Programming and Robot Skills Competitions at Worlds

Since I had two teams that were very competitive in this area, I watched it nearly every time I walked between the Arena and exhibit hall fields.

Robot Skills:

Only a couple of teams turned in 60s (1114a and 2213a). Neither repeated this 60 in the finals in front of the big crowd. No one scored over 60. No Exothermic team did 60, although two had turned in several 60s in practice. There’s something about the adrenaline of a real competition, I guess.

My personal favorite team on Robot Skills might be 721, which scored 54 without being able to climb the platform and turn the bonus cube. That’s all eight goals and 14 cubes, which is the six on the floor, four on the robot, and four from the autoloader. Pretty darned cool.

Programming Skills:

575 ran their “safe” programming code in their first run and scored 37. 2921 turned in a 30 and another team (sorry for forgetting the team) did 29. Those were the best runs of the day.

Over their mentor’s objection, 575 ran their “43” routine in the finals, which is designed to score 43. I don’t know what routine 2921 ran, but neither robot did as well in the finals as they did in the dimly-lit preliminary field. When the dust settled, the Kiwis won. (This was probably karmic payback for an alliance captained by Exothermic 418 eliminating them by one point in the Technology division :slight_smile: ) 2921 was as good as they looked in the videos – quite a robot. Did I also mention that they were friendly and professional, too? Nice bunch of robot builders. It would be fun to compete in their tournament. I wonder what it would take to raise that much money?

The highest score I saw an autonomous routine was 575’s “43” routine on the practice fields, where they knocked off several 43s. Since both 2921 and 575 were line-followers, the members of 575 think it might have been the more stark lighting on the Arena field that hampered both robots. We’ll never know – but it was a great competition. Thank you, Karthik!

We actually managed to score in all 8 goals, all but one cube on the ground, and got onto the platform with 4 seconds left. In retrospect, we could have gotten 55, but we don’t believe that 4 seconds will be enough to go for an autoloader. That raises an interesting question about strategy strategy though, because we might have been able to empty an autoloader faster than getting on the ramp, and take one or 2 from the other autoloader to score over 60.

See – I’m so embarrassed. I didn’t see the 54-point run, but that’s how a certain Canadian mentor described it to me at the party.

This also means that you would have had 59 points if the bonus cube had fallen just right. Good job.

We can’t get the bonus cube. We relied on ramping the bot by having it just parked on the lip at the very bottom. We tried for a long time in practice to get our bot over the ramp but all our attempts failed so we left the bonus cube to either our alliance partners or the other teams.

I watched 575 hit 43 on the practice fields many times, I was also really impressed with the attention to mechanical detail on 575.

The exothermic robots are all quite amazing. 418 was one of the fastest scoring robots I’ve seen in the competition.

575 has the best line following code I’ve seen in competition. Every bot turns to line up with the line and most do it pretty well but 575 is the only bot that I’ve seen do it smoothly. Every other bot pretty much stops, jerks over and continues while 575 managed to have one side slow down and turn gracefully.

I was disappointed that the web cast didn’t cover any of the Thursday skills matches. That was one area that I really wanted to watch.

I’ll get the 575 team to shoot some video of their final line following routine so we can post it on Youtube. I’ll also ask if they are willing to post their RobotC source code. On their behalf, thanks for the kind comments.

Up there in post #1 I made a mistake – 2921’s alliance defeated 418’s in the eliminations, not the other way around. Did I mention I’m taking cold medicine?

It’s probably from your body thawing out from last weekend… :slight_smile:

Now, its having to re-adjust to the polar climate again.

Nope, I don’t think cold medicine has that particular side-effect - the online scores were wrong for a while. Alliance 5 did defeat Alliance 1.

I have a clear memory of a one-point victory for my students and their alliance, but I also had an epic cold (not swine flu) and didn’t trust my memory. I’m glad my brane isn’t that far gone yet.

Well, it might be close…

RE: “Brane”

I might as well explain this for the Young People. Back in The Day, before the Worldwide Web overran the Internet, there was Usenet. One of the wittiest and most literate of Usenet groups was alt.folklore.urban, a conclave of wits, half-wits, bon vivants, and generally interesting people. “Brane” was a shibboleth used whenever one wanted to discuss a temporary mental dysfunction. A similar tradition was that no one ever spelled “misspell” correctly.

Perhaps the most notable Net legend from AFU was the Star Trek troll. When a new Star Trek movie was released, Snopes* wrote that he hated the bad science in SF movies. The Enterprise, he wrote, clearly cast a shadow on a space dock, and everyone knows that objects in space don’t cast shadows. This started a thread that ran for hundreds of posts with outraged students explaining that objects in space DO cast shadows, and Snopes patiently mock-arguing with them. It was one of the classic trolls of the golden age of the Internet.

  • I bet the Young People didn’t even know Snopes was the Internet nickname of a real person. His name is David, and his wife Barbara writes and maintains the Website, a move that was widely viewed as selling out among the online urban legend community.

Thanks for the update. I do feel quite young, I’m only 50…

But now my brain hurts. You have introduced words that I had to go to my desk and pick up a dictionary, and look up. I’m sorry, but bon vivants, and shibboleth (and a new use for the word troll) are not part of my every day vocabulary. I’m used to: huh, I don’t know, it wasn’t me…, etc., and usually in spanish.

I know this is way off topic, but I love edumakation…

Learning new things every day is exciting!!