Sunday, April 14, 2013

A boy and his robot

So, Cory built a robot.

As seniors in his program you get to choose a big final project to work on for your last two semesters. One of the options is to build a robot that can maneuver though an obstacle course and preform certain tasks.

This year the robot teams needed to build a robot that could take a small blue block to the small blue block place, and a large green block to the large green block place, and so on with different sizes/colors of blocks. And for extra points, it could take a block up a ramp with no rails to keep it from safe from plummeting to destruction. It's all very scientific.

 There were 5 other robot building teams at FSU, and if you won the school's internal competition then you'd get to take your robot to the Southeast Conference Competition. Fifty other universities in the southeast region build their own robots, and the best robots from each school face off at the end of the year to see who's robot is the champion of robots.

And with that ill fated assignment, my husband was gone. Cory has been eating, dreaming, and breathing robot for the past 8 months. He's been building this robot for as long as I've been growing our child within my womb. And while his little project has involved significantly less vomiting, he's had his own burdens to bear. On a few occasions he was be up at the school until 4:00 or 5:00 AM  perfecting his code, or rewiring the hardware, or doing whatever one does to color sensors to make them better.

Sometimes I would bring dinner up to the school. We'd eat in a lab surrounded by wires while the little robot I affectionately named Sparky kept us company and I asked about the fail safe precautions he's taken in case Sparky started to turn on us during the rise of the machines.  (I couldn't help myself.)

This is Cory's eating and reading code face:

This is Cory's thinking and reading code face (not posed, I swear):

And this is Cory's (and the rest of his team member's) we won 1st place in the internal competition and 3rd place in the Southeastern Conference Competition against 50 other teams face(s):

It's a major award!! Congratulations babe. You definitely earned it. Now just 3 more weeks of school left for you, and we're home free until this baby shows up. Then the real work begins :)

Would you like to see Cory's robot in action? 

This is Sparky going up the ramp to deliver a block. No rails!

And here is a much longer video of the main course and a bunch of block drop offs, if you're into that sort of thing:

I'm so proud of you babe! Now if only you could teach it change diapers. :)


Nathan and Holly Larson said...

You'd think the team would look a little happier after winning? ;) It makes me smile that robots are built in college, it just seems like an excuse for all those grown up boys to live their boy-hood dreams! Good luck trying to get Sparky to change diapers.

freya said...

so awesome! mister smarty pants! i can't believe the gestational time of the robot was the same as you! also i'm super impressed at his ramp climbing/block sorting skills, no way i could make a robot do that in any amount of time, let alone 8 months!

where's his cord though? ;)

The Hargretts said...

What a great way to end his school career and the semester. I bet he feels pretty awesome and smart. haha. Honestly... I was thinking it was going to be like 3 ft. tall so when I saw really how big it is I was a tiny disappointed. BUT NO MATTER it's still really cool and it's not like I could make a robot.

Lindy Allen said...

Holly--its not cool to look too into your robot, you know :) haha

Freya--I'm telling you, they wouldn't take any of my safety suggestions. They'll rue the day little sparky turns on them and is free to chase them unencumbered by a cord. ;)

Kendal--I defintely pictured it on a little grander scale as well. I was hoping for a little wall-e with cute expressive eyes and a flair for slapstick (I tried so hard to get them to add eyes!)

Tanya said...

What a smart little guy! It's like Cory had his own baby. haha. Proud father.