Three Peddie students and a recent Peddie Alumni, Albert Han '11 are currently in Anaheim, California compete ting in Botball's Global Conference for Educational Robotics (GCER). The group will collaborately be writing about their experiences over the week.
In preparation for the International Botball competition, James Kolano '13, Alex McNulty '12, and I, Preston Kung, worked on the robots for multiple hours during each weekend. Since Albert was in Korea during summer, we worked together through Skype and Gchat. We were nervous about the upcoming e event, but we were also very excited to go to California to compete against other amazing robots and see Albert again!
For the competition we entered two teams.
With a change in rules for GCER, one of the teams had a chance of reaching a really high score of 910. This team consisted of a stacking robot and a conveyor belt robot that scored ping pong balls. During the regional competition the point values of stacking blocks and scoring ping pong balls were even; however, during GCER, stacking blocks were worth many more point than scoring the ping pong balls. With the time given, we tried to choreograph the two robots with a slightly changed plan from the regional competition.
Before we started running our robots, we did run into several problems/concerns. Due to the instable packing of the robots, during the flight to California, some of the robots got partially dismantled. bummer. Also when we began our runs, the robots of both teams did not run as expected. With changes to make we quickly got busy. So busy we worked through lunch!
Though we had some issues, this conference is a good experience. Botball offered a variety of activities so far. We saw many fascinating robots in the KIPR competition, which is mainly for college and beyond. We were able to see many other robot designs from both international botball and KIPR competition that inspired us. So far there have been several speakers ranging from students to professors. One student talked about hacking the CBC, a system processor used in this competition, and one professor talked about the future of autonomic robotics system. There's a ton of things to do here and we’ve learned a lot! With 3 more days, I can’t wait to experience even more awesomeness!