Design, Build, Test, Iterate

Senior Skip Day?

RoboShock

Sigh.. I procrastinate so much that I even put off blog posts that would take me no more than half an hour if I’d actually tried. Now that I’ve burned a few hundred kilocalories trying to get my head around flight orientation, here’s another summary of an event days past.

May 20th, the second-to-last Friday, was CV’s senior skip day. But instead of going to the beach, I:

Invention to Venture

Given my limited business experience, much of the entrepreneurship discussion was rather theoretical for me, although I nevertheless picked up some concrete ideas I hope I can put in practice in the very near future. As the talks were several hours long in total and covered many different topics, I will summarize what I learned in a separate post (link forthcoming).

I do remember coming away from the talk with the definite impression that entrepreneurship is going to be one hell of a sleep-depriving activity.

OSU Engineering Expo

I don’t know about the others, but the computer science and electrical engineering presentations I listened to did not impress me.

The best of them, in my opinion, were the two seniors who had developed an automated AI class scheduling system for college courses. The system could use a database of courses from any university to organize a schedule for the four years of college around any specific course(s) the user flagged as a must-take, automatically taking care of all pre- and co-requisites. The vivacious senior to whom I talked presented me with a straightforward, working implementation and clearly stated goals. Not a novel idea, but well executed. It’s too bad that the system will not yet be available for use at OSU next year.

The others… had no sales plan (why should I care about your project?), had no obvious applications (you essentially made an RC toy; what are you going to do with it?), had no goals, no direction, lacked expertise (you developed this program; how do you not know what language it’s written in?), and/or was unoriginal (your project does exactly what Amazon does already). Or they just did a bad job of communicating their ideas to me.

I am not saying that OSU Engineering itself is bad. I just know that when I do my Senior Thesis Project, I’m going to do a lot better than that.

Roboshock field setup

The OSU Robotics Club hosts a full-scale FIRST Robotics scrimmage dubbed RoboShock every year. Our team is more or less in charge of the field, so some of our members helped set up the field at Gill Coliseum in the evening.

The actual competition was on the next day (a Saturday) from 10 am to 6 pm. Unfortunately, although our team was scheduled for 9 matches, we ended up doing only four or five due to WiFi interference issues (nearly every team started lagging).

At official competitions, there is a single router to which all teams connect their robots. OSU didn’t bother with that and had each team use their own router. Since the ClassMates are only capable of the 2.4 GHz band and there really are only three channels available for use (1, 6, and 11) for six FRC teams and who knows how many FTC teams (who had their own game going next to the FRC field), interference was inevitable. Hopefully that will change next year.



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