That’s the answer to the question “What is the worst sound you can hear when the robot is being tested outside?” Why? Because that means they just rammed the robot into one of the steel supports holding up the outside roof. The last time that sound was heard it involved Team mentor/co-founder/ and Woody Flowers award winner Alfredo hammering a huge dent out of the robot’s frame. Thankfully we built this year’s robot like a tank and it just bounced off the pole with minimal damage. You might think that someone should be yelled at for running the robot into the pole. Well unless you like yelling at robots (which I have to admit is quite refreshing at times… ok pretend you never read that) there was no one to blame. See, the robot was running autonomously. For those of you not familiar with robotic language (no that doesn’t mean what R2-D2 speaks) that means the robot was running based only on the programming code and sensors it has on board. No outside human driver was in control. Thankfully our Head Programmer Ezra and his mentor Sabri were already working on keeping the robot from slamming into walls already. By the end of the day, the robot was driving straight, even correcting itself if it went off course thanks to a little sensor called a navX. It detects rotation in any axis and so the robot knows when it starts to turn. Then the program can compensate and keep the robot straight and avoiding walls and poles. This of course is in preparation for the upcoming Ventura FIRST Robotics Regional Competition. We want to make sure that everything is working so that we can score in autonomous better than in LA. Not that we didn’t score in LA, but since the robot could never go straight, it never could go through the obstacles to score more. And hey, it never hurts to score more.
-Davis (Head Coach)