Note to visitors on this post: If you got here while searching for the full competition results, I apologize (they can be found at the FIRST website). My original title was rather general, and I have changed it to be more specific. Search engines might not pick up the title change for a while, though, so again I am sorry if you got here in error.
Well, I got back from Milwaukee around 00:20 last night (this morning?) and went to bed within an hour. Among other things, the bus taught me that manufacturers don’t pay enough attention to uniform seat spacing. There was one row with an extra several inches of legroom. Sounds like airliners to me. (Oh wait, airlines are today’s bus companies. Duh. No wonder the seating arrangements are similar.)
Anyway, yesterday’s competition was, for us, only a half day. Ultraviolet, FRC Team 2129, finished at #48, out of the 60 teams in attendance at the Wisconsin Regional Competition, with three wins and five losses. We were done before lunch.
We sat through the top eight teams picking alliance partners for the final rounds, watching our team number stay in the Available column through choice after choice. Eventually we ended up as an alternate for one of the teams (I’ve forgotten the number), meaning we would have competed in their place if their robot broke beyond reasonable repair, but of course that didn’t happen.
The second half of the day, from about 13:00 to 17:00, was spent just watching the increasingly competitive finals between the last alliances. It wasn’t a total waste of time because we got to watch a couple other Minnesota teams compete. Robohuskie (2574, St. Anthony Village High School), The Green Machine (1816, Edina High School), and Blue Twilight (2220, Eagan High School) all competed, as well as The Millerbots (2549) of Washburn High School.
Among other things, Team 2549 got into the upcoming nationals. In a way, it’s a bit annoying, since we mentored them and this is their rookie year (2129 started in 2007). What’s also interesting is the fact that, while our robot could do everything (make laps, push balls, carry balls, put them over the overpass, and place them up there at the end of the match), Washburn’s robot had very few capabilities. It was much like the robot from Mukwonago, WI (930), which did only one thing: race around the track and make a lot of laps. Even with the annoyance of being beat out by a rookie team that got their start from us, the stigma is just our dented pride; all of us hope that Washburn does well in the nationals.
Moving on, I took a lot of photos at the events, going through, on average, a battery and a half per day for three days. I also have several video clips. I’m thinking about uploading a couple, perhaps one of the robot in qualifications and one of our team goofing off in the stands, and embedding them here in a later post so as to provide some insight into what happens at those competitions. All the FIRST video sites I’ve seen have yet to get footage of this week’s regional. Heck, even FIRST‘s own site is lacking alliance details for the latter half of the final rounds. There’s a huge amount of data to be uploaded, for everyone involved, so some delays are expected.
On another note, I’ll now be back on my normal current-stuff posting schedule. Even though I brought my computer, I didn’t use it very much. Time actually spent at the hotel was very limited, and most of it was spent sleeping. We were up at 06:00 every morning and didn’t get back until between 20:00 and 22:00 every night. Sleep usually came around 23:30 or 00:00. Email and a bit of Twitter (through Twhirl) was about all I used the computer for.
Over the next couple days I’ll get caught up on blogging about stuff that’s happened since this past Monday. There are some good Google things in there, as soon as I can get more info on them and write up some semblance of a post on each.
Hope you’ve enjoyed following my (sparse) updates on the FIRST Wisconsin Regional, and hopefully we’ll do better next year. (For reference, we made it to the finals last year. As I said yesterday, we had some bad luck this year.) Meanwhile, there should be some professionally produced photos and videos at the Wisconsin Regional website at some point.
Update (20:17): Changed the title to make the specificity of this coverage more obvious and added a note to that effect. Since I only really talk about Team 2129, the one I’m on, I figure I should say that in the title. That and I see visits from Milwaukee who probably found this in a search for the general results, which can be had at the FIRST website.