When Impossible Robotics – the Dutch science students competing in the global robot games organised by FIRST – arrived in Orlando, so many miles from home, their first job was to finish their incomplete robot. So it says a lot about the spirit of the games that they were helped in that endeavour by another team – competitors Exploding Bacon.
Time constraints imposed by their schooling back home meant that only four team members were available to travel to the Regional Qualifying games – so Exploding Bacon lent them some manpower, too! This was the first time in the history of these twenty year old games that such a thing had happened – imagine that at the Olympics! Organisers FIRST liked the idea so much they interviewed team coach Henk van de Wal live at the event to explain how it came about.
Last minute modifications forced one or two errors – the back of the robot was now the front …so it set off in the wrong direction whilst in autonomous mode; and there were some problems with chains jumping a cog – the kind of thing many of us will remember from the days of our youth whenever we made modifications to our bike.
FIRSTinspires was inaugurated with the vision of encouraging young people all around the world to develop their interest in science. The way FIRST achieves this is by developing a new Robotic game each year in which teams compete. Teams who do well in the competitions are rewarded, of course, by climbing through the elimination stages – but teams who help other teams to be their best are particularly admired. For this kind of effort Exploding Bacon – who are previous winners of the Chairman’s award – won it again at this ‘Regional’ event.
So our own team Impossible Robotics are delighted to have worked with them; sharing ideas – as well as team members …and to have been chosen by Exploding Bacon to take part in their Chairman’s Award video which showcases the work they are doing. Their video places Impossible Robotics straight into the footlights!
Impossible Robotics have had an inspiring time in Orlando, they have learnt much from their endeavours to put a viable robot into the competition …but most of all they have learnt the power of collaboration. And that’s a tool for life.
We at Victron sponsor team Impossible Robotics and are pleased to encourage young engineering talent.