RoboCup: Day 3
Outside the Blue Mosque
George, Jake and James (right) prepare their robots for battle
Here is the latest update from our reporter-on-the-spot, Gabriel Strain, a member of the ‘People’s Robot’ team:
The ‘People’s Robot’ team arrived at the Expo early and began frantic soldering, gluing and typing in an effort that might hopefully manifest itself in a few wins.
Unfortunately this dream was not to be realised in the first game. We played against ‘Mr Unknown’ and although the only working robot we had performed better than expected, it wasn’t enough. We lost that game 29-1, but the single goal was more than enough compensation. Moreover we learnt of several problems which were remedied in the next hour.
A short while later we mixed things up a bit by having pizza for lunch.
Having eaten our fill, we headed back to our desk in order to prepare for the second foe of the day. ‘Team Reverse’ was two Japanese girls. The time 12:30, the match is in one hour.
With a little time to spare, and as part of our learning from the competition, we went to speak to a veteran team from Singapore. This gave us some intriguing and useful ideas for next year.
‘Team Reverse’ was in possession of the ‘Hello Kitty’ robot, now famous across the hall. We were not intimidated. Annoyingly, under the candy-pink disguise was a powerful robot. The game started quite well, with ‘Team Reverse’ scoring an own goal; however it was all smoke and mirrors. We eventually lost this game 9-1. Just to rub salt in the wound, the collisions with ‘Hello Kitty’, combined with the terrible pitch surface, effectively rendered our motors useless.
Decisions were made that we weren’t party to, and we had to play ‘Team Reverse’ again. Having both robots on the pitch was certainly a help. We scored 12 goals, but only one was in the right goal.... We had the same problem in German, back in February. Same problems, different robots.
Later on we went to see ‘Bon Jovi’, which was brilliant. (There will be a full review in ‘The Voice’ in September.) This was the first time ‘Bon Jovi’ had played Istanbul in 18 years, and it was a fantastic concert all round.
The final day of competition approaches, and then we head back to England. Wish us luck, and see you soon!
The report from Day 2
After a long night and morning of soldering and programming, we headed for the exhibition centre. We worked quickly and quietly, and the noise around us was reduced to a blur in our concentration. Our first game was in 40 minutes, giving an hour to prepare, something which we desperately needed. The atmosphere in the room was one of nervous comedy, with the clichéd music of the Robot dancing providing a suitably annoying and sickly soundtrack to our efforts. For James ‘Midget’ Alton things were simply going, and I quote “OK”. None of us had the thought capacity available to think anything else.
As the first game was about to start, we were informed, in just recognizable English, that the previous game had been delayed, and that we would have an extra 15 minutes preparation. We frantically ran back to our desk. This game was against the EMM-CFT. We were vastly out-matched and lost 12-0. We came away disheartened, but following a pep talk with Mr Hunter, we were back on the proverbial Robotics wagon. The second game, and our only win, was preceded by a rather strange event. A large Hungarian man/boy approached us (from the Hungarobots), and told us that we were going to lose, so we should forfeit!
Turns out he was bluffing...his fancy state-sponsored robot was broken, and by chance we scored two goals, and walked away with a triumphant victory. A celebratory meal of hamburgers followed.
Our third and final game was coincidently against the Hungarobots again, and they had used their time wisely: their robot was functioning - barely, but it was enough. We narrowly lost 11-0.
In retrospect, the robots have come on immensely since the start of the day, from being unable to correctly seek the infra-red emitting ball to scoring two goals. The whole experience was invaluable for both teams, and we consider it a success.