Yesterday we had the qualifying matches for the FIRST Milwaukee Regional Competition, which I went to with the Southwest Robotics Team. The day before yesterday was practice matches, as an opportunity to work out bugs on the official arena before the actual competition.
The good news is, our robot was moving up in the rankings. The bad news is, it completely underperformed what I, and many of my teammates, expected.
We battled mechanical problems (our lift prongs got bent on Thursday) and yesterday we couldn’t seem to do anything with the lift arm until our final match of the day. The robot didn’t tip over (which it did do twice in practice competitions a couple weeks ago), but it just wasn’t performing at the level it had been in practice.
Today we’ll see how it does, and then go back to Minnesota. We get home around midnight, so I probably won’t be blogging about the results at all until Sunday morning. Sleep this week has been a precious thing; each day is a lot of walking around the large arena. Your feet and eyes start to ache and burn (respectively) starting around 16:00, and when you get back to the hotel you just want to go to sleep.
Actually, you want to go to sleep right when the FIRST officials say that the day is done, but there are other (non-robotics-related) activities to do and no time to nap.
I truly have no idea what we’ll be doing this morning, but we’re about to load the bus with our luggage and walk to the arena, so it shouldn’t be long before I find out. Obviously we’ll be running the robot some more. Er, I mean “hopefully,” not “obviously.” 😀
Yes, I know I said I would be posting canned material through Sunday, but I ran out of stuff to post, and I ended up bringing my computer. Plus there’s been time to write. (Precious little, but time enough.) So sue me for lying; at the time I wrote my last “current” post, I thought I would be offline.
In light of that, consider this a sort of “bonus” post. Now I have to think of something to publish Sunday morning…