Students and staff alike experienced a day of full of energy, excitement, and working robots this past weekend in the historic Hearst Memorial Mining Building. It marked the 5th and most successful Scrimmage in PiE history so far, but we are again reminded about how quickly Final Competition is creeping up - and how much work is still left to be done.

The sunny morning started off slowly as teams checked in and unpacked their kits to start working. After lunch, however, there were numerous tool shortages as students worked in their pits at full speed. The matches started in the afternoon; staff, students, and guests looked on from the third and fourth floor balconies to see teams testing their robots in both fields.

Dario Garcia, a representative from Qualcomm, observes the events of the day: “I like this program model because students have to learn how real engineering careers work. I see abstraction, creativity, and students working in a team, taking on different roles and learning management skills. I see students facing very real engineering problems and being introduced to simulators, hardware, engines, sensors and programming.”

Not everything worked out as planned for all teams, but Dario reminds us that “they have to see that during engineering, failure is something happens and is something that you need to learn to deal with.”

However, we were really excited by the number of robots that were able to pass inspection and able to make it on the field. Now that Scrimmage is over, students should be putting their final robots together and getting ready for Final Competition. We are excited to see the different strategic designs on the robots, and judging from the work that we’ve seen from students, we feel like the students are too.