Luck Goes Last

This was my first competition in the field of robotics. And what drives my team (which composes of Computer Engineering students) to do this better is to win in our field of robotics .

Robofesta Ph 2011 is a showcase of different projects and competitions requiring robotic and automation skills. Roboforge, Speed Racer, Robot dance are just the few categories during this event. And my team were registered under INROF (Intelligent Robot Federation) category college division. And the objective of the robot is to go across the specific arena to the balling area, pick the colored balls, segregate it and then dispense it to their respective colored bins. That’s when we talk about INTELLIGENT ROBOT, it must be able to run autonomously — decide for itself.

But that have been defeated with a single loophole by the scoring scheme: as it was given points by the correct placement of the ball to its corresponding bins, the objective have been modified by the participants itself. Now it goes down to pick the balls and place it to the bins. Strategies has it that color detection system (the brain of the robot) and ball detection system (the sight) were eliminated (which makes the INRO less intelligent).

The robot, now, will pick any ball and drop it with hopes that one ball will go correctly to one of the bins. After collecting 15 balls and then drop it to the bins, what are the chances of dropping right balls correctly? More than 40% you guess.

That’s how the scoring scheme has degraded its beauty. But anyway, we played their game too. Main goal: just do it FTW (for the win!).

Four months earlier, my team had already done brainstorming about the most effective design. We want to win, I mean, who doesn’t when you call it competition.

Little did some of my team realized, this was the start of our agony and sorrow, but don’t overate friendship, laughters and an endless memories we all have to keep.

Glad we took all that to still pictures!

As an engineering student, we are not taught to embrace LUCK. Everything must be precise, everything are supported with theories, and logics, and concepts. So when a robot goes wrong, it doesn’t implies, you are out of luck. Go through with it, debug it to the last minute ’till it runs smoothly again.

After a series of overnights and run through, we keep our hopes held high but I think that’s just virtual for what we have able to put up doesn’t seem enough.


A month now and the competition will start, but we haven’t done totally the mechanism of our robot.

It’s not yet complete!

This is also our project design, the final requirement in fulfillment to one of our subjects and still we don’t have something worthy to present it.

Now, all we have is our thick faces to stand in front of the panelist and talk whatever comes out inside our damned brain.

This part was %#^@$@$. We were all so nervous, our panelist were all chairman in our college. But we must do it, do or die I guess?

(Awh, we failed to document our defend, you should see us wear funny attires that we’re not accustomed with, also, one of our teammates mumble as he was overcome with fear.)

But nevertheless, we all have made it through.


The end is near!

The day before this event, we are spawned with the worst luck.

We lost our converter, black out settled in on us, our motors didn’t work, we overwrite our program with a much inefficient one. Everything goes out of control, still we tried not to look pale. 🙂

All hopes are now down to 3rd place. And the rarest of all, there are only three participants. We, from Cebu Institute of Technology – University, the other from University of San Carlos, and lastly from the University of San Jose – Recoletos.

Isn’t this an opportunity! (We entertained ourselves to the idea of being 3rd place with only 3 participants! We can joke about it and it’s still true!:)

The image shows the robot of the University of San Jose – Recoletos. It was huge! Close to the size of a mini fridge.


I’ll skip the part how we fought this seemingly helpless battle. That part was boring to share anyway. During our turn, all crowd fell silent. During the other schools turn, well uhm, there’s a small ugh, *claps*, yes!! ahh. But don’t get it all wrong, they too haven’t made it.

So the highlight of the event went “Winless” or “Loseless”. IT’S A DRAW! ahahahah No one was able to go through with the objective of the robot.

But before all of these, we have conflict with our adviser. I believe there was an exchange of emotions during our open forum with him. And I feel bad for making him go almost out of his temper. But it was the truth we, the team, feel. But still I feel bad, I thought after confronting him it will make me or us feel better. But the effect just settled to my teammates where they just sit there and hear me out do the talking for them. After the forum, they feel light. But I don’t. Funny how they say that the truth will set you free, and it didn’t work for me.

After that, our adviser becomes more hands-on, he now checks on us every now and then. Also, we gave him updates on what’s happening. So the last minute, there was really a team working together.

The event ended with us laughing to the whole thing. No one wins. The slightest luck we all didn’t care goes last as it negates our competitors’ luck of winning. A day we all call it. A good memory we all will bring it.


That’s us, the CIT-U team who stuck their bad asses to keep on the games.

Grrr! It’s blurry. Anyway, they’re sharp and vivid on our box of memories.


I don’t usually settle for anything less (must win!). But some things in life that less is sometimes worth much.

The final requirement to our subject is almost done. Soon, we will part ways after graduation. No one knows when will be able to have this small gathering back. It might not happen or just soon. But when that time comes, I sure do know, we went home happy after that day and by this time around we will still go home happier realizing we actually won! 🙂


Posted on March 14, 2011, in Personal and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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