We did a great job this round, with the Create, once again, doing an excellent job on the Tribbles. One of their bots had a big arm serving as a blocker for anyone trying to get across the bridge. Unlike Project X, this one didn’t prevent the bridge from coming down, it was just meant to prevent the bots from getting onto their side. It was a big x-shaped thing that anchored itself against the other half of the bridge, making it pretty sturdy. But our Legobot, built of strength and sheer awesomeness, managed to get a little bit under the blocker and pushed it up enough to get through the opening. Once it got on their side, it had no idea where it wsa going, but it was still a nice move.
Legobot didn’t hit the other half of the bridge down, and it ended up getting bulldozed into the corner by their create. This seemed to be karma, another bot returning the favor for last round’s mischief. Legobot was mercilessly crushed until the arms broke and it almost fell off the table. According to Connor, it was “protesting to the point of injuring itself.” Anthony was not there to run to the table holding the stretcher and shouting medic!, but we managed to bandage up Legobot before the next round.
80 – 32
This team had an interesting strategy: their create appeared to fling itself into space, but suddenly their XBC popped out of the top and tried to make its was to the other side on an alternate set of wheels. We had seen it work successfully in a few rounds, but this time it didn’t make it out of the little cage mechanism and didn’t make it onto our side. Our Legobot got over to their side, but missed the tape and didn’t turn around to get the other half of the bridge down. Instead of going for the bridge or messing up their tribble piles, it just decided to ram straight into their robot. We pushed their bot around the table until it was stuck against the wall, and even as it tried to back up we just kept accelerating them and they had no choice but to comply. This kind of bot-on-bot action is the most hilarious and unpredictable part of Botball.
The Create obviously couldn’t make it across just half a bridge, but it had done a nice job rescuing crew members and plants so we ended up with a nice score.
101 – 7
After Hannah and Liam set up the bots in the start box and everything was all ready to go, the other team came around the table and debated whether our bots were all the way within the lines. This was a perfectly reasonable argument, since it is an important rule and we may have done the same for another team (especially one as intimidating as ourselves) but once we rearranged the bots, they needed to be entirely recalibrated to the light sensor. Although we only needed to move the Create, it was very important that we reset both of the light sensors in case anything had changed. The new placement of the Create could affect the light that reached Legobot, and nothing would be worse than having a robot that didn’t leave the start box because of a faulty calibration.
But once that was all taken care of, it turned out to be an excellent round. The Create continued its consistent Tribble gathering and did much better on the cups this time. Their Legobot had planned to sit where our bridge would go to serve as a blocker, but we hit the bridge down before they got there so their bot got confused and drove off the edge. Although Legobot got to the other side, it missed the tape and didn’t manage to hit down the other half of the bridge. It seemed to have stopped running, but towards the end of the 2 minutes it started up again and ended at the edge of their start box. The start switch was precariously on the edge, and nobody could decide if it should count or not. Even Dave Miller, a member of KIPR’s board of directors, came over to try and decide our point total. In the end, it was a nonissue because whether that bot was worth 15 points or 30, we still had the round in the bag.
113 – 48
Six teams left!
We did an okay job on Tribbles this round, but the Create lacked the consistency we’ve come to expect when it got to the cups. Somehow, it was way off, and we only deployed the first of the four satellites. When it came to Legobot, this team employed a bridge blocker as an attempt to keep us from getting across. It was very similar to Anthony’s Project X mechanism, and just like with our Project X demos, Legobot still managed to make its way to their side of the board. However, it was a steep enough climb that Legobot flipped over and didn’t score more than the basic 15 points once it was on the other side of the bridge. Obviously, the Create couldn’t get across the bridge at that point, and it wouldn’t have anyway since after the failure with the cups, it just ran itself into the wall.
77 – 39
We faced the most difficult team so far, a team whose strategy involves carrying all four cups on its back and onto the other team’s side. We did well with our tribbles, but so did they, so we tied on tribble scores. We got three of our four cups, as is typical, but that last cup occasionally goes over the side and this would have been a great time for that to happen. Their legobot was going across the bridge at the same time that ours was, so our bots crashed and drove off the side together. Our create got across and into their shelter, and their create got over to our side in the last few seconds… with all the cups on top. Bummer.
I’m definitely glad it’s double elimination, so we’re still in after this our first loss.
104 – 107