by student and guest blogger Mariah Sampson
This semester I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to participate in the AVNET tech games hosted at the University of Advancing Technology (UAT) in Tempe, AZ. Early this semester, Dr. Gentilini asked the students in the Robotics Lab if we were interested in competing in the Tech Games. Six students, two teams, volunteered. I volunteered because it sounded like a great opportunity and a hands-on way to implement multiple concepts learned in the Robotics Lab at once. The event required each team to build and program a robot to complete two challenges using the Lego Mindstorm kit along with the EV3 software.
The first challenge was to successfully follow a line that became progressively more difficult to follow. The second challenge was to solve a virtual maze by following colored blocks and completing the three optional challenge tasks within the maze. Unfortunately, neither team was successful in placing. However, we did learn some valuable lessons. It is important to have a contingency plan and have multiple programs to run in case one does not work. Another lesson learned was the environment may change drastically, so it is important to try and create as controlled of an environment as possible when utilizing sensors in case factors, such as a change in lighting, may affect the function of different sensors.
I enjoyed participating in the competition and working with some of the people that I may be partnered with in my Preliminary Design group next semester. It was also a great opportunity to spend time with Dr. Gentilini and Jim Weber, the faculty members that are crucial in enabling us to be able to participate in events such as the AVNET Tech Games in addition to completing the standard course work.
Dr. Gentilini and I were even featured in a promo video. Check it out here!