Day 1 at a regional event is usually unbag/inspection/panic/practice day. Lately, the team has been pretty good about passing inspection quickly, which then means that we can hit up the practice fields early and often. For example, in the 2018 season, we went from unbag to inspected in about 45 minutes, a new team record!
This season, we had a bunch of modifications that needed to get done on the competition robot. Part of the joys of having two robots is that we get to test modifications on the practice bot, and then move them to final locations on the competition robot. Thus, the first part of the morning was spent working through our TODO list (hosted on Trello) on changes needed by the robot.
With all the modifications done, we got weighed in (always a tense time, with students ready and waiting with hole saws if we needed to “cut some weight”) and inspected, which is when the staff determine if your robot is compliant with all the event, game and safety rules. It’s usually at this point that the mentors are glad they didn’t opt to put the portable nuclear reactor on board…. Not like we have one (way too expensive). With that out of the way, we got our inspection sticker, and were ready to hit the field.
Teams are usually scheduled for 5-6 practice matches, but since many teams have work to do on their robot, they end up missing their slots. Which means us sneaky privateers can opt to sub in for them, and thus play more matches. More matches = More Practice! We loaded our cart up with batteries and hung out patiently by the field to see if we could sneak extra matches in. Boy did we sneak in. A ton.
We ended up playing 12 practice matches, which were insanely useful in dialing everything in, and getting the drivers used to the competition robot and the actual competition field. Our backup team even got a chance to drive two of the practice matches.
All in all, it was a good day, with approximately 3500 feet driven by our robot, 45-ish HATCH panels picked up and scored, 30-ish CARGO balls picked up and scored, no tip-overs and only 2 pulleys broken. We’re looking forward to day 1 of qualifications. Wish us luck!