It is an unfortunate fact of life that not all of our endeavors are successful. Some challenges are impossible to overcome. Like working towards a robotics competition after starting a semester late, with a team of 3 people, and while working on a second equally ambitious project for which you’re actually being graded for. That’s exactly what I was dealt when I signed onboard the IARC team for TCNJ. We put in a lot of hours into this, and didn’t quite make it.
But in the end, it’s what you get out of it that matters, and I learned quite a few lessons about my limitations, mechanical limitations, and making things work as a system and a team. We suffered a loss of radio communication 24 hours before the competition that we fixed five hours later, but we also suffered a camera-computer communication failure that we did not have the time to troubleshoot, nor the funds/time to invest in another camera system. It was an unfortunate setback that isn’t all that uncommon in engineering.
While I wish we could’ve had another week to put into this project, and I’m slightly disappointed at the wasted blood, sweat and tears put into it, I’m more determined than ever to make this project work out next year and put TCNJ on the scoreboard at the 2011 competition. We don’t have to be on top, but a showing we can be proud of for a 1 and a half year old team would be fantastic. I made a montage of time-lapse footage taken during the construction of “the Eagle” just so that we still have *something* to show for everything we put into it.