Day #2 Robocupjunior Bordeaux (Match Day 1)

Today, we played 4 matches against 4 different countries: Mexico, Singapore, Germany and Japan. The day proved to be stressful, but as a team said at the European competition, game is game.

We started the day early, eating some breakfast and drinking apple juice. We wanted to arrive at the venue at 8 o’clock so we had to hurry. Luckily, this went without any problems. However, when we arrived we saw that there was an enormous waiting line. Everyone from the competition decided to come at the same time and the security was slow. In the end, we got through without waiting too long though, because of the security letting people go through faster.

When we arrived at our table, the first thing we did was go to the robot inspection. This way, we avoided having to wait on people and we could immediately start testing the robots again. Upon testing we kept stumbling on the same problem. The orientation sensor we used became unreliable and caused our robot to drive at a weird angle. The robot also randomly started to turn 90 degrees.

Match One: Mexico

Our first match was against RBL Gardner, a team from Mexico. During the match, we had a few small issues. One of them was that the defender looked at a weird angle instead of straight. This was because we had an issue with the orientation sesnor. Something that was even worse was that a few neo-pixels (our light source) from the attacker broke off during the match because of the collisions with the other robot. Even though we encountered multiple problems, we won with a score of 12-2, so we did not worry about it.

Break time

While we were waiting on the next match to start, we kept working on the robots. The neo-pixels that fell off during the match were replaced and the orientation sensor together with our microprocessor were replaced. To our distaste, this did not help and actually just made things worse. The attacker kept acting weirdly and the defender had their own issues. And the next match was too close to do something about it. So we had to go in with two mediocre robots.

The other part of the team that doesn’t participate in the competition went out to look at the other leagues. Close to the soccer area, the dancing competition started so they went there to watch and enjoy it. There were some really funny dances and they all enjoyed it. Our favourite was team “All is well” that played ping pong against a robot.

Match Two: Singapore

Our second match was against socks, a team from Singapore. They showed up with one robot to the match, which worked in our favour but felt a bit disappointing. We wanted a fair and square match. During the match, both our robots weren’t working optimally, but they luckily did the job. The defender went out of bounds quite often because of it turning weirdly, which ended up in the defender riding forwards without any goal. The attacker also went out of bounds, but this was because it tried following the ball in the corner. However, we ended up winning 8-4. This means we have our second win in the bag.

Yet again, we had a break before our next match started. In the break we tried fixing the problems again. This looked like it worked, but in the end it was futile.

Match Three: Germany

The third match of the day was against Bodenseeluchse, one of the two German teams at the competition. We started off strong, but this quickly went downhill. Our robots started malfunctioning. During the match, multiple neopixels fell off, which eventually caused our whole neopixel ring to stop emitting light. Because of that, we could not detect the lines anymore and kept going out of bounds. We also experienced some issues with the orientation sensor, which caused us not being able to score most of the goals. The robot kept looking in the wrong direction instead of facing the goal and scoring. In the end, we lost with a score of 11-4.

During the break we tried solving the problem by replacing the bottom PCB. We also tried to bypass the neopixels that fell off so it wouldn’t cause a problem during the match. But during the process of doing these two things, something happened and caused a short circuit. This ended up in the bottom PCB not functioning anymore. Our match was very close so we tried to do anything we could and it seemed like we fixed the short just in time.

Match Four: Japan

The fourth and last match was against Oi_DENKIGEN, one of two teams out of Japan. Their robot had some issues as well, but they were still able to score some goals on us. This was because our attacker still had a short circuit, even though we thought we solved it. This resulted in the neo-pixels of our attacker to work very inconsistently. It also didn’t do what it was supposed to do anymore. Our defender also started malfunctioning and stopped riding straight, which ended up in it not seeing the goals with the camera. Because it couldn’t see the goals, it could not defend and score well anymore. The match was very disappointing and our team morale dropped. It ended with a score of 11-1.

Post match

After the match, we went back to the hotel and freshened up. Our mentor held a motivational and pointed out things we should focus on. We noticed that we forget the most obvious things due to stress of the competition. The presentation cheered us up  and we all went back to our rooms to start working on our interview presentation and the robots. This continued till late in the night. Tomorrow we hope to make a comeback and win.