RoboCup: First Setup Day

Today is the day: we finally get to enter the hall. Accordingly, we set off early to catch the tram. The destination: Parc des Exposition. As we enter the tram, we are pleasantly surprised to see that RoboCup is actually advertising this year, a novelty! The RoboCup vibe spreads instantly, and everyone hopes that this time there might even be spectators!

But one thing at a time: first, we need to reach our destination and get inside the hall. Due to the political circumstances, we have to undergo a bag check, but apart from that, there are no further incidents, allowing our feet to touch the hallowed ground.

After unloading all our robots and equipment, we also try to pick up the event shirts. However, we quickly realize that it’s not as easy as it seems, as the hoodies and T-shirts can be customized this year. The creativity of our members knows no bounds, and we now have an official traffic light trio.

Freshly equipped with T-shirts and hoodies, we immediately dive into the important tasks: cutting out colored papers for the top of our covers (for the why, see this explanation), finalizing and setting aside the robots.

And just like that, it’s already noon, and it’s time to have lunch with our longtime friends UBC Thunderbots (Vancouver, Kanada). With the beautiful weather, there are plenty of options, as food trucks park outside the hall especially for RoboCup.

After lunch, we continue testing, and in the evening, we even get to test on the real playing field. Here, we notice that our new radio system, sponsored by Gerhard Schubert and HBC Radiomatic, runs smoothly, seamlessly, and without any signal interruptions, much to our delight. Our old radio system was quite unreliable, and we faced massive signal dropouts in almost every game.

However, there seem to be some firmware issues. Sometimes, when the robot changes its frequency (the new radio system is based on frequency hopping), the radio completely fails for the robot. But we are optimistic that we can fix this bug in our firmware.

And so, an action-packed first setup day slowly comes to an end for us. Unfortunately, due to the current political events, the last tram already departs at 6:45 PM, forcing many teams to leave the hall early. Although this does not affect us as our hotel is within walking distance, it is certainly disappointing for the other teams. We sincerely hope that the situation will improve in the coming days and that all teams will have equal opportunities to test their hardware in practice.