shorthanded and we haven’t been here very long.

Albert and Joe have gotten “PerfectBot” to actually run the way it’s supposed to, imagine that. Albert discovered that there in fact is a real life use for precalc and she got a haircut! That’s really all that’s happened today, but I thought I’d keep you guys updated.

Passing the Torch

From me to Abbie Fundling.

What does this mean? It means the Dead Robot Society has another video in the works. However this time, I don’t have to do it! Oh did I say “have to”? I meant “have the privilege of”. This year that privilege has been passed onto our new cinematographer, Abbie. I get to mentor someone! There’s someone in the BotCave that needs my help! This is a first.  I’m quite pleased.

I guess hardware and software are doing important things too… Today Albert, Joe, and Greg have been working all day on something they like to call “PerfectBot”. You can guess why. They think it’ll be perfect every time. I have yet to see evidence of that, sorry guys.

This week marks the week that we begin to open the BotCave on a daily basis. Competition is so early this year. There are roughly six weeks left. Last year I think I started the competition countdown at eight weeks and I feel like i started it way later than this! We’re gonna have to work extra hard this year. We have big shoes to fill. In case you weren’t aware, we placed first in our regional competition last year and third in the global competition. We can’t do any better at regionals, so we have to do at least equally as well. Even though it’s pretty far off, we’re hoping to surpass last year’s score at globals as well.

Alright let’s get back to this week. If you visit the first thing you’ll probably notice is a big chart on the homepage. In this chart is our projected playing schedule for this year’s competition. We’ve got it all blocked out so now all we have to do is build the bots and program them. Easy for me to say right? I just blog about it. I love my job.

As usual, to me it looks like we’re making great progress. But let’s be honest, is there ever a week when I don’t think that? I have mad team spirit, what can I say. The BotCave will be open all day tomorrow (we’re capitalizing on the long weekend) so hopefully we’ll be able to continue at the fast pace we’ve been working at and hit on a good routine. Also, the more days the ‘Cave is open the more blogs I’ll be posting, so keep checking back for updates!

Are You Ready for Some Botball?

That title was a play on words. In case you didn’t know, it’s Superbowl Sunday.

Our team is so dedicated that we have 13 kids in the BotCave today building robots rather than attending a Superbowl party. With our board built, we can work on our solution to the problem. I haven’t heard so much commotion in the BotCave since last season. From where I’m sitting I can hear Mr. Grasmeder and Albert helping the software team get started with programming. Also, I can hear Mr. Newcastle and Joe working with the hardware team, accompanied by a cacophony of sound produced by the rifling through of lego bins.

Kelly, Alanna, Albert, Justin, and Emily are working hard with programming the cameras to find tribbles. This will eventually be used so that we can pick up the tribbles and separate the different colored tribbles to score points. They appear to be successful at their endeavors because I’ve been hearing frequent squeals of delight. In connection with what software is doing, hardware is working on building something that will pick up tribbles. Synchronicity between the two teams is key.

I just realized I haven’t posted a picture of the game board yet. I’ll do that now.

2011 Game Board
2011 Game Board

So there you have it. For those of you that have seen boards from previous years, you’ll notice a distinct difference in this board from its predecessors. Instead of having the starting boxes diagonal from each other, they’re all on the same side. This means twice the amount of work for software. They have to write one program specific to the left side of the board and one program specific to the right side of the board. I’ve gathered from the many complaints that this will be somewhat inconvenient for them. Hehehe, I’m so glad I blog.