Post State Analysis

I know it’s been awhile since the State Competition, but I’m finally now getting back into updating the blog, so I’ll try not to forget too much.
The day prior to the competition, we all left school at 11am to go down to the Marriot hotel where the game was being hosted. On the bus ride down, I realized that our list which showed who was talking for each topic during our Interview was not likely to be in any of the boxes we brought, and that it was probably back in the room back at Kennedy. I calmly tried to reassemble the list so as to not alarm and freak out Cheryl, which worked for the most part; however I continued to tweak the list as the day progressed. After we dropped our stuff, we set up our booth and displayed our brochures next to our basket of tootsie rolls. We then got the robot through inspection which took longer than usual due to a novice inspector. I know that the rules are written to be absolute, but most judges and inspectors understand that there has to be some leniency allowed. Our inspector was new and didn’t know what was acceptable and what wasn’t. Nevertheless, an experienced and less particular inspector eventually came by to approve our robot. We were grateful for this because our Judges Interview was coming up by that point and we needed to get practiced so that everything ran as smoothly as possible. One of our team members was a no-show because she had to work, which we had already adjusted the interview to compensate for. However, another member had planned on being late to arrive and was hoping to get there just before our interview started. She arrived just in time for me to explain the changes we had made, and get her face paint and hair spray in. soon after, Andy came and told us that we were up for our interview. Our judges were fairly quiet while we presented our information, and I can honestly say that we preformed the best we have all season. Certain members who were too timid and poorly rehearsed in past interviews were at the very lease adequate in their execution of their information while others were significantly better.
After the interview, we returned to our booth to talk with other teams and to test out the robot on the practice fields. although it may not seem like it, by the time we had spent an hour working on the robot, it was already nearing 6pm. at this point, I and the bulk of the two teams chose to go up to our rooms and get clean. Danny and Tyler chose to work for another two hours and get multiple autonomous periods created for our matches. We then all decided to go down to the pool and relax the rest of the night. By midnight, everyone was in bed and ready for competition day.
Saturday started slow, with everyone packing up and getting ready to leave after the competition. We began running the robot on the practice field and everything was going well. Our problems began with our first match. Although the robot ran more or less perfectly, our opposing alliance was significantly better and our alliance partner was an inexperienced team. Nevertheless, the match was close and was arguably one of the best we had. From there, all of our matches got worse. Our issues were small, but had a great impact. Most of our alliances were inexperienced, and were not able to make up for our inefficiencies, while our opposing alliances were largely composed of more experienced teams and performed well. Some of our matches were close losses, while others were true blow outs. In our second match, our robot failed to even move during the tele-op period because the NXT had somehow been preset to only run our autonomous program. We continued to have connection issues on and off the field throughout the day – most of which were completely unexplainable. Danny and I were particularly frustrated with this match because our opposing alliance was not the best performing and had our robot won, we felt we would’ve had a comfortable win. Clearly, however, they were able to compete better than we were. It was not until our final match that we were able to pull off a near lost, but a win none the less.
During our last match, I sat out of being in the coaching position and decided to go around with George and Tyler to help me spread our idea of The Team Connect Initiative. Most people were modestly intrigued by our idea, but it was amazing how much their enthusiasm for the idea increased when we offered them some of our Brain Slugs. Although we may have failed on the field, our Brain Slugs and pamphlets spread to more teams than any other item of team memorabilia.
I can honestly say that I’m not sure what went wrong at state – connection issues aren’t something that is easily diagnosed – however I do feel that with the extra time we now have to spare, we will be able to accomplish a great deal before next season. I plan to talk about these plans in my next post.

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2 thoughts on “Post State Analysis

  1. We had an issue with some novice inspectors as well. They loved the wiring harness we had, but weren’t sure if it was legal. One after another they observed our robot until the head inspector finally approved the part. Congrats with your great presentation, btw. Did you win any awards at States?

    • Hey thanks! And I’d love to see the wiring harness you guys had on your robot.
      And no we didn’t win anything at state unfortunately. Did you guys advance to super regionals?

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