Wow… Just one month after finding out about the local 2010 RoboCup Jr. competition, my brother and I attended as judges. This was great for a few reasons:
1) I had never heard of RoboCup nor had I been to one, so it was a great learning experience.
2) While I had certainly made some programs for the NXT, I didn’t have one myself, and so I learned a lot of building techniques.
3) Since I was a judge, I received in-depth looks at all designs, from the best to the worst.
4) I quickly learned the rules, what got you points, what didn’t, etc.: all the things to keep in mind for next year.
5) Lastly, and probably most importantly, I learned all the limitations of the competitions–things to look out for, like uneven lighting; high EM noise in the room (bad for compasses, etc.); poorly-built courses (smaller doorways, off-centered lines, undetectable silver strip, etc.). These things helped me to know what not to do if I were ever to participate, which I knew would never happen. (Me? Affording a Lego MindStorms kit and entering into a competition??? No way!)
So now that I’ve obtained an NXT (thanks to some good friends that practically stalk anything NXT on eBay), I’m on the competition. And now, I’m busier than ever, working (usually) on “RoboCup Stuff” in my spare time. And sometimes even when I should be doing things like taking out the trash. 😀
However, I’ll still have time to post updates about my projects (unicycle, PWM on the Light Sensor, etc.). So let’s start with…