|Working on the drive system trying to figure out what|
was going wrong on the first day. Love, love, love that the
girls have taken positions on the drive and build part of the team
It has been the longest haul ever and I just arrived home drained but happy, so so happy. My robot team had an AMAZING four weeks. We have had more ups and downs emotionally and the level of work going on around here was mind-blowing. Somehow I managed to pack 500 Frostings Kits last week in the chaos.
|A fourth informal visit by the judges after our formal|
presentation the day before. Sometimes you never get a
revisit so we knew things might be going well.
|Getting the robot ready for the finals. They built that|
massive cart three days before in my living room
So we got in the cars on Thursday and headed to Scranton to try our luck. Would it be on our side this time? Would we perform but yet be skipped again (the advancement order still hasn't been fixed)? We got there and the robot could no longer climb the mountain even with a system that everyone who viewed it was usually astonished for the effortless way it climbed. There was an entire day of debugging - why wasn't it climbing? Panic on the part of the parents watching, pride on my part as I watched them calmly work the problem like a bunch of engineers trying to get Apollo 13 back. By 11 pm we had it figured out and the robot worked flawlessly again.
|Match over, the 50 lb robot has climbed a slick|
mountain, over rods and that last section you see
has no bottom. Grabs the top bar and does a
chin up - not supported by anything else.
In the end, we won THREE trophies. Considering that there are only 7 judged awards and then a
|Three awards and so many tears of joy from them. Rare|
for 6-foot tall boys to give hugs. I got tons. They are so
excited as their team mate who had to move to Germany
is flying back for Worlds.
The kids are over the moon. When we realized before the finals that we had clinched a spot, the kids stood in the pit and cried tears of joy with me amongst hugs. Extreme relief. They aren't even upset by the controversy as they got what their goal was - an invitation. All else from there was gravy.
It has been the roughest year ever for our team. The new league format was brutal and in the end, three of the 8 teams in our league who have been competing against each other from Oct-Feb have been advanced to Worlds. That is just unheard of, apparently we just all kept raising the bar on each other, no wonder we are flat out exhausted.
But I was thrilled as they were a TEAM. Everyone was present and focused and doing whatever and anything that was needed. They were on-point and the robot worked flawlessly, shocking as a rule it usually never works as well as in your home environment. At one point the robot was in autonomous mode and it did the three things that were a stretch for the top robots and then it turned and went over to the mountain and collected three cubes and drove up the mountain triggering several other point gathering items, many teams struggle to drive it up the mountain without it flipping over and rolling off much less letting it do it autonomously. No one had seen a robot do that this year and the refs even came over and high-fived our drivers in a shocking show of respect. Not a surprise that we won the programming award.
So now I have to figure out how to get there, get the robot and a car full of stuff there and rooms. Crazy as the Worlds takes up 61 hotels and the big dome stadium as well as several other venues. It looks to be crazy, crazy, crazy.
|Robot Love Event at Menino Community Center in Boston|
|Teaching the kids how to built their own robots - they have|
been rooting us on as well
And I have cried so many tears of joy for them. Now to get the Frostings Club shipments started! Sleep will come later.
World Record in Autonomous Run
World Record Score