Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Robo Games: Part 1: The Competition


I've been on the Middle School Robotics team this semester. I chose this elective with my dad at the beginning of the year, and I've hated it. First of all, most kids in the class are boys except for me, and two others girls. Sadly, the two other girls are on a team together (with other boys) and I'm all alone in a group with all boys. Two of the boys in our group did everything, while the other three of us did nothing all class because we didn't know how. The class started to grow on me when I created the t-shirt design for my class (I love using Adobe Illustrator) and tried working on making a program for my robot. My team name is Robo Swag. (This is what I get for being in a team with all boys)

Each year the Legoland challenge is different. This time the challenge was farm related. For my challenge I had to move my robot out of base, turn left, and position the robot to pull back a handle which releases the "water" into the fields to feed the crops. (The water is really a blue ball).  There are many obstacles that you have to try and avoid. It was actually pretty fun programming what the robot should do, how many rotations or degrees it should move and watching the robot carry out its tasks. It's pretty hard to picture all of this but I'll try my best to explain. You can choose out of several missions which ones you want to do. For example, knocking the rooster off the fence, using the tractor to plow the fields, finding the needle in the haystack, catching the cow and the pig, and so on and so forth. My mission actually worked pretty well, considering no one helped me learn how to do the programming, and I had to try out my program by trial and error. I almost got excited for the competition at Legoland. Almost.
(For more on how the competition went, see my next blog, Robo Games, Part 2: Catching the Pig)

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