On Saturday, September 14, I went to the Space Coast Showdown, an off-season robotics competition with my team.

I say "my" team, but I am new to the club. It was worth it to take the whole day off to be there and support everyone. I also learned a lot for how I can help contribute in the feature, as well as what competitions are truly like!

Photo from inside a high school gym turned into a robotics competition, with people from several teams wearing matching shirts crowded in their own spots, with a small fenced-off zone for the robots to fight in. People watch and cheer from the bleachers.
Click on images for a larger version.

There was also a partial solar eclipse, which I didn't even know was happening. But when dozens of people started coming outside where we hanging out with the robot, peering into the sun with cardboard glasses that look like the old 3-D ones, there you go.

Photo from outside a building, where a crowd of people are looking up using the glasses. Some are holding their phones up to it, trying to capture the sight.
Where did they get the glasses from?

What a sight it was! It's something else entirely with such a simple lens - where the sun once was, now a perfectly crescent-shaped silhouette in orange. Higher resolution video link

Anyways, about the competition, yeah. I didn't directly help much. But my teammates were very helpful, and it was nice meeting the majority of them for the first time. I mainly did just hang out and spectate, but I did help fetch a few things, as well as film the matches... that's gotta count for something, right?

Driving to and from the place was really something though. 2 hours one way... I've never driven that long before. And after doing so, I can say it was fine, but it was excruciatingly boring at times. Just having to devote full focus to essentially nothing but moving the wheel by fractions of an inch along a big road, for hours. I'll probably have to do it to see my family depending on the college I choose, so that'll be fun. Oh, along the way, I listened to a fanmade radio drama called "Sonic and Tails R" to pass the time, it was pretty good! Link

I feel like I should be talking more about the reason I went to the competition - Robotics?! I mainly talked about the other minute details. I don't wanna say it was bad. There were a lot of periods of just waiting around doing nothing, but even then, it was fun! I got to talk to people, hang out, etc. Not much more to say. How about some more photos to wrap it up?

Outdoor photo of my team's robot. Wheeled in on a small cart, a robot labeled 8775, with a complicated design of metal, wires, and various other robot-y components.
Photo of the arena, where our robot is seen trying to pick up a cube, among other robots who are also wheeling around and doing stuff.
Battle of the thingamajigs. There are several objectives, such as moving cubes to a container, placing cones on poles, and, at the end, trying to park on a rotating platform.
Photo from a parking lot, where our team is seen moving stuff into a U-Haul.
Packing up.

I'm really looking forward to being a part of my high school's robotics team this year, and joining in for more competitions in the future. <3

I was considering making this a daily note, but because of all the images and stuff, I might as well call it a blog post. Even if the writing feels like a daily note, but who really cares about categorizing? I am the only person on this planet who will care about how daily notes and blog posts are differentiated on realja.me. So why worry about it? :P