With just 10 days to go till the Sunday that we are competing in Pi Wars, panic is now setting in. We have to admit we are not completely ready and really need another few weeks to get things right. However, we don’t have that luxury. There are 10 days to the competition and considering 6 of those are work days meaning only a few hours in the evening are available during the week, plus once we set off for Cambridge on the Friday any chance to work on the robot after that will be very limited indeed. So this coming weekend is really the last chance to do as much as possible on the robot. After that, time has ran out.
Where did all of that time go? It was way back in 2017 that work started on the robot and thinking we had plenty of time. All of a sudden we are in headless chicken territory and needing more time.
So this is a brief status update on where we are as of today :-
Chassis – Happy with the chassis and we’ve added a little bit of bling to make it look less like an RC car and more like a robot.
Straight Line Speed Test – Not confident about this challenge. Using ToF sensors only so we are weather dependent on this one. No time to add in backup sensors.
Maze – Same as above. Good results in testing but praying for overcast skies on the day.
Somewhere Over The Rainbow. – Robot performs well in testing. Again, lighting conditions on the day that differ drastically from those in testing may be our downfall.
Obstacle Course – This one is entirely down to the skill of the driver. The robot is fast and maneuverable. Hoping to do reasonably well on this one.
Pi Noon – As above. But we are up against formidable opponents so don’t expect to win. Hoping to get at least half way through the rounds though.
Golf – Attachment works reasonably well in testing. Luck and driver skill will need to be on our side.
Duck Shoot – Hoping to do well in this one. We have a nice Nerf Cannon. But then so do other teams so again, speed and luck are required here.
Blogging – We’ve definitely done better than most teams as a lot haven’t even bothered. Hoping for good scores here.
Artistic Merit – Hoping for some points here as we’ve put some effort into making it look good.
Technical Merit – Hundreds of hours have been spent in Fusion 360 and with the 3D printer on the robot. Almost every single plastic part on it was designed from scratch with many iterations in the R&D phase till we had working versions. The Nerf Cannon in particular went through many changes till we got what we wanted. Hopefully high scores here.
So, we are not expecting to win any challenges, but will be trying our damnedest to do so. No matter how we do on the day, I am sure it will still be great fun and I am walking away with some great new skills with Python, OpenCV, Fusion 360 and 3D Printing that will be very useful for up and coming personal projects and those with Medway Makers. It will also be great to put some faces to names of those we have been speaking to on the Pi Wars Discord channel and on Twitter. One thing I’ve loved about the active guys and gals on Discord (not including the ‘lurkers’) is the willingness to share information and help each other, even between competing teams. This sums up the spirit of Pi Wars and the Raspberry Pi community as a whole and I applaud every person involved in this great hobby.