Friday, 15 March 2019

Sputnik Is Ready For Launch

So - this is the last post before the blogging deadline. No doubt there will be more to come - after the judging has been done - but this post marks the end of the first Pi Wars challenge for us.

We've been quite happy with the blog so far - the main achievement has been to keep it going. We've been trying to publish at least one new post a month detailing progress.

Personally my favourite post is Tears, Cheers and Motor Gears which was written after a very difficult period in the build when I wasn't sure we would keep going.

However, by getting through these obstacles, we've learned so much about robot design and build. 

We're very proud that we stuck with building the robot - even though our original application was only accepted for the reserve list. That perseverance paid off when we got an email from Mike Horne at the beginning of February to say someone had dropped out and were we ready to take a place in the competition. We jumped at the chance and our efforts stepped up another gear - even deciding to take on the Hubble Telescope Nebula challenge which we didn't think we would originally be able to do.

One thing we have discovered during this process was the large Raspberry Pi and robot making community on the Discord server and Twitter. Some of the designs we're seeing, and the effort that goes into making them, is staggering and we really look forward to seeing them on the day. Everyone is also so generous with their help.

For our part we're almost there. There's some more tweaking that can be done on both the software and hardware to improve the reliability and consistency, but we think we're in a good position. 

It may not be the most technologically advanced robot, and doesn't have the fancy graphics of some of the other competitors, but we believe we've built a good all-rounder that should be able to have a good attempt at all the challenges. For us, just to say we've built a robot to compete in Pi Wars is seen as a massive win - before we even step over the threshold of the William Gates building in 2 weeks time.

Time to start ordering a few spare batteries, doing the final tests and writing some checklists to make sure we have everything on the day. And look - the team T-Shirts have just arrived ...

We're ready for Pi Wars ..... 

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