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Jumbled Code

There are few things similar to the rush and excitement of a participating in a robotics competition. Lexi is a co-leader of an FTC robotics team. Enjoy this story as she recounts some her adventures in the crazy fun world of competitive robotics.

Part 1

“There it goes again,” stated Noah, the programmer, as our robot went helplessly in circles. He waited until it slammed hard against the wall.

“Alright, stop it,” he frustratedly declared. Under his breath he said a few unintelligible things as he went back to his computer to look for bugs in the code.

“Maybe if I…oh!…nope nevermind, well that could wor- heh that’s a terrible idea. Worth a shot I guess,” Noah mused over his code. The mechanics skeptically glanced at the robot. It hadn’t been working for the entire meeting and everyone was growing quite frustrated with it.

Noah reloaded the code, “I’m 90% sure this won’t work,” he said pessimistically (but probably realistically at this point too). He was right, if his goal had been to make the robot go more violently in circles, then he wildly succeeded. It continued to run into the wall again. “There goes a wheel,” pointed out one of the mechanics.

“Why, why, why. Stupid robot, just do what I told you to do, isn’t that simple enou-Aha! I’ve got it! Just got to…,” he said, continuing with mumbo jumbo that only he would understand. He went back to his computer, frantically typing away.

“If it doesn’t work this time, I don’t know what to do,” declared Noah. And no one could blame him. Our robot is a piece of work. He reloaded the code and started the program. All eyes were on the robot, anticipation filled the room. Then something unexpected happened. Our eyes grew wider as slowly but surely our robot started changing shape. It was subtle at first, but became obvious with time; our robot was definitely turning into a whale. “Uhhhh,” Noah stammered in amazement, “try stopping the program.” Someone pushed the stop button, but our robot kept on morphing into a gi-normous whale (which now seemed capable of flying). It’s fins were very small compared to its monstrous body, but it still managed to flap its fins to lift it off the ground. And there it went, through the ceiling, breaking every post in it’s way. Standing in an open and now suddenly very cold room a mechanic asked, “What did you set the angle to?” “42,” Noah replied. Just kidding!

(To be continued)