Category Archives: Asides

We Have the Fire.

Sent, by me, fearless team captain, to the inner-core of the team on July 29, the day before we left for Atlanta:

Jesse is talking to Dick Nunn right now and I have a few things to say:

I say this to you, Northern Bites: we have the fire.

Over the past six weeks we have had the highest highs and the lowest lows. Deluded visions of grandeur and depressingly bleak predictions. We’ve broken three robots, made countless runs to D^2, inured ourselves to Imogen Heap, screamed ‘ROLL!! UNROLL!!’.

It’s time to up it up. Let’s win this f-ing thing

Submission to Boing-Boing


In a true David vs. Goliath story, and in our second year participating in the four-legged league, we won the World Championships. Linking to a great piece that just ran today, but our victory is a couple of weeks old.

Our ride was pretty amazing: 90-hour weeks holed up in the lab for six weeks before competition, fuel from Dunkin Donuts, and 5-AM dance sessions of the Hold Steady, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, and our favorite, the Lion King Soundtrack.

We lost early in the tournament but fixed a monstrous python bug — one two-spaced tab between our robot dogs completely sucking and being completely kick-ass. But we rolled to beat the Microsoft Hellhounds (Microsoft!!), the illustrious two-time champion the GermanTeam in the quarterfinals, Carnegie Mellon in the Semis (only the best Computer Science program in the world), and finally, took on the reigning World Champs, the NUbots from Australia, who literally beat every team last year by five goals.

Being Team Captain, this was the best experience of my life. Working on an insanely hard, really big project with a bunch of dedicated, awesome ‘teammates’. All the while realizing that we were, ridiculously, teaching robot dogs how to play soccer.

We’ve got video of every game up on Roll, nBites!

Eric Chown: Technical Guy

Four-Legged League committee members for 2008: here.

Congratulations to our esteemed professor, vision-guru, and all-around good guy Eric Chown for being appointed to the technical committee! May the Northern Bites dreams of playing all games inside room full of mirrors finally come to fruition!

Also, as a grievance, Michael Quinlan is now the chair of the organizing committee, and also a regular member of the technical committee. This is a clear violation of rules 1a,1b,1c, 4, 6, 89, 42, and 9 of the RoboCup charter.