How did it all begin? If you haven't visited our team website, then I highly recommend you do. It contains all the information about the competition that we have just competed in. However, that's all from the perspective of our team! It's a robotics competition called the FIRST Lego League that is hosted in three parts - Regional, International, and Worldwide; in order of difficulty. Our regional competition was held in Swansea, just an hour away from me. We competed against other teams from Wales and we managed to bag a 1st place in project and robot design.
The entire competition runs off 4 parts - robot game, robot design, project, and core values. We created a very block-like robot which was much smaller than other robots at the event. Our project was a hub that connects to your home internet connection and uses LED lighting on the hub to state the status of different modules connected to it. For example, we created a bowl module so the LEDs would light up depending on how full the bowl is. I programmed it entirely in python and it's programmed in a way so that anyone can create their own modules to work along side it (aka. open-sourced). This was our entire aim; based off the theme of animals in the competition, we wanted companies that create smart pet products to integrate their product with ours so the consumer would only need one app for everything in their house.
We were unable to get in contact with any experts, but we were surprised by the amount of feedback received on the programming of the project and the robot itself. It was a lot of fun. Aside from the competition, we managed to get some time to look around St Louis itself which was quite breathtaking in comparison to places in Wales.
I can't consider myself a city person just yet - I still love the countryside. But St Louis had it's amazing Gateway Arch, the largest steel monument in the world. It even had a tram line to go to the top and look out at the city; but it was fully booked from all the other teams that were at the event! I still managed to grab some photos and video footage from underneath the monument, which I still think was as exhilarating as going to the top.
To be honest, I would love to go again. I didn't get to see St Louis in all of it's glory. We did arrive during a super storm too, so we didn't get the hot weather as promised. After about 60 hours of travelling combined I think I can say I'm glad to be back home in Wales with the fresh air and no traffic!