Robotics in Istanbul
Two teams from the Stonyhurst Robotics Club are currently competing in RoboCup 2011, Istanbul, having qualified in the National Finals earlier this year. Hundreds of school teams from more than 20 different countries will take part in this ‘Junior’ version of the University-level competition, which promises to be an inspiring experience for our pupils: in Mr Hunter’s word’s, they will “rub shoulders with some of the finest engineering minds in the world!”
Here is a report for Day 1, written by Gabriel Strain (LG):
After a less than eventful day’s travelling, and a luxury minibus ride through night-time Istanbul, we arrived at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, courtesy of Mrs Magowan. Although the die-hard among us had vowed never to sleep until the robots were finished, human need overcame us, and we eventually got to sleep at 2am local time.
The party woke up at 8am, and headed down for breakfast. Imagine a Continental breakfast combined with a Full English...with cinnamon. This is a Turkish breakfast. Bizarre indeed, but tasty. After jumping into our luxury minibus, we drove across the city, a fantastic collage of ancient architecture and progressively modern buildings, and arrived at the Istanbul IMF Expo Centre. We were put in a haze by the epic nerdiness of the competition around us; compared to them, we looked positively normal. We registered, and worked on the robots until 2pm.
Another minibus ride later, and we arrived in the ‘Old Town’ (Constantinople) area of Istanbul, home to the famous Blue Mosque. After securing Fez’ for 3.5 Turkish lira each, we headed for the Mosque. It was closed for prayer, so we visited Mausoleums, and had kebabs in the meantime. The Blue Mosque is impressive from the outside, but inside it is breathtaking. The Arabic writing that crept around its many domes, and the stained-glass windows reminded us of the Christian churches we all knew.
As I write this, our team is scattered around the hotel, in a frantic effort to perfect the machines on which we had banked this entire mission for the competition start tomorrow. Good night, and please wish us luck!