Last week we embarked on a trip to the Eurobot finals in France. We were delighted about our performance in Dresden and we were very much looking forward to the event. Our main goal was to gain some experience and learn from more professional teams without setting any expectations in reaching the top ranks.
First, we went by car from Markt Indersdorf to La-Roche-sur-Yon which took about 16 hours. Once arrived we spent our first day with exploring the area and, of course, completing the homologation process. We weren’t very confident to get homologated after we were just barely admitted in Dresden. So to be sure we went through the whole homologation-guide before the trip and fixed every issue that came up. In particular, we did a whole redesign of our cherry-basket, because it had lots of problems left.
Because of our work after Dresden, we managed to get through the homologation process way faster than expected. Although we encountered minor issues like our beacon support not being completely covered, we resolved them quickly.
During our stay, a former team member of us introduced us to his idea of a central tracking device: His idea was to attach an Apple iPhone onto the central-tracking-device-mount which would estimate our points using a self-programmed app. The idea was to display the points on an Apple Watch mounted at the cherry basket. Sadly, we ran into an issue that the Apple Watch screen automatically powers off after an amount of time, preventing us from further developing this project in France. Let’s see what we can do with this idea in the next year!
On the second day, we were quickly called to our first match, where we, us for joy, got 81 points!
Sadly, our basket had some problems at the first day, primarily related to the battery-voltage, but we identified the error and fixed it later that day. We also implemented a button to calibrate the basket with the cherries given at the beginning of the match, which helped great in the later rounds.
Throughout those days, we also ate in the Code-Bar from the Eurobot Event. Everyone was kind and welcoming, especially towards younger people like us 😉. We saw a lot of interesting robots…
…and overengineered systems and let us inspirate a bit for the next year. We also talked to teams like Team Dynamics, which were very open to showing us their insights about their greatly designed robots.
In the afternoon, we participated in our second match. This time, we played against Team Dynamics, one of the best teams in the contest. Sadly, their robot collided with ours and blocked the big robot too resulting in us only able to reach 52 points while they got 86. After that interesting match our team could rise to the 5th place!
The same day, we drove from Brem-sur-Mer, where our apartment was located, to the beach, where we had a breathtaking view at the Atlantic Ocean. The view was insane and the water was so close.
It was a great view. We also took some pictures with James:
In the evening we were grilling in our home, it was a relaxing atmosphere.
At Friday, the next promising match was waiting for us: Our bots could do their job well because the enemy had some problems reaching the cherry holder, and for our pleasure, the cherry basket counted perfectly fine with our tweaks and buttons, so that we could reach the 3rd place after that match!
On the same day we participated in the 4th match against DIT-Robotics from Hsinchu where we sadly came in their way, so our bots weren’t able to get to the final zone. Despite this setback, we only got 59 points and a warning due to our bot colliding with theirs. Overall, we were fine with the outcome.
On Friday evening, a lot of teams came together to celebrate the event. Everyone had a lot of fun and the mood was festive. Bots roamed the floor while their teams celebrated. Some bots even drew images with a pencil!
Finally, on the last day of our trip to France, we had our final match against TeamAuto from Switzerland. During this match, our bots encountered difficulties returning home, resulting in us only getting 41 points.
But with all of these challenges, we made it closely into the international finals: We were the second match playing against Tactinsa, where their bot blocked our big bot for a small amount of time. After that, their bot got stuck, so the bot didn’t know anymore where it was driving to, so it gifted us some cakes! Our main bot also had some problems: The LED for disguising had a loose contact so it started blinking in the middle of the match. But, surprise surprise, our bot couldn’t do its full turn and drove into the wall because of the cakes Tactinsa gifted. There it got stuck, until the time ran out: Then, the bot realized, that it was time to move again! Oh no, we thought, because this mishap cost us 50 penalty points. What a shame! We lost this match with a score of 1 to 35. So, if we hadn’t gotten the penalties, we would have gotten even further. But in summary, we all were happy and grateful we got this far. We really appreciated the 7th place we got in the end, because we actually never expected we would get this far.
After returning home, our friends and teachers congratulated us for our 7th place! We were happy after we arrived home, and learned so many new things, got new ideas and saw other robots and professional teams. It was a great experience participating in the Eurobot finals.