Having finally escaped from my several boatloads of makeup homework and leftover tournament fatigue, I came to finally make my Pan Pacific post.
Thank you very much for hosting such a well-organized tournament. It’s really hard to get that many teams to their matches on time, but you guys somehow managed to do it all early! You also created a really fun tournament atmosphere. I also must say that it was quite agreeable to have two-hour breaks between matches. That made it really easy to diagnose some of the problems that our teams had and get them repaired before we had to go back out on the field again. It also made it really easy for me to run around on scouting/negotiating business, which was fun. (And productive!)
I’d like to give special thanks to the technical support crew for your assistance with the Cortex and power expander problems we had on Friday. We’re still not entirely sure what knocked out the Expander, seeing as we were never able to duplicate the problem, but the important thing in the short term was that it didn’t happen again. (We think it may have been something to do with the backup battery; we found that when it’s plugged in and the robot is power cycled the arm tends to revert to its highest position. We left the backup out for the rest of the tournament.) I do apologize for being rude in my initial interactions with you. I was frustrated at the end of a very long, very weird day, and I acted in a manner that did not reflect well on myself or on my teammates. In hindsight I can see how tired and short-tempered I was by the end of the day, and I thank you for having the patience to help me anyways.
Our A team was very happy to win the tournament along with our awesome alliance partners 1973A and B. We were a great alliance, guys. I look forward to seeing you at worlds and finding out all of the cool stuff you’ve been working on in the interim! I’d also like to thank teams 2455 and 1378, our B team’s alliance partners, for a fun ride through to the semifinals. You were really great partners!
Of course, I’m very happy with the results of this tournament, but getting there was one of the most physically and emotionally exhausting experiences I’ve had at a robotics tournament. Friday was just a really weird day, and we had all sorts of misadventures all day long. Our first match featured a disengaged tower motor that crippled our lift; match number two had us accidentally drive over one of our alliance partner’s drive sprockets that had popped out onto the field and blow our drive (sorry, guys!). Perhaps the craziest experience of the day was match number four, when we were informed just before the match that our controller battery setup was illegal as per an August Q&A decision that reversed a previous ruling. We had to run around begging for AAAs to stick in our controller (thanks, 2504!). Then we had match five, with the Cortex-and-Expander shenanigans that set me off… it was just a really strange day, and it ended with us going 2-3. I’m glad I didn’t post on Friday night, because I would’ve been mad.
Saturday was a much happier, if no less nerve-wracking, day. Basically, I spent the entire day running around and trying to set up our A team (B already had a Worlds slot) for a run at the finals. In addition to “selling” our A team to our wonderful eventual alliance partners, I wanted to make sure that we were going to fall into the third round of the alliance selection. In this respect I think we were fortunate for the previous day’s failures, because they allowed us to slip under the radar of most scouts. Still, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I did some work to those ends myself. I confess to “un-selling” our A robot to a few of the teams in the top eight alliances and instead recommending other partners, even though I was confident in A’s abilities. I didn’t lie to anyone, but I did distort the truth by playing up our Friday failures and belittling our successes, knowing that if we fell to the third round we would be picked by the first seeded alliance. To the teams with whom I did this, please understand that I meant no disrespect to you. If you don’t think that my actions were appropriate, feel free to let me know over PM. I do understand any complaints you may have, but to me, negotiation and alliance forging is an important part of the game and I was just doing what was best for our team.
Thank you again to our wonderful alliance partners, our terrific hosts, our tough opponents and all of the teams who helped us along the way. We hope to see you again at Pan Pacific next year!