6 weeks. 120 pounds. From scratch. These are the cruel limits that our robot must adhere to. Scanning the monitor, these figures taunt me. My teammates pore over code, scan the electronics, and inspect welds. Suddenly, a line grabs my attention. My stomach drops. A rule was redefined, rendering our entire endgame mechanism illegal and useless. Frantically, I screamed the bad news at my teammates and mentors. With 12 hours left, our only option is to tear it off. If only there was a way to rebuild it. We have the parts and machines, but we’re lacking manpower. Exhaustion takes hold. The task ahead is herculean. We must redesign, rebuild, and reattach the entire frame. It’s 10 at night and I’m still at school. Giving up would be so easy. We could just go home and sleep, and chalk our mediocrity up to bad luck. But I’ve had enough of that. I glance longingly at the door. Then, slowly I turn around a snatch up a drill. No words need to be exchanged. Everyone just knows. Sleep can wait, we’ve got a robot to build.
November 30, 2012