Aluminator Continues To Impress

A revitalized Miner robot is forging ahead in the ’10 IGVC. The team’s plans to qualify by noon were postponed when they were selected as a design finalist, and by the time their presentation was over rain showers had come back to the field of play.
A little waterlogged practice showed that Aluminator was doing a good job at recognizing the obstacles, but was only hinting at responding. If you listened closely you could almost feel it “want” to turn*. That meant that Kevin Howe and Ken Boyko had to make some data point adjustments so that the machine would turn more aggressively. It took four or five adjustments before things began to move the way the team wanted, and it was time for cautious smiles.
Their first attempt at qualifying for the critical obstacle course stalled a, so another adjustment and it was back on the course. This time an umbrella-clad Aluminator sailed through the course, and easily passed the “E-stop” remote-controlled emergency kill button.
DSC_0176_2Rob.jpgThe Miners were thrilled to qualify for tomorrow’s race, but the official asked “have you passed the GPS waypoint test yet?” “What waypoint test?” was the S&T response. Turns out the rules have changed some since late year, and no one on the team caught that little, uh, detail. A look at the rain and the late hour, and they decided “we’ll do it tomorrow morning’, because the machine already has a proven GPS guidance system.
Dry out, get dinner, and relax a little. Oh yeah, and pick up that Design Finals award.
*You know you’ve been around these machines too long when you start to think you know what the machine is thinking.


  1. what a great looking bunch!