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Fun != Easy

Posted by egiarta1671 Jan 13, 2012

"Fun does not equal easy" is what the above title translates to. And although this is an absolute statement, and absolutes are never true (yes, I see the irony ), I feel that this observation makes for a fair generalization. It is the difficulty of a challenge that makes it exciting and intemidating; it is the triumph of accomplishment that raises the human spirit into joy. It's what makes it fun. And if anyone does have an example of something is the fun && easy, I am sure there's a better antithetical example that he or she is overlooking.

 

So what's point? Well put simply, for the 1671 Buchanan Bird Brains the past week of the FIRST® Robotics Competition has been fun, but also very exhausting. So far, I know of two sick girls, a man with a broken ankle, four asleep-in-class classmates, and a messy shop room. (Actually, its cleanliness can be modelled with a periodic sine or cosine wave with variable amplitude with positive values meaning "super clean!" and negative values symbolizing "...was there an earthquake or something?!". Right now its approximately zero.) But all of this hasn't kept us away from come back for more. FRC is just too good pass up for daily luxuries, such as sleep and food.

 

The past three days have brought many successes and setbacks, none which were easy to come by, and we are progressing and a faster rate than I have ever seen before. Crude prototypes have help us select an intake and shooter mechanism. A brand new gearbox design has been confirmed operational. Thanks to the help of epic Pelco by Schneider Electric mentor Joshua Houser (his blog here: Joshua Houser's FRC Blog), finished CAD drawings modeled in PTC's Creo Parametric have been set to Harris Manufacturing. Example code in Windriver and the WPI Library have given us a head start on more advanced control features. A fast moving public relations team have submitted grants, written articles, and improved our website (http://team1671.com). And our world champion animation team has gotten a running start on the next Autodesk animation submission.

 

Nevertheless, we are maybe a day and half behind. Things that should have been completed two days ago have just been finished today. Some team members have been absent because of other priorities (which we encourage them to continue pursuing): drama, tennis, choir, volleyball, college, etc. Unwelcomed technical diffculties today forced the CAD team into performing a mass installation of Creo 1.0 Parametric which I led with haphazard execution. After days of searching and rebooting and installing, we finally have a Github server and the 2012 Drivers Station. Following what seemed to be a scheduling delay with the release of Autodesk's animation challenge, the animation is finally brainstorming up some ideas.

 

During this initial kickoff week in 2012, we have talked to only a few other local teams. 3970 Duncan Dynamics came by to evaluate problems with the electronics components. 3296 The Neon Knights have been making arrangements for their soon arrival into our ship area. 1323 Madtown Robotics is off to great start and has been discussing some ideas regarding their stategy and drive system. We hope to hear news about other local teams by this week or sooner.

 

In personal matters, I have an economics test in six and a half hours, and I am not sure if all my homework is done...actually it's not. Still trying to complete remaining scholarships and college applications, but the arrival of build season has rendered that more difficult than ever. Semester finals are coming up, and not a moment too soon. Hopefully the entrance of my final high school semester will spell out freedom and success for the rest of the FRC season.

 

Build Season Counter: DAY 7