Sunday 9 July 2023

It's not over 'til it's over!

You know the drill: Finals, B-Human, one winner.
B-Human won both the quarter and semi finals 10:0, at which time the game clock stops (the so-called mercy rule), so we knew we had our work cut out. The game started with a bang, B-Human managed to score their first goal less than a minute after kicking off the game, followed by two somewhat lucky goals in quick succession. After this, however, our robots finally kicked into gear and provided exciting game play. B-Human's precise passes, our steadfast defense. Some lucky shots making their way through multiple robots across the field, an audience cheering every move. Half-time 0:3 - not too bad. The 2nd half started similarly strong, except for our goalkeeper who decided that watching the audience was a better use of it's time. The other field players however executed a full-on attack on B-Human's goal, keeping the ball inside their penalty area for several minutes. Unfortunately none of the robots managed to get the ball over the line. Then disaster struck: We somehow had used up all of our message budget (robots of each team are only allowed to send a limited number of data packets per game). Chaos. Our team wasn't able to talk to each other anymore, nobody knew who should go for the ball or defend the goal. B-Human instantly made use of the situation and scored one goal after another. 0:7, nearly 2 minutes to go. Time-out! What can we do (given 5 minutes of time) to not end up with the dreaded mercy rule? One striker, one goalie. They don't need to talk, just play for time. Change the code, re-deploy on 2 of our robots. go!
Did it work? Yes! Was it one of the most fun ways to delay the inevitable? Definitely! Our 2 bots tried their best. Unfortunately our striker got a penalty soon after and had to watch from the sidelines for much of the remainder of the game. This meant everything was on our goalie's shoulders. He realized that the other bot had been penalized, moved ahead towards the kick-off... whistle... play... and he turned around to do what we had programmed: defend the goal. Of course we hadn't thought about that edge case during the 5 minutes of time-out. This however meant that B-Human had to wait until the kick-off time was over before they were able to touch the ball; another 10 seconds gained. B-Human managed to score the 0:9, 13 seconds on the clock, another kick-off for us, another slightly confused goalie pacing back and forth inside our half. 3 seconds to go, B-Human is allowed to enter the center circle. They try, but it's just noch enough time. Game finished! 0:9, no mercy rule, mission accomplished. We're all super happy with the result and all the progress we made during the competition and are looking forward to the next time we meet all the other teams. We'll upload various videos for which we just didn't have enough time in the coming days, so make sure that you subscribe to our YouTube channel at to get notifications!

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