Head-to-Head Round 4

oh no!

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

Head-to-Head Round 3

This round was pretty epic. The other team had a sort of Project X type structure to prevent us from getting to the other side, but our Legobot is a beast and still made it up the hill enough to fight with their bot. It managed to push its way over a bit, moving the bridge blocker so that the angle of the hill was small enough that the Create would probably make it across. After some fighting, it stopped at the top because it thought it had finished its code. But their bots knocked the other half of the bridge down for us, and after the Create had done a wonderful job sorting Tribble piles, it also forced its way into the mess. Half of the bot was on their side, but the start switch didn’t make it. However, we still got the 15 points for Legobot and got an overall awesome score.

103 – 33

Head-to-Head Round 1 – Let’s go!

Our first round went quite well. The Create did excellent grabs, doing everything as well as usual. We had 13 good Tribbles, meaning we scored all of them from the bottoms of each pile. Legobot, however, ran into the difficulties we can expect (or not expect, as we never know) when it crossed the board. Their bot was right at the edge of the board, so from the beginning we ran into them and became misaligned. We ended up stuck in their solarium without having hit down the other half of the bridge, so the Create never made it across. Nevertheless, we got a nice score.

98 – 34

Practice Rounds and a Lack of Sleep

mini golf and ben’s excited!Last night there were some issues regarding bedtime. While we had a 11 o’clock curfew by which we had to be inside a room and relatively quiet, there was no official time that we had to be sleeping. Granted, we wanted to get to practice rounds today as soon as they started at 7:30, meaning wake-up time was soon after 6. But after playing an epic game of mini golf, swinging on the best swingset ever that is located right next to our dorms, playing an intense card game of B.S., and eating lots of starbursts and sour patch kids, somehow sleep didn’t come easily. We dropped off gradually, with a kid going to bed every half hour once it was past 2:30, but there were still five of us who were up until 4:30.

paying close attention during the presentationsWhen the alarm clock went off at 6:15, we had some difficulty waking up. Apparently, at 7:05 (when we were supposed to have left at 7), someone went in Liam’s room, told him the time, and he seemed to have been dreaming that we were still involved in the card game and yelled his disbelief at his awakener. Eventually, we all deliriously shuffled out of the dorms and into the cars.

kevin asleep on the floorWe practiced our head-to-head code, and it ran pretty well. We then headed to the auditorium to listen to three presentations by scientific/engineering related speakers; I’m sure they were fascinating, but my brain definitely didn’t absorb much of it in its sleepwalking state. After the break for lunch, we listened to another speaker, and this one I was able to fully pay attention to since lunch had revived me nicely. His was more of a philosophical talk regarding the role of robots in society and in the media. He showed multiple movie clip examples of machinery and robots being controlling, dangerous, and in control of the society in which they belonged. It is a fairly common plot theme, because the thought of robots becoming powerful enough to be independent of humans is strange and slightly terrifying. So that talk gave us a lot to think about.

Next, we headed for practice round 2 of the day, which was just an hour long so we only got a few runs in. When the line closed, we still had some code edits we wanted to try, so we were planning on coming back to this third round, which goes from 7-9.

stop at sonic after the movieWhile the Beyond Botball head-to-head rounds were going on, we went on the most anticipated field trip of the week. We, along with our adopted team Notre Dame Academy, headed to the movie theater to see the very appropriately themed Wall-E. It was a great movie, and one of the cutest movies I’ve ever seen. Hannah and I said “aww” at least 50 times. The boys didn’t enjoy it quite as much, especially since most of them dozed off at least once during the show. But I loved it.

Now we are at practice round 3 and still not quite done perfecting our code. After a 6th place score in the seeding round, we’re hoping to do really, really well in head-to-head tomorrow. We’re just adjusting little things, nothing big, just hoping we do our absolute best in the morning.

Seeding Round 3

liam being interviewedWe fixed Legobot, but that still didn’t help it out much… it managed to knock down the other half of the bridge, but after that it couldn’t find the tape to square up and get back across. Unfortunately, all it did was take a majestic plunge into space. The Create had less than optimal performance on the Tribble piles, missing at least three oranges and then missing the cups, throwing off only one of the final 3. It still made it across the bridge and into the shelter, but it also dragged in two extra orange tribbles, giving additional points to the other side. So with those points, plus no Legobot on the other side, plus extra cups on our side and a lack of Tribbles, the bonus of the Create making it into the shelter didn’t help us out too much.

go, bots, go!

84 points.
the good luck charm!So now we rest up, have some fun, and come back for practice rounds tomorrow. Head-to-Head doesn’t start until Friday, and we should be able to tidy up our bots before we have to face the competition. So far, we should be in sixth out of 58 in seeding, which is a pretty decent score, and after looking at strategies it seems like we’ll be able to beat most of them in head-to-head.

And here is our good luck charm, who I finished after bringing lots of sewing supplies with me. I forgot to bring him to the watching area for the second two seeding rounds, so I’m contributing the lack of a good luck charm to our worse than usual scores.