Northern Bites 4 – NTU Robot Pal 0

Zoe, Jayne, River, and Wash ready for the second half in their blue uniforms.

This game started off rough. We had tested our wireless half an hour before the game and were pleased that all our robots were communicating, but five minutes before we had no communication. There was a flurry to fix a bug that we barely caught, 3 minutes before the game but NTU called a timeout and we were able to re-install our fixed code but our communication was still not working. We decided to just go for it with no communication because we can play without it, although not nearly as well. We got manually positioned with kick off as the pink team. Usually the blue team has kick off, but since NTU took a timeout, we got kickoff. Play proceeded for a while, still with no communications between robots… But we scored!! We managed to score on the correct goal without localization or communication. There was much rejoicing. Brian and Octavian were hunting for other wireless networks that could be interfering with ours, but Brian tracked down the problem to a faulty cable that was connected to our own router. As soon as it was unplugged, our robots’ ears lit up bright blue (they do that when the receive information from other robots). We scored another beautiful goal with communication before the half ended and we switched to the blue team.

Now we could listen to the Game Controller, the piece of software that tells the robots what’s going on in the game (e.g. a goal was just scored, there’s 3:27 left in the half, a robot is penalized). So we could position autonomously on the field which lets us get much closer to the ball than being manually positioned (a significant advantage). As we were turning on our robots, Jayne (one of our robots) said “Head Processor Hot” which means it’s CPU is overheating. This is a very bad warning and often is a result of their fans not working. Sure enough the fan was off and we made a quick substitution: Mal for Jayne.

We scored more goals in one game than we have since 2009. An impressive feat.

We again started with kick off because we were the blue team this half, though the referee forgot so we didn’t kick in to our special kick off behavior. The Game Controller sends information about who is kicking off and it sent the information too late for us to pay attention to it. Regardless, we scored again. And again. Making the score 4-0. We had some problems with our role-switching and didn’t always go after the ball or stay with the ball when we should have, but overall we looked great. We were driving toward the opponent goal and keeping it away from our own. It was a fantastic game!

We are now working on some of our minor issues for our next game at 6:00pm vs L3M. Hopefully that will go as well as this last game. We will post video of the game at some point so stay tuned!

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