As the Eurobot 2016  USMC deadline creeps ever closer, every Mechanical Engineering student’s breath are held in shaky anticipation.

Insomnia might be a factor for the “shaky” bit though.

After all, it is their sweat and blood that are about to be put on trial. Will the wood-and-metal cube on wheels be able to pull through until the very end of the competitions? Or will it crash and burn on the unforgiving, brutal yet weirdly tacky beach-themed battlefield?

With hearts pounding wildly, our champions-to-be have all successfully completed their presentations in which they pitched their designs to a room of lecturers. Surprisingly enough, the presentations have turned out to be more rewarding than nerve-wracking as the lecturers addressed the possible flaws in the designs and have given some decidedly sound advice.

All smiles during the Eurobot Presentation Day

So armed with little more than common sense, the Sophomores of USMC have toiled day and night, sacrificed sleep, weekends, and holidays to produce the perfect machine that will carry little blocks of wood and plastic into glorious, glorious victory.  However, in the midst the hustle and bustle of sleep-deprived students clacking away and cursing at their screens in pursuit of that one elusive line of code, the seed of politics has been secretly planted.

“What if the opponent takes the blocks I need?”

“What if I collide into the opponent?”

“What if we were able to make an agreement of mutual benefit, hmmmmmmm?”

On the arena of sword-wielding gladiators, he who googled “fencing strategies” wins. On a bright sunny day, teams may found huddling in corners, debating in hushed voices, for fear an opponent might stumble upon them at any given moment. I would love to share some of what these secret meetings entail, but to paraphrase Dr Franklyn of Sherlock Holmes fame, “I’d love to tell you. But then of course, I’d have to kill you.”

On that cheery note, here’s wishing all teams the best of luck for the competitions, and may the best robot win!

Road To Eurobot 2016 USMC

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