Thursday night, for around three hours, I went to give a presentation about FIRST and FTC to a group at the Arduino Meetup at the Microsoft NERD center. We decided that it would be easier to just drive the robot using an iPhone to the meetup then to carry it, so we decided that we would drive the robot into the meeting center all the way from the front door. This turned many heads; seeing an omni-directional robot driving around onto an elevator, down the hall, and pushing doors open. We received many inquiries into where people can buy the Samantha module, and we didn’t know. Does anyone happen to know where to buy the Samantha module, and how much is it? We had a great time giving the presentation at the Arduino Meetup, and we hope to give more presentations in the future at other meetups, and electronics events. If you would like us to come and talk at an event, please contact us.
Like usual we were running behind. We were staying in New York so that we would be close to the location of the New York State Championship for the start of the competition early in the morning. Before we left for New York, some of our programs still weren’t working so we took about half of our practice field with us to New York. When we arrived the team got to work rearranging furniture and setting up the field in our coach’s hotel room. We had been hoping to practice our presentation and have a more relaxing evening but we ended up fixing the last minute problems in the programs and testing the robot with our field.
When the team went to eat dinner with our families in the lobby, we discovered that there were at least two other FTC teams staying in the hotel who were also fixing last minute problems on their robots. As we passed the other teams working in a public area of the hotel we offered that they could use the practice field in our room or we could help them with any other problems. As I was going down to the lobby to post some signs letting any FTC teams know this, an all-girls team from Mt. Hope, Rhode Island headed upstairs to use our field. The next day’s competition was going to be their first competition. We went over the software inspection checklist with them and helped them with some Samantha module problems. It was pretty crazy in the hotel room with our whole teams, members of the girls’ team, some of our parents, some of their parents, and both teams’ coaches all in the same small room. It was so warm we had the window open while it was snowing. Once the girls tested out their robot, the boys’ team from the same school stopped by and we helped them with some of their problems. They also tested out their robot on our field. I added an entry to the Engineering Notebook about that night so our coach had to go down to the office center at the hotel to print out pictures that I could add to the notebook. It was almost 2 AM by the time some of us went to bed. The next day after the competition the judges came up to us and told us that they really liked how we had helped other teams so much.