MY FRIEND “SHIELD”
Entry ID #: 4957
Created: Tue, Jan 9, 2018 7:48 PM
MY FRIEND “SHIELD” 51140B SIYU LI When I saw the freaky robot r2-d2 in Star Wars, I came up with a dream: If I could be a robot, that would be cool. The chance came at last. In the summer vacation of 2017, I went to the VEX training camp of China Robotc in Xi’an. There I learnt lots of techniques about making a robot. First, I studied programing, they are series of codes that direct the movements of robots. Then, I learnt measuring, computing, cutting, and assembling. Finally, with the efforts of our group, a tall and strong robot “SHIELD” appeared before us. Although it looks a little ugly, it is very powerful. It stands 1.8 meters’ tall and its (osculum-typed) mouth can catch any score-winning object (ice-cream cones) in the competition. It has flexible and pliers-like hands and they can grip the score-wining objects. I like math since I was a little girl, and I feel pleasure travelling in the logic world of math. This time, using my mathematic knowledge, I wrote my first academic essay “On the Factors and Mechanisms that Influence Robots’ Wheel Movement”, and I got the first prize in the essay competition. We were proud of our work, and we set up our team 51400B for the robot competition in the camp. I was the team leader. I gave work to our team members according to their personality, interests, and strengths. Then, we confidently began our training to get ready for the competition. But nightmare began. When the operator used the remote controller to direct “SHIELD”, it did not follow the instructions. Let it run, it rushed out of the runway. Let it stand straight up, its body could not rise straight. Let it raise its head, it fell heavily to the ground. For my dream, I patiently tried to check and find out the problems. I constantly changed its parts, like gears and rubber bands. Every time “SHIELD” stood up straight and ran well, I felt a strong sense of achievement. But then it failed me again. And again I patiently repaired it until it rightly followed the instructions. Trial after trial, repair after repair, we constantly increased our scores. Finally, we won. As a result, we decided to take part in the open robot competition in Hong Kong. After serious training, we excitedly brought “SHIELD” to the “battlefield”—the stadium of Hong Kong International School. Kinds of robots came into view. There were robots with firm arms, robots with pliers-like hands, robots with flexible body, etc. Four international judges came up to us, and we told them in English our ideas about the design of “SHIELD” and how we made it, and showed them our engineering notes. The judges listened to us and looked at our notes, and they smiled and nodded a lot. The whistle blew. The competition started. Our opponents’ robots crazily rushed toward the score-winning objects and constantly gripped them and piled them up. Our team’s programmer quickly sent “SHIELD”instructions. Oh! Why “SHIELD” did not work! “My God! I forgot to start it up!” The programmer said. We were all shocked to hear that. When he looked at me with regret, I realized that we were a team, we should take the responsibility together for that mistake. So, I went over to him, patted his shoulder and said, “That’s all right. We should remember to remind each other next time.” Then, we went on with the competition, while at the same time we sent our liaison to observe other teams’ performance, to get to know the characteristics of their robots and make up our plans for competition. We were all very tired after a day’s fierce competition. In the end, we lost the competition by two points among the top 8 competitors. However, we won the Best Design Award, with our delicately designed robot and carefully-taken engineering notes. From this competition, we saw various kinds of robots. We decided to improve our “SHIELD”, to make it more stable and more flexible, and have more training to prepare for Asia Open Robot Competition. On December 28, we went to the Asia Open Robot Competition. In the competition, I was responsible for the liaison work. On the one hand, I must watch the competitions between our partner teams and opponent teams. On the other hand, my team members and I must introduce to the judges the advantages of “SHIELD”, our ideas about its design and the process of its making. In the first match, we felt bad because of the poor performance of our partner team. I encouraged our team members and made them confident by telling them some interesting stories. After eight qualifying matches, we ran more than 10000 meters, but we did not feel tired at all when we saw “SHIELD” successfully finish its tasks. We formed a united team with Team 51140A and entered the final match. In the final, we won the fourth prize for the match and the first prize for our engineering notes. Our partner team 51140A won the top award. Just like the say goes, “As you sow, so you will reap.” I still remembered when we first set up our group. We argued about our little problems, and we cheered for our little achievements. Half a year’s training and cooperation, we devoted to the project whole-heartedly, supported each other. We made many little achievements, but also showed many shortcomings. In the process, I not only learnt to program and make robots, but also learnt to understand my team members’ ideas, to cheer them up and urge them to finish their tasks. Even though they started to call “Mother Li”, I still felt very happy. I think everybody of us must keep moving forward for our dreams. “SHIELD”， WE LOVE YOU!