What a trip. We had trouble with the weather getting off the island. For a bit, we thought we should try to leave Saturday afternoon because things were looking bad for Sunday morning (our planned travel time). But, before we could get organized, the weather closed in and we had to wait until Sunday morning. We managed to make it off, but the weather closed in right behind us and we had a blustery drive from Charlevoix to Petoskey.
The build event was great fun. We split into a software team and a hardware team to get going. Here are some pictures of the the teams at work.
In this one you can see every member of the team. The fellow in the read shirt is from Petoskey (and he survived the event despite being in a red shirt), but skipping him from left to right are Gage, Mr. Boyle (sitting), Mr. Doig, Kai (with his back to the camera), Simeon, Jaret, Mr. Robert and Erin.
Next is a shot of our partially assembled robot base. You can see the wheel assembly for one side fully completed to the back and up front the other is under way. We had stopped for lunch at this point.
After lunch we completed the physical build and moved on to the electronics assembly while the software team continued to battle to get all of the software required for the competition onto our laptop. By the end of the day we had the robot base built and the electronics installed and fired up, but we couldn’t get the software working. We packed it in around 6:00 p.m.–after starting from Beaver Island on a 8:00 a.m. flight, for which everyone was up by 7:00 a.m. Ouch. We were so tired we forgot to take a picture of the robot. We went into Petoskey to have dinner and after we got some food on board, our camera instincts returned:
We thought the setting at the City Park Grill sort of paid homage to the medieval theme of this year’s FRC game. With full stomachs we headed back to Charlevoix with dreams of heading back to the island first thing Monday morning.
It was not to be. We couldn’t see the airfield fence from the terminal when we arrived (much less the cement plant) and things only got worse.
We did some research and then pulled out our robot to try to solve the software problem. Eventually it became clear we weren’t going to make it home, so (after a study session for those with upcoming exams) we headed out for a second night in a hotel. Our coaches continued to work on the software issue, while team got to see the latest Star Wars movie (in 3D) as a reward for all of their hard work.
We finally managed to get to Beaver Island in three waves of flights on Tuesday.
It was a great trip and we are off to a great start.