JΩTRON Has Up and Down Morning

IGVCDSC_3122.jpgAfter two full days of coding, tweaking, head-scratching and repeating the sacred IGVC mantra of “I don’t understand it! Everything worked great last night, but now NOTHING works!”, only about 25% of the teams have qualified for tomorrow’s critical obstacle course.
The Miners seem to have solved all their coding problems, so they’re practicing the engineers’ hallowed creed of “……if it ain’t broke, take it apart anyway”, so they are tweaking the code, and who knows how that will work out. But the code-talkers are not messing around just for fun. JΩTron’s drive system is having problems so the comp sci folks are taking the opportunity to double check all the AI systems.
The problem? According to head ME Chris Painter, it won’t turn in the heavy grass. What worked on the nicely-manicured campus lawn is now pulling more power than the batteries can provide. Seems the skid-steer drive system is highly inefficient, so the team members are learning something unexpected. To reduce friction they’re mounting a large rubber caster wheel to hopefully make it easier for “Joe” to turn. That means cutting and mounting steel brackets, and it might even require the Miners to remove a pair of drive wheels. The irony is that such changes will take JΩTron closer to Aluminator’s drive system of the past two years.
There’s still plenty of time to qualify for the obstacle challenge. Worst case S&T has 24 hours to earn their way into the clock-wise (and then counter-clockwise) circuits.
UPDATE: Power has just been cut to the whole facility. Rumor is the massive generator ran out of fuel. Let’s hope S&T got all their heavy metal cutting done. If the power isn’t restored soon panic may break out as laptop after laptop begins to go dark.