UWaterloo First Robotics Competition 2010
Here at Waterloo, our annual First Robotics Competition for High School students was held on Thursday to Saturday, March 25-27, 2010. The competition is for high school students who are interested in building and programming robots to see who has the most innovative, successful and smartest robot of the competition:
A DannyChoo and blogging member, Argyle (who recently quit blogging T_T) was part of his high school team. He twittered in the morning at 9 and I found out at 11AM that he was at Waterloo. I tagged along with him for the majority of the day to watch how the other teams also did:
This year’s robotic’s competition was creating a vehicle that can either move over ramps or under tunnels and shoot soccer balls into the goal. In the last 20 seconds, if you cling onto the middle sections and lift up, you can score 2 points for your team. Here’s a match of what was going on during one of the games:
The teams were pretty competitive and the matches were worth while to watch! Here are pictures of what was happening around the competition grounds:
Being backstage and talking to some of the contestants, we were able to grab some really nice pins… especially the FireFox ones!
It was a lot of fun watching some of the games! There was little to no competition involved as teams worked little together and spent more time trying to hog other teammate’s soccer balls. I do not know all the rules so the house rules could indicate the player who scored the most wins and this situation would make players want to score more points themselves than to help others. Still, if you are not going to score due to obstacles, at least help others and send the soccer balls in their direction…
It’s a very immature event IMO… the students are all there and think only for themselves. After watching a few rounds, even the mentors I talked to were all about one thing: “Who we are against and what’s good about their robots”. There was little concern for how they should strategically play and how the adjustments to their own robots would make the cart different to the driver. There was a lack of communication to other team players and I find this really challenging. Teams felt safe when they were with good players and nervous when against… a very poor judgement for team to make when playing co-operatively. Rely on your teammates and help them out during tough situations… great team play beats the ability of a single unit any time!
There’s my story on First Robotics… it was still fun to see what students do to customize their unit even though they lacked good teamwork. Oh well, maybe next year will be much more interesting if teams actually help each other out more… T_T doubt it but I can at least hope…