This post has more photos than usual, all taken with the trusty orange GM-1. The bridge that crosses the Columbia River is one that I have been traversing since I was a kid and we would come from Seattle to visit my grandmother in Portland. When we were little we nicknamed this “Goofy Grandma’s Bridge,” after her. It still stands and still works, though there is talk of a different one taking its place one day. The town I grew up in, Bellevue, was transformed by the high-tech industry with Microsoft’s campus being just one town over. Now it is a reflective town that I do not recognize anymore, for the most part. Then Robots – Jonah’s South Eugene Robotics Team was in competition this past weekend and below are a few shots from the festivities – and yes, it is festive!

Heading into Washington over the Columbia River on I-5.
My hometown, Bellevue, Washington.
Waiting, queued up to move to the field of competition. Their robot is Tetra (or Chi Chi – I don’t honestly know what name was settled on) and they are number 2521. The bumpers are either blue or red, depending on which “alliance” they are a part of for each round.
In action: there are two drivers (in t-shirts) and a driver coach telling them what to do and where to move the robot. The platform just inside the field of play tilts and points are scored by balancing on this platform at the start and end of the match. Matches last 150 seconds in length.
The robots are balanced, three per platform to hear points for their alliance. Note the costumes, the officials, cameras, etc. It was all streamed live on as it’s the real deal.
This is the field of play at set up. The objective for each robot is to place a traffic cone on a post near the drivers and move the purple cubes to a small area next to the post that holds the traffic cone. There are penalties that can be had and different points are scored for different actions. If all three robots in an alliance balance on the platform near the end of the match, the alliance earns more points. The community around this is really incredible – these kids do this after school and on weekends and come from both Washington and Oregon for this competition. The next one will have more teams and is in ten days in Cheney, Washington. If they do well there and qualify, they might end up at the national competition in Houston, Texas at the end of April, which would be super fun for these young folks.
This is the pit area where they work on the robot between matches. On Tetra, the orange bands are on an arm that articulates in order to pick up the objects. These are some of the SERT team in between matches helping to get ready for the next round. You can see the controller and laptop that is used to move the robot on the field of play. Layers and layers of good things are going on with this and with this team this year.