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Friday, February 17, 2012

Nothing Ever Goes As Planned

Today was one of the busiest days that Team 3313 has ever had. We had the local TV station come in and video tape us, we performed a halftime show for the public, and we packed up for a competition (until 12:30am). All this after being at school working until about 11:30pm on Thursday night.

Today started with gettting a bunch of stuff ready for the tv station coming in. Bryce had to get out of class, Bydlon had to find a sub, Jenna had to hurry back from mentorship... It was a production getting everything ready for KSAX showed up right on time. Unfortunately, things did not go according to plan. The victor powering the shooter wheel did not turn on, or when it did, it did not go at top speed. We tried EVERYTHING to fix it. We switched the electrical wires, we changed the PWM cables, we restarted the robot like 10 times, we checked the programming... We tried so many things. FINALLY, someone suggested checking the fuse. It turns out, that was the problem. After that, we were good for filming. Jenna, Molly, Bryce, and Bydlon all got interviewed. The story is online and you can watch it here.

Unfortunately, these problems in the afternoon were a precursor to our halftime show. After spending an hour and half to two hours sweating and fixing and stressing about the tv interview, the team went to the last period of school and then immediately started getting ready for the halftime show. We finalized fixes for the robot and tested it again. The team got all of the PR stuff ready. We made half sheets of information, got bracelets and a cash box, finalized the script, set up the table, arranged the music. Brandon and Megan kept working on the bumpers. We had a table set up in the hall way outside the gym. We had a picture slide show playing and the robot out on display. The elementary aged kids really liked the robot and the LED lights.

Honestly, we all felt pretty confident going into the halftime show. Nervous, but confident. Unfortunately... things did not go as planned. Check it out on YouTube here.

First, we started wheeling the robot to the gym door and a data cable for the shooter got stuck in a wheel. Bydlon and Bryce ran around and got a new cable and fixed it but it took a minute or two. Jesse went out in the mascot outfit and kept people entertained. FINALLY, we got the robot ready and Bydlon ran around and started the show. The beginning of the show went according to plan. Bryce drove the robot out and did some spins. He shot a few basketballs and barely missed. All of a sudden though, the robot became incredibly laggy. The last three minutes of the show were basically the robot sitting still. Also, Bydlon and Jesse collided and broke a piece of the mascot. All in all, it was a pretty depressing showing. After the show, the team was a little down but everyone that came to our table was positive which was nice. We brought the robot out at the end of the game and made a bunch of baskets. It was a positive ending to an otherwise mildly depressing performance.

The team was not done however. We had to pack up everything for our Scrimmage at Eagan High School the next day. Bydlon spent 1.5 hours organizing the tool box. Bryce and Ryan chained up the back wheels on the robot to try and help us get over the bridge. Jenna and Rachel got all of the backpacks and PR stuff organized. Everyone on the team helped us load up the trailer. We did not leave school until about 12am. This after having an insane, intense day of public relations.

It was not the perfect day for Team 3313 but no day is perfect. One of the best parts about the team is their resiliency and ability to bounce back from shortfalls. By the end of the night, everyone was in a good mood and looking forward to the scrimmage (which was only about 5 hours away when we left).

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