Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snowy Days are perfect for...Robotics

Saturday, in the middle of snow madness, we left our warm cozy home, and traveled to Holland.  Yes, you read that correctly, left the home.  Got into the little car and drove north and toward the lake.  The great lake of Michigan.

What amazing adventure would lead me so far from my warm bed?

Robotics event..
Bowled Over explanation and rules video

 What is FIRST Tech Competition? Well, is involved which makes it awesome. Wait, it was awesome before because it involves robots. Sometimes I can't even make this stuff up.  For once here is the truth:

Pig 1 is involved with the Vicksburg Middle School robotics team the Control Freaks.

Green shirts with Orange writing?  OMG! I swear, I had nothing to do with that!

The team has been working since the beginning of the school year on their robot.

They built it, programed it and then battled it.  Ok, not with chainsaw arms, but with programing and strategy.  

We attended the West Michigan Championship in Holland.  I was not prepared for the awesome of this event.  It was all ac/dc back in black rock and roll during registration.  I'm serious, there was a dj.

They had two battle rings, and battles going non stop.  There was so much going on they had a big screen and two large tvs to cover all the action.  It was like a celebrity party, minus the booze.

 Plus, the robots!  The teams all get the same kit, and have regulations for size etc, but the variations from team to team were amazing!  I wish I'd gotten more photos, but I was so wound up in the battles I mostly sat, watched and cheered on.

That's another cool thing about robotics, the teams compete, but there is also a co operative component.  2 teams join an alliance and try to maneuver the course and get points versus another 2 team alliance.  So an opponent one round may very well be your ally the next.
It was really inspiring watching the kids plot and scheme, and then change allies without throwing fits or being crappy to each other.  Each team had something different to offer as an ally. 

Yes, there still were idiotic parents yelling idiotic things.  Like "get the ball!" which sounds aggressive even in baseball, but here people were yelling "GET THE BOWLING BALL!" so it was all the more ridiculous.  

Team Control Freaks did not get 1st, or third, or in the top 10.  But, the robot worked, it's programing allowed them to automatically get 10 points in the autonomous portion, and they learned a lot about how a team gets penalties, er, compete in the Bowled Over event.

Interested?  Want to see what it's all about?  Well, check out your local area.  If you are near Kalamazoo, our High School Team will be competing March 3rd at Gull Lake High School.  

If you want to help the Vicksburg Middle School team...consider being a sponsor!  I have already asked the team how much I need to donate to get Knit with Snot on the back of their shirts. 

I'd definitely recommend attending a robotics event, or supporting a team.  These kids are the ones who will be building skynet.  It's probably to our benefit to be on their side. 


Anonymous said...

THAT is soooo cool! We just watched the Battlebot episode of The Big Bang Theory. Great job, Harry and Team Vicksburg!

Linda said...

Way to go Pig 1! Way to go Team! The robot worked! (reminds me of Frankinstein, "It's ALIVE!")

Isn't it AWESOME!! The music! The non-stop action! The Robots! The kids not being crappy to each other! F.I.R.S.T. is so Cool! Why didn't thaey have this stuff when I was a kid? Oh right. We were playing with rocks then :D

Bec said...

That is so cool! Congrats P1

SheilaB said...

I was just looking for pictures of yesterdays competition, I had to work and miss it!