January 6th, 2017: with bagels and breakfast in hand, our team anxiously awaited the start of the live stream, our fate for the next six weeks, the challenges and obstacles we would have to overcome this year when building our robot. Let's just say, we're excited. The stream starts; we fall quiet as we watch the 80's-esque video game animation explain the premises and backstory of our challenge, and we watch patiently to see what exactly we need to do. Scales? Switches? Power-Ups? This year's competition is sure to be unique!
To quickly explain, teams have to work together to collect cubes and win control of scales and switches, or use the same cubes to gain power-ups that benefit our teams or our bots. Points are gained based off of how long we control the scales and switches. Towards the end of a match, all three robots on an alliance must work together to climb twelve inches off of the ground using only one single foot-long bar per alliance. Tricky!
As the live stream ends, the password on screen, we scramble to read through the manual in order to thoroughly understand what we're doing. Splitting into groups, we all read and brainstorm ideas. After a bit of group work, we rejoin and discuss drive trains and methods for gaining points. Should we aim for switches or scales? How are we going to climb? What drive train is most appropriate for this competition? All of these questions must still be answered, but we definitely did get some good ideas onto the table! The next six weeks are sure to be filled with problem solving and hardwork!