Our first regional has finally arrived!

After two long months of working hard, the Narwhals were excited for Day 1 of Del Mar Regional on Mar. 6. It was the first time that we’d see our robot in action and on a totally foreign field. Most team members made their way to the Fairgrounds at 7:15am, though members of our Strategy department were expected to show up 45 minutes earlier.

As usual, it was chilly in the morning, but that feeling quickly became an afterthought as the gates opened and hundreds of high-schoolers piled into the Del Mar Fairgrounds Arena.

Day 1 of competition is always practice matches, which began shortly after lunch. We were testing our robot, Cheems the Harvester of Souls, on a complete playing field for the very first time; although we ran into a number of problems, we managed to resolve some along the way, and some were left for Day 2 debugging.

Each division was hard at work today! Members of each division graciously provided summations of their progress and (if applicable) expectations for Day 2.

“Today was a day for strategy to familiarize ourselves with spectating Infinite Recharge in person and run a full systems check on scouting. We scouted every practice match and gauged each team in anticipation of Saturday’s qualification matches. Tomorrow, we look forward to getting a better sense of our relative competitiveness and watching/planning out the qualifiers.” — Calvin Page, Head of Strategy

“In controls today our first priority was getting the robot through inspection, after which we checked wiring, calibrated the limelight, tested code, improved autos, and otherwise prepared the robot for competition. After our first practice match, though, we started discovering a multitude of CAN wiring issues that lingered throughout the day, which we ultimately addressed through a thorough check of all wire junctions, and the repair of any faulty ones. Later in the day we also discovered a bug in the autonomous code that caused the robot to become unresponsive each time we ran an auto, an issue that we managed to fix by the end of the day. Tomorrow, our first priority is to iron out some of the lingering bugs that need to be addressed, and to calibrate and optimize and vision and autonomous programs; but the majority of the difficulties encountered today should be behind us now, and we look forward to our first qualification matches!” — Mason Holst, Controls Member

“We replaced some broken panels, some people went to the workshop to cut […] more backup parts, and we [were] troubleshooting all day to fix issues, [many of] which ended up being mainly controls [-related].” — Bowen DeGraw, Mechanical Member

We initiated our narwhal horn raffle (with colouring sheets), got media, talked to other teams, and posted on our Instagram with routine updates.

“We talked to passer[s]by about our robot and team in the pit. We also prepped for potential questions for different awards so we’ll be ready for tomorrow. Finally, Arya, Esme, and myself practiced the Chairman’s [Award] presentation multiple times in preparation for the presentation on Sunday.” — Zoë Chan, Head of Business

Don’t forget that we have an ongoing narwhal horn raffle! Stop by our pit to check it out–it runs from now til 3p on Saturday, when we will pick the winners.

Judith, a member of our Controls department, will be taking over tomorrow’s post.

See you all again on Day 3!

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