A Series of Unfortunate Events

What were some “unfortunate events” that happened to your robot or your alliance’s robot that costed you big time during a match?

For our team, it happened at 2009 hawaii regional during the first semi-finals match…
Our alliance was 3rd seeded and we were versing number 2 seed.
Our alliance captain’s robot rammed a wall during autonomous mode and the battery connection snapped. The whole remainder of the match, they scored on the dead bot. It was pretty much devastating. It costed us the chance to be a regional finalist or winner.

It’s unfortunate these things happen though… but with gracious professionalism, win or lose, the experience was worth it!

Team 2502 was graciously picked by Team 93, a regional super powerhouse, and team 3009, a regional powerhouse rookie. If you took away Team 3009’s number, you would probably guess that they were a long time veteran.

We got in to quarter finals. We were 3rd seed alliance, facing some good robots, but like we were just “perfect” alliance (a power dumper by 93 that could like outscore all three combined, a power defensive bot by 3009 that was a HUGE box with a tilted top to deflect rocks and pin to no end, and us with a decent shooter that was okay at everything.) and I mean the 6th alliance was good (Robettes, 2177, and two more bots) and we were facing them.

Then the match started, and because of an autonomous screw-up, and paralysis to half of the robot (a jag that controlled the left half of the robot had its wires just pop out), it cost us the round by like 10 moon rocks, which we could’ve easily scored had we not been dead the whole round (filled trailer) and had we been able to go pin/help out & score.

Then the second quarter finals match started. We were really hyped up that we were gonna be able to play a good match.


Amidst the CRAZINESS between Quarters 1 and Quarters 2 trying to fix all the screwiness we got during first quarters, we overlooked one thing: tightening the T-Slot fasteners on our 80/20. Of course, at the most convenient time, our robot’s chain that controlled the intake of the moon rocks ran off the sprocket, thus allowing us to drive, but not do anything with the actual scoring…

But we had a memorable experience working with such great teams and learning what we can from our devastating mistakes…

We’re still happy where we got as a second year team, especially from our first year, last year.

In our first match on Cuire, the FTA basically wouldn’t let us reboot our bot so it could connect to the field. We ended up losing that match only by 16 points, if we had won we would of been in the finals :frowning:

The first match after lunch on Friday, the TechnoKats had one alliance partner totally absent, and the other partner’s robot stopped moving after ten seconds. A later match also had a nonfunctional alliance partner robot. Those were the team’s only two losses in qualifications. Death is contagious: a dead robot kills the entire alliance.

(On the other hand, win can be contagious as well. The Galileo high score was set by an alliance of 45, 67, and 111.)

On Saturday on Galileo we had two robots stopped working due to radio problems. the FTA refused to replay the match even though one of the NI techs said the problem was with the NI equipment.

we went into eliminations at hartford on the number 1 alliance with 121 and 173 and it looked like we were going to win the regional. first match of quater finals started and our bot didn’t move the entire time. the other 2 quater final matches we won but didn’t move in auton. same was true for the first match of the semis except we lost and the second match after our programmers tried to fix the problem the driver station said no code and we did not move at all causing us to be eliminated which destroyed our chances at making it to atlanta.

Unfortunately, we faced 121 and 177 and 1507 in the quarterfinals.

BTW, great job 121, 177, and 1507! And thanks 2771 and 365 for the valiant effort!

How about Team 922 in Curie division.
They get to there pit area and NO ROBOT!!!
Robot was in Kentucky for some reason. It didn’t arrive till Midnight Friday morning.
I helped inspect it and it needed some changes made. I think they missed there first match :frowning:

One of our students helped them build a “spare” bot that I think they used to compete in their first match – and won!!

1726 had a very impressive machine and played very well in Newton all week. You were at the top of our list! What a great set of matches…your alliance was very tough.

Congrats on such a great year!

For our first 4 matches, we didn’t realize that our motors were literally burnt out, then, we replaced the motors, almost missing our 5th match, but, we wired our motors wrong, and we couldn’t do much… then, once we had those working, we had some issues with our ball collector, which we had to replace parts on (we were the ones running around looking for paint rollers) we got that fixed, but in the next match, I (our driver) accidentally brushed the tank/arcade toggle button without noticing, and we lost hold of a half-match pin… making our score go from 80-75 to 88-91 (our loss)

the next match, our last, we forgot to load our hopper before the match and our ball collector still wasn’t working well enough…

overall, our best CMP score was 54-54, a tie… making our CMP record 0-6-1

talk about a series of unfortunate events…

BTW, thanks sooo much to all the teams that offered their help while we were fixing motors, and looking for paint rollers!!!

(Most of this stuff is stupid insignificant stuff until you see Friday afternoon’s story, which is quite an adventure).

Okay. I’m sorry folks, but I think it’s going to be hard to beat my story. I think that someone’s hexed me and it has trickled down onto my team.

Before the trip
The week before leaving, a series of drop ceiling lights and flourecent bulbs die, and the day before we go, my microwave goes, all before houseguests are staying to watch my dog. I fix the lights, buy a new microwave, and go on my merry way.

In school on Wednesday, the day we depart, I call our transportation department to confirm the pick up time on Monday, as our flight time was changed, and they said “Bus? What bus?” – apparently when our trip was approved, the appropriate people neglected to tell the transportation department, but then we get on our merry way.

Our bus comes speeding into the parking lot, and we load into the bus to head toward the Philadelphia airport. We quickly unload baggage and make it into the terminal with about 1:45 before our flight departs.
We hit the check-in counter, and we get one 75-year old man to check in 31 people. It takes one hour and 30 minutes to check us in (before TSA). Thankfully, in that time, we discover our flight is delayed. For two hours. And a half hour delay ON the runway. There was an “incident” on our flight which, upon landing, took us ANOTHER half hour to get through, and we arrive at the hotel at 11PM.

Thursday, on the way over, I twist my ankle. I go to first aid at the stadium, and they have no ice. I go to Papa John’s booth, get a plastic serving glove, fill it with ice, and try to ice it up. I get told by event staff that I can’t keep my foot up elevated on the seats. So I then went to the Omni and bought an ace bandage and wrapped it all weekend.

Inspection this year was very difficult to get through, and we got failed a few times for things like wire coloring and fitting in the box (because we touched the wall). What was frustrating is that they would find one thing wrong, fail us, and send us back, to find one other thing, fail us, send us back. We went through this process 3 or 4 times before getting the sticker.

Friday morning, we were excited to be able to participate in the Robot parade for winning NJ Chairmans!! After leaving the hotel with a few stragglers, I was disappointed to see my kids not in the stands. Turns out that when I said “Be in the stands by 8:00”, that someone (student or mentor) thought that meant “8:15 is okay”. Needless to say, 90% of my students missed us in the parade. That made me livid, but I eventually got over it.

**This is where the story starts to get good
So matches start, and we start losing. Our team was playing relatively well for our capabilities, but we just couldn’t cut the mustard. After going 0 - 3 we had a pretty good match coming up with a local powerhouse this year, 816. In auton, we hit another team and break our elevator, a part of which falls onto the floor. We think that we get disabled for it. 816 hits another team and has a wire issue that causes them to shut down. We end up with a tie in that match. This was match 57. We also have one on 65, so we try to get our robot fixed up the best we can while on the field. Sadly, we’ve lost power to the cRio and we can’t figure out why, so we have to bail and return to the pits.

We go back to the pits and can’t figure out why the cRio won’t boot while the PD block is sending appropriate power. We call the NI guys over, and they test it, ask us to take it out so they can take it to their booth to test it further. While there, I notice the winner of the cRio drawing, team 2590, a team that we helped in mentoring! I go to spare parts to get a new cRio, and they’re closed. So then I go to 2590’s pits but they’re not there, so I call them to let them know that they won, and to beg and plead to borrow their new cRio since spare parts had already closed for the day. They come back to the pits 30 minutes before closing time, and after a nice photo session with some executives from NI, we rush to install the cRio in the pit.

As we install it, Drew, one of our programmers, starts to boot his laptop to update the firmware and code for the cRio discovers that his computer has crashed. He reboots only to later find out that it’s a physical drive failure. So we not only lost our cRio, but also our programming laptop! But let it be known that Drew’s a smart kid, and had a relatively current version of the code on a pen drive in his laptop bag. We decided to set up my freshly-formatted laptop with labview back in the hotel room, so we reach for the bag with the backup code… and it’s gone. As it turns out, it was left on the field. Lights in the pits dim, they’re kicking us out… fade to black.

Back at the hotel, the programmers work feverishly to update TWO laptops with current versions of labview and the WPI libs, and write ALL NEW CODE in case we can’t find the bag with the back-up code. We make an effort to get there bright and early saturday morning. No rest for the weary.

Everyone gets to the stands on-time! We get nice seats next to Buzz and skunkworks, two great teams. Programmers get to work, kids get food, awards are given, and “let the games begin!”. Did our team make it? Did they get the cRio programmed? “YES!!! We’re up!! We’re out there!” Then whack, two more losses, and we land 86th place (out of 87). We’ve got our crate coming to the pits before our robot even makes it back from our last round. We pack before QF’s are finished. We go back and cheer one some great teams in curie and galileo, and sit back and watch the show on Einstein. Some kids need to go back to the hotel to drop some things off, so I escort them back. We get back to the park about 40 minutes later. I get in line for food – no plates to speak of in sight. Once again, I’m livid. Not even Karaoke could make my night better (especially because it was booked up).

As the party wrapped up, our team got together and sat to watch the last couple acts, which led up to the fireworks. As I sat with my students and my wife, my anger washed away while bathed in the lights and sounds of the show. I can’t explain it – but watching my kids as a group smiling at the show, and realizing that they had so much fun, made this entire trip, and all of its adventures, absolutely 150% worthwhile. We all headed back to the hotel in positive spirits, reflecting on how funny all of the ordeals were.

To add insult to injury, a kid puked on the plane on the way home. We just couldn’t catch a break!!

Team 1089’s journey to Atlanta this year was a long and stressful one. But we have this saying on 1089 that really fits in well:

Life is a Journey, so Don’t Stop Believin’

See y’all again soon!

In the second round against 217 on Einstein the chain that ran our belt snapped forcing us to play defense.

First mechanical failure of the year had to happen at just the wrong time. :stuck_out_tongue:

We let down 222 at Philly when our chain snapped during eliminations for our intake rollers forcing us to play defense with a non defensive drivetrain =/. According to many outside of our team or friend circle, we could’ve won that regional with the partners we had. 222 has an insanely good robot(Archimedes winner anyone?) and 316 does as well.

While we were building our robot, the student assigned to put our chain tensioners on decided that our chains were tense enough so we didn’t need them and didn’t put them on. Flash forward to the middle of Friday at Los Angeles. We were up against a tough alliance, so our strategy was that we were going to bait the other team’s best scorer into chasing us around the entire match, which worked for about thirty seconds until we hit a wall and threw a chain. Naturally, the opposing alliance took this opportunity to fill our trailer until no more balls could fit.

And to add insult to injury, somehow someone or something reset our CRio while we were putting the chain back on…and we didn’t notice until our next match had started and we weren’t connected. :eek:

The only other failure we experienced all season was our conveyor belt jamming because we left off…ONE WASHER. Oops.

a wire going to our helix motor came loose and caused us to loose coms’ for one match…
then when we were soldering it on I cut my hand open on the FP…

and then I got my lip cut open on something(havent figured it out yet)

thats it though, we’ve always built our robots to be indestuctable(and heavy):rolleyes:


This part is all very fortunate: We go into alliance pickings seeded 10th, ready to have to pick in maybe the 7th or 8th spot. We get picked by the 1st seed, 1144, naturally we say yes. All is well.

1st Match: 1144 starts moving in autonomous, then just stops about 5 ft from the station wall. They get loaded up for about 30 seconds until we ram them to get them out of the way of a dumper and they start working. (We found out later than they had reset something at the exact time we hit them). We lose the first match 70-68 because of that.

2nd Match: Everything goes well we win 79-53

3rd Match: Auton starts, our robot doesn’t move at all. Light is blinking. Auton ends, robot doesn’t move… at all. We play around with all of the wires for about a minute and then our coach jumps in, in a moment of desperation to play around with the wires… we get a 10 point penalty and DQd. Our trailer gets massively loaded up - we lose 50-36.

We talk to the FTA and field monitoring people, they claim our robot was in “working mode” the entire time - one of the field people even said they saw our robot “up and driving around”, which was kind of impossible when it was sitting in front of the outpost wall with the light blinking. Anyway - the field was not kind to the 1st seeded alliance at Florida and staunched any hopes we had of making it past the QFs.

This has taught me never to go out to lunch again. In a Match right before lunch a robot was stuck on ours for the entire 2 minutes and 20 seconds (some of you may remember that i am so sorry whoever’s robot that was ^^) well in our next match our robot controls shut down. Turns out that the robot who lodged onto us disconnected a few wires from our black box. Our team usually does a system check before every round, but due to long lines at the cnn center we were short on time.

hey 2443!
Maui right?
Congrats on making it to CMP!
Thats really exciting. I saw your record… 5-2! thats good. Im suprised no one picked you for alliance pairings…

but see you next year or sooner!

gee, mr gregory, you seem like you had a tough time… at least the kids had some fun… :stuck_out_tongue: