The educational robotic program originated in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), appearing as an undergraduate course and competition at the first, then being widely recognized and welcomed by MIT students. Due to its obvious educational characteristics, it is highly compatible with the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) promoted by the United States. Since 1997, BotBall has been introduced into the junior high school and high school education, and its content is designed closely related to training scientific literacy and the spirit of inquiry.
In March 2018, the CKWA Hugo Robotic Club was established. The members include programming master from the 6th grade, construction master from 8th grade, and project management manager from the 9th grade. Only half a year later, our middle school students stood on the same stage with high school robotics fans from all over the world. They experienced from conflict to collaboration, from blaming each other to understanding each other, and finally appearing in the China Open in Dalian and the US Finals held in the Palm Desert of California. According to the accumulated integrals of the thesis, the seeding rounds, the team seeding rounds and elimination tournament, our team stood out from the 62 teams selected from all over the world and won the first prize, and won the only annual special award for best badge design!
Special Award of Best Badge Design
Just finished the final exam in June, the club’s students returned to the campus to prepare for the international competition. The test process is arduous and boring, and every time the robot walks, it needs to re-place all the props. The students in charge of the auxiliary work tirelessly re-placed the props. Many students’ knees hurt so much that they could not sleep, but they never felt bitter and hard, instead, they were happy to do the job rather than go home. The operating and programming construction in the competition are very important, but without the sincere cooperation of the entire team, the hard work of the supporting players , the success is impossible.
After arriving at Dan Cape in the United States, the students started intense preparation. They went to the local hardware store and purchased the materials for the robot stage. After dinner, they worked until midnight cramming their stomach just with sandwiches. In the past, it took two weeks to build a robot stage, however, the team completed it just within three hours and it was totally up to standard!
In the next few days, an accident happened. The robot was in a very bad state due to the rushing of the journey. The students spent nearly 14 hours to restore the robot’s indicators every day, from construction to programming and debugging, everyone reached physical limit. More terrible things continually occurred. In the robot test, the big robot accidentally broke the arm, and the operator dropped the small robot from height, the chassis was damaged and could not be repaired. The loss was heavy. At this time, the teachers and students reached the bottom line of their psychological endurance. Under such circumstances, the relationship between the players became subtle. Whoever did more or less work immediately caused various contradictions, and inevitable quarrels. After a meeting, everyone alleviated the pressure and become emotional stable. They made self-examination, apologized to each other, and adjusted the subsequent training program. Before leaving the beautiful station, two machines were finally adjusted to the best condition, the students set off for the Palm Desert!
41 degrees Celsius, this is the Palm Springs in summer – the winter resort of the richest Americans. While in summer, it is desolated. It takes three hours to drive from Dan Cape to be here. After you open the door, it seems that you are on the land of hell.
The competition platform is ready.
Seeding round: Three rounds of points are counted in turn. After the previous day’s debugging, the students found that the stage is different between U.S and China: the oversize frame, the inconsistent position of the cable car, and the speed bump effect on the machine movement. The students had to adapted the machine to the US stage against such issues. The machine eventually performed at least 50% of its level and out team ranked 21 of more than 60 teams in the point race. The students were satisfied with such results, after all, our opponents were all high school students, and this was their first time to participate in this competition. There are a lot of room for improvement in the future. Moreover, the students still had many opportunities in the subsequent competition.
The placement of robot was completed and ready for the optical signal .
Demoiselle, fly bravely!
The team seeding rounds: new system implemented in this year, the two teams starts competition on the stage to accumulate points, total five rounds. The two robots are operated simultaneously and easily affected by the other party. Many teams with thousands of points quickly dropped to few hundred points. Our robots were stable and maintain thousand points or so, ranked at 20.
Dual elimination tournament: Two teams compete at the same stage, the team losing two rounds loses the game. In the first day of the tournament, we made a big punch against the Polish high school students without fear. After two-minute game ended, we won at 2000-50 disparity points and successfully entered dual elimination tournament of the second day and reached the group’s top 16. 。
At 5:00 pm, the first day of the game ended, the students and teachers continued to debug the machine in the hotel lobby, and studied the match schedule and formulated the strategy until 11:00pm. For the honor of Kaiwen, we must fight to the end.
Even could not keep the eyes open, we still insisted.
The movement of the big robot suffered serious disorder in the morning, and a small probability accident of a deadly chassis chaos occurred. The small robot operator failed to adjust the machine to the best, and got lower score, which caused us lose one round in elimination tournament. The children watching the game cried. The players immediately adjusted their conditions to face the following round of the resurrection. The magic thing is that in the resurrection, we once again met our old rival Poland team, as long as we play normally, we can win. The operators exerted their efforts, and crushed the opponent by 2000 points. We respected our opponents very much, instead of shouting for celebration, we shook hands and comforted them. The players from both teams became good friends!
CKWA Hugo Robotic Club entered into quarterfinal. Won again!
Only two Chinese teams entered into the finals in the afternoon. According to our analysis of the match schedule last night, we might meet the Winchester High School team in the finals. This team was very powerful, their robot was stable, but their tactics lacked changes, we still got a chance to win, and the second place was also acceptable. We met them in the first round of the quarterfinals. We thought that they would continue yesterday’s tactics, out of expectation, the opponents specially developed a strategy against us. Our robot arm was broken by out opponent, and we ended at quarterfinals. However, after the game, we backed to China, we received a good news from the United States. According to the total integrals of thesis, seeding rounds, team seeing rounds and elimination tournament, CKWA Hugo Robotic Club won the first prize of BotBall International Robot Competition!
Photos with Poland players, opponents and friends.
We remember most is that at the end of the first day of the elimination tournament, we won the applause, congratulations and respect from our opponent. Two Polish players came over to shake hands with me and congratulated us on achieving such good results. Before that game, I always care about winning or losing, but now I understand the most important thing is to win the recognition and congratulations of the opponent. After the awards ceremony, I took photos with the Polish players, because they are the greatest opponents I have ever met. I learned a lot and grew up a lot in the international Botball competition, which may be the maximum meaning of Botball International!
When playing in national games, I deemed all the competitors as enemies and not friends. However, when playing international games, the personal quality of competitors from various countries impressed me deeply. Regardless of lose or win of any team, they would be very friendly to express greetings, encouragement or blessings. One team from Poland impressed me most, we played against it three times and eliminated it through changeable tactical, however, neither from their words nor deeds, we felt any hostility. They shook hands with us, hugged us and wished us a better results in the following round. When the game was over, we took photos with the players from the team, I am very pleased to be friends with them because they are really great! It is the first year to participate in the botball, our team is not mature enough, besides skills, we have to learn quickly respond on the spot, know ourselves as well as the others, in order to win every match. It is really important to timely adjust the tactics during competition. Thanks to all the teachers and parents who supported us quietly, we will get more outstanding!
Participating in competition in United States is a great opportunity to experience American life in-depth. From Stanford University to Universal Studios, from Fisherman’s Wharf to “Back to the Future” shooting place, from Hollywood to San Diego, we left our footprints everywhere.