How We Lost the Robot Tournament Essay

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My hands tighten around the controller, my lips into a grimace of determination. The safety goggles makes my nose itch, but my focus is entirely on the robot in front of me. The announcer starts counting down and suddenly the robots are moving. Without user input, the robots begin to rove around the field, weaving in between each other and picking up the scoring elements and attempting to score. I wince at my teammate as our robot fails to score, and he returns the pained expression. All too fast, the buzzer rings and the robots momentarily stop, beginning to move again when the drivers slowly ease the joysticks forward. I push too hard, too fast, and our robot nearly keels over. I wince again- damage to the robot at this point in the …show more content…

The robot stands still- reduced in function from a mechanical marvel to an expensive glorified paperweight with blinking lights.The announcer comments on our robot’s inactivity and my mind races, trying to think of possible reasons for the robot’s sudden failure. I strain my eyes, trying to search for any unplugged wires or cables.
I internally scream at the thought that weeks of building could be undone by a lone wire falling out of place. I glance at the scoreboard, and instantly regret it. The buzzer rings again, and all of the robots come to a halt. Our team had lost. Waves of guilt and failure wash over me as I walk to take the robot off of the field.
My teammate helps me, but when we return to our teammates, they are silent. A few of them ask what happened, but most of them already know. I can’t help but feel responsible for our loss, even though I knew that there was nothing I could do to change what had happened.
After the tournament, I had a fierce desire to build a robot that could succeed where our old one had failed - to redeem myself and my team, and possibly move onto the next stage of the competition. From that competition, I realized that failure wasn’t something that happened to those who didn’t try, but could affect anyone. That competition has shaped the way I tutor people, as I could understand the feeling of trying so hard, but failing at the absolute worst

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