IDC Robocon – Day 2 & 3 – Ham & Cheese + Arduino

11 Jul

By Ann Wee

Day 2

It is now about 10.05pm in Brazil, and my roomies are completely unconscious. I found them asleep when I came back at around 9pm. I guess most of us are suffering from jet lag, since we mostly live on the other side of the planet.

I have two roommates, Mai from Japan, and Yang from Thailand. Turns out that the 3 of us are the only girls participating at Robocon this year, out of about 40-50 people. I guess that makes Mai’s claim that there are only 7 girls out of 140 at her school much more believable, and SUTD’s 47% girls stat much more impressive :).

The competition has been okay so far. Apparently, this year’s batch started manufacturing the robots really quickly (we started today, day 2), so they didn’t have enough safety equipment like masks and safety goggles for everyone. But it was okay, since half of us were at the Arduino workshop, which I will be attending tomorrow. They decided to split our teams, as there was not enough space to hold all of us in the computer lab at once. They are also going to hold an Android programming workshop.

Day 3

Hi again. It´s now 7.15am in Brazil. I didn’t manage to finish the post since the internet crapped out on me last night. Probably a good thing too, since I accidentally typed the whole post in the tags textbox yesterday. (WordPress on mobile is not for the faint-hearted.) I’m typing on a disturbingly sticky keyboard at one of the free internet computers at the hotel.

Anyway, I’ll be going for the Arduino lesson today! Yay! Hopefully, today will be less mind-draining than yesterday. We were pretty stuck on how to design our Machine 2 (we have to design two robots and a boat. Cool, huh.).

We have been pretty well fed here. The portions here are pretty generous, but I think most of us are developing a slight phobia about ham and cheese, which seems to be a Brazillian staple. This guy in my team, Sun Yue from Zhejiang, is so scared of ham and cheese that I think he’s beginning to pick the cheese out of his food. We ate a ham and cheese burger for lunch on Day 1 of the competition, a ham and cheese + vegetable sandwich/burger thingy for dinner at the Welcome party, some cheesy beef with rice for lunch on Day 2, and some ham and cheese between bread for tea. See, ham and cheese EVERYWHERE. Except for the cheesy beef, all the sandwic/ burger thingies were cold. Brrr. The cheesy beef is actually quite nice. It was warm, and even came with rice which was nice!

I have managed to avoid the beans so far...

I have managed to avoid the beans so far…

We walk past the clock tower on the way to lunch at one of the canteens

We walked past the clock tower on the way to lunch at one of the canteens

The brazillian keyboard layout is weird.

Day 3 – continued

The Arduino lesson was not bad. We got a sheet with several Arduino sketches and wiring instructions on them, and they let us do the tutorials at our own pace. They did give quite a lot of guidance, though, which I’m really grateful for, because all kinds of funny things malfunctioned. I had to work on a board that was already wired up and had some program loaded, and there was a certain incident that involved a short-circuit, lots of smoke, and some melted wires. But luckily, no plants, animals or humans were hurt in the incident. Phew.

After the lesson, we went for lunch again, where we had meatballs and some kind of squishy pudding.

This is actually my roommate's lunch, in case you wanted to see something green

This is actually my roommate’s lunch, in case you wanted to see something green

It squishes. It SQUISHES!

It squishes. It SQUISHES!

My team (Red team!) kind of split into two teams, where some of us made Machine 1 and others made the boat. Takuya, my teammate from Japan, worked with me on the boat.

Takuya holding an early prototype

Takuya holding an early prototype

There’s still Machine 2 to do, so hopefully, we’ll finish them soon and start testing.

The view from the hotel window

The view from the hotel window

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