Nemesis Heads to Indiana
Indiana. The 19th state admitted to the union and home to the Indiana Robotics Invitational, known to the rest of us as IRI. The Nemesis robotics team traveled all the way from their cozy homes in New Jersey on a 12 hour car ride in mid summer to Indianapolis where this competition was being held. After arriving at 6:30-ish on Thursday evening, the first thing to do was unpack. The robot and all of the supplies needed to leave the tightly packed U-haul and enter the pit. Everything needed to be set for the competition that started early the next morning. But the robot wasn't completely ready yet. Eric was coding on the way up to the competition and this code needed to be tested. That was enough for day one. For some, the night ended with a dip in the pool. For others, it was pizza, but everyone was excited for the competition the next day.
In my opinion, Day 2 in Indianapolis began a little too early. The entire team was up and out early in the morning. The team arrived for some practice rounds and not everything was running as smoothly as one would have hoped. Eric's coding was working but the autonomous mode was having issues. The autonomous mode didn't actually work until right before our first match. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the members of the team, the robot was ready for the first match of the qualifying rounds.
The first day of the competition was full of excitement. IRI was going great. It was win after win after win. Everything was running smoothly. Prince was on a roll. Of course it was apparent that Indianapolis was a little different than New Jersey. It was a good different. There was a corn shack for concessions where anyone could buy grilled corn on the husk, and believe me it was delicious. The price list listed something called "Pop" for $1.50. What is this pop these people speak of? And where can I buy myself a nice can of soda? It was an all around a good time. The drive team was working their magic on the field, those in the pit were keeping the robot in great condition, and those of us in the stands were enjoying the matches and doing a bit of scouting. During the qualifying matches Nemesis triple balanced. Our competition day ended with 5 wins and 1 loss. After the day's matches all of the teams were treated to a dinner provided by the IRI volunteers. That night, the team spent a long while discussing potential alliances because from that day's standings it looked like we might be an alliance captain.
It was Day 3 in Indianapolis and Nemesis had 3 more qualifying matches to compete in. If they kept their standings they would be alliance captains. Out of the three matches Nemesis lost one, giving us a 7-2 record by the time of alliance selection. Team 2590 ended qualifying rounds in 7th. Place. Eric was given the alliance captain hat and picking began. 2590 teamed up with team 973 and 548 as well as team 1538 as their backup. During the break, the robot needed a bit of fixing after some damage was done in a previous match. Also, the three teams practiced triple balancing. Elimination rounds started and the first match didn't end in favor of the Nemesis alliance. Almost immediately one of the robots malfunctioned, resulting in a dead robot for that round. Nemesis and their alliance lost but not by a lot. With a full alliance, a win was definitely within our reach. We were all ready for Nemesis and their alliance partners to come back and take the next match for their own, but tragedy struck at the beginning of autonomous mode. Nemesis' shooter jammed. Without Nemesis' shooter, vital points could not be made. To add to that, a robot from the other alliance rammed 548, sending the robot to its untimely death. We lost that match too. The alliance was no longer in the running for winning IRI.
Alas, the members of Nemesis still had a great time on their trip to Indianapolis. Despite not winning, they still put up a great fight and came farther than they thought possible. 7th place isn't bad for a team that came to Indiana in the hopes of being a 2rd or 3th round draft choice. The last full day ended with a failed attempt to get seated at Dave and Buster's (2 hour wait: No thank you) and a nice little Chinese Buffet complete with perfect fortunes, funky Fro-Yo, and a ton of fun. Overall, Indianapolis was a great trip. It gave the seniors a last hurrah. The only thing no one really was looking forward to was the 12 hour car ride home...