Worky Work Wednesday

Quote of the night: “Are there any more pluggy places?” – Benjin

Tim’s mom brought pizza fondue! It is very interesting and quite delicious. In between bites, we’re performing test after test after test. Mr. Newcastle and Mr. Grasmeder rearranged our practice tables today, so we can work with the board at the exact size it will be at competition. Since we have been working with only a little bit more than half of the board so far, there are a few unexpected changes that need to be made in programming distance. All of the robots have now been programmed to start with the light cue, so we’ve just been running them over and over to make sure everything goes flawlessly (or as close to flawlessly as we can get).

“Don’t leave the light on!” said Mr. Newcastle, to which Mrs. Newcastle added, “Tim will get injured!”. It is true. Apparently some time in the past, Tim has managed to to burn himself on the hot hot lightbulbs. And, according to his mom, he still has a scar.

The fun part about having two tables is the path one must take to set up the robot. It’s a nice little crawl-under-the-table routine, plus the added obstacle of the rather hot lightbulb.

The setter-uppers also have to be able to count up our points, just in case there are any disputes. Obviously, if there is some sort of error on the part of the judges, we have to be able to point it out before the table is reset. Rumor has it that Anthony made a program on his calculator to easily count up the number of points we gain. Its usefulness factor outweighs its nerdiness! Wow!

“9001 – it’s over nine thousand!” Liam typed the number and apparently 9001 cannot be erased. He can’t believe I don’t know what he is referring to, and Benjin can’t either. It’s either “a nerd thing” or “a TJ thing”, but as Tim pointed out, the two are synonymous.

Ben and Benjin are our official setter-uppers, and Liam and Tim are helping them with the checklist. Right now they each have their own checklist, which makes everything more difficult. The setter-uppers also have only 60 seconds for their setting up, so the pressure’s on! The checklist lists every single step, even those as simple as checking to see if the robots are on. As Mr. Grasmeder said, during combat, during public speaking, or during competitions, three of the times when a big brain would be most helpful, one’s brain usually shrinks to about peanut size.

We’ve never run both of the robots at the same time, and the collision factor is a bit nerve wracking. So far in seeding round, the Legobot and the Create aren’t sharing the other side’s start box very well; if we hadn’t grabbed the Legobot out of the way, it would have been brutally crushed by the Create, and possibly tipped over the edge. On the first run, the arms of Legobot got tangled in the cords of the Create right at the beginning, which isn’t a great start. The double-robot factor is adding a few extra strains, but hopefully we’ll get it all figured out tomorrow.