Fluffy (the robot) must have been quietly eating in the crate on the way up as he arrived in Sydney a little overweight. An hour later and two motors less and we were ready for the full inspection which he passed with flying colours.In fact, throughout the tournament Fluffy performed exactly as expected. Apart from the usual battery changes between matches and some minor software reconfiguration to cope with two less motors, the robot needed no maintenance at all. This enabled us to spend time assisting some other teams to get their robots assembled, through inspection and on to the field.
The remainder of Thursday was spent constructing the pit while the ops team spent the afternoon on the field with Fluffy for practice rounds - here the operations team were able to hone their skills to perfection so that Fluffy was stacking containers and totes as efficiently as possible. The IC scouts were also out and about gathering information about the competing teams in preparation for the alliance selection. The team mascot Tigger had his first outing too and was well received by the spectators.
Friday was a full day of qualification finals. Most of the judging was taking place on Friday too so we had to keep "the pit" tidy and someone on duty from the business, hardware and software teams to handle questions and promote the team to the passing judges, spectators and other teams. We also provided two ambassadors to show visiting VIPs around the tournament arena and the pit area. By the end of the first day the judges had been suitably impressed, we had cemented ourselves at 5th on the ladder and Tigger had been well photographed.
Sixteen more qualification matches on Saturday morning and we were ready for the alliance selection process. The operations team had worked hard to ensure that we retained fifth place on the ladder - being in the top 8 after the qualification matches meant we were automatically an "alliance captain". By the end of the selection process we were alliance captains for "alliance 3" comprising of ourselves, team 5584 'i c robotics' with team 4774 'The Drop Bears' and team 5731 'The Tiny Giants'. The announcers conveniently renamed the alliance to the 'IC Drop Giants' for the remainder of the day.
The finals went pretty much to plan - the ops team guided Fluffy and the rest of our alliance through the quarter finals and into the semis - a slight upset saw alliance 8 also pass to the semis along with alliances 1 and 2 with ourselves, alliance 3. As expected, in the semi finals we met stiff competition from the top four robots. We got close but not close enough and unfortunately were eliminated at this point as were alliance 8 to leave alliances 1 and 2 to battle it out in the grand final.
Finishing as alliance captains of the third alliance in third place was a fantastic finish for a rookie team ... and then to receive multiple awards during the closing ceremony was outstanding:
... needless to say everyone in the team was thrilled!
More photos in the gallery at:Sydney Regional 2015