28th of April, Dresden, 7am. Tired but excited Team MAI gathers at breakfast before starting off to the University, where the competition will be held.
We were stunned by the other teams equipment when we entered the workshop, where we would work on the code and the robots for the following two days. The teams from Aachen, Gießen, Hamburg and Dresden treated us quite nicely, since we were the only competitor not from a university but a school. Being „nice and adorable“, as we tried to appear, we improved the robots to make sure we will be approved by the referees. After we managed to have our big bot allowed in the competition, the focus was on fixing problems, also the design department of our team did their job and painted both of the robots star wars themed. Furthermore we published our poster…
After the very first testings we realized that the other teams struggled with the same kind of problems as we did, for example the bots not driving straight forward or the hardware getting too warm. Every team worked with 101% to solve these problems. We could fix some of them, and played the first few rounds. Our mindset was something like „as long as the robot halfways does what it’s supposed to be doing we’re better than ever“. After the first day, we were close to RCA from Aachen, only two points behind them. After a small break of grilling with the other teams, we kept working until close to midnight to be able to enter the final rounds.
29th of April, the second day starts equally as early as the day before. After breakfast our team of programmers already started off to have more time before the check by the referees, especially since the smaller robot still needed attention and lots of work. The rest of the team cleaned up their rooms arrived later and realized that our chances to achieve something were not even that small. Our first match of the day was the battle for 4th competitor in the half-finals, against RCA. Before, they did not get the allowance by the referees to compete with their big bot, and everything worked on our side, so we won this battle and now we were in the top four.
While two battles were played, a few others of the team kept working on the code and to solve the last problems.
Next, we played against RobOtter from Hamburg, whose robot refused to work and only drove out of the zone a little bit. And still, they were lucky. Our robots were not even started so they did not do anything. We had quite a chuckle about it, and noone was mad about each other.
Now, RobOtter was in the final against Turag from Dresden. But beforehand the third place had to be chosen, since this team is allowed to compete in France along with the two finalists. So it was MAI versus M.A.M.U.T from Gießen.
This thrilling match was won by us, but only by a tiny amount of points. The entire room cheered for us, and M.A.M.U.T, a nice and amazing team, congratulated to our win.
Being excited and happy we went back to the workshop room and cheered. A few of us called their parents to tell them about our success. Our teachers, who we thank for being amazing, were proud of us, almost crying of pride. After our blood preasure and adrenaline returning back to usual we realized that we now had to organize the trip to France. In the end, after all that excitement and happiness, we had to leave back home since the following day was a monday. On monday all we saw in the robotics team was tiredness, happiness and pride.
A big thank you to Turag for organizing this great event!