Monday, March 9, 2009

Kriya 09 - Robotics and my gratitude.

I was in charge for Robotics in Kriya (again). For people who don't know, Kriya is PSG Tech's national level techno-management fest. I was supposed to conduct two events - Robotics design challenge which was supposed to be a display of best robots selected from the abstracts sent to us (visit http://psgkriya.org/2009/robotics/generalrobotics) and the bot race which was an image processing event (http://psgkriya.org/2009/robotics/bot-race).

General Robotics was scheduled to be on the first day of Kriya 09 - 6th March, Bot race was supposed to be on the 7th. The final round of General robotics was scheduled for the 8th of march. The first day of general robotics went without much of a glitch - the only minus being the amount of exhaustion it brought upon me. After the event, we had to setup the arena for Bot race. It was supposed to be of size 4m x 4m. We needed volunteers. 10 first year guys, 2 3rd year guys and myself went to pick up the arena from a place that was roughly 2 kms from my college. We hired a tempo to carry the arena to college. With the help of my juniors, i was able to place the arena in the quadrangle and mount the webcam on the roof. Here I want to mention my special thanks to my junior M.G. Ramachandran - the secretary of PSG Tech's student's union. He mounted the webcam on top of the quadrangle. For the first time in 4 years, I saw an SU secretary climb a ladder and do menial jobs like these. We finished the work by 2 A.M and I left for home.

The next day began at 8.30. The day started off a disaster with a fluctuating power supply to the system that had the webcam feed, we could not install MATLAB (the software required to do image processing and send commands to the Robot in the arena). By the time we fixed it, the time was 11.30 A.M. Due to the lighting conditions, the webcam feed wasn't good enough. We were thinking about various alternatives. It was 2.30 P.M and we had to finish the event fast because open quiz was about to start in the quadrangle. It was then that Anush - the overall coordinator for Kriya suggested that we shift the arena to the IM yoga hall. Aishwarya of the event and resource management team was resourceful in arranging the hall in a matter of minutes. We shifted - again with the help of first year guys. Now we again had to fix the webcam and position the arena which took another hour and a half. We started at 5 P.M. The event which was to begin at 8.30 A.M finally began at 5 P.M. Just after a team finished its run, the webcam's position changed due to a tape falling apart. We had to mount the webcam and start all over again. There was complete unrest in the room. I couldn't handle it anymore. Fatigue started to set in, lack of proper food and sleep was taking its toll, add to it the amount of stress that a day full of disasters gives, I was feeling dead. I asked Srinivasan, Sathappan, Vignesh and Ramachandran of my class to take care of it. I went out, saw the open quiz, attended a meeting and came back near the main PR desk only to find out that Bot race and open quiz were the only two events that were yet to finish and that the staff advisor of SU who was incharge of prize money wanted to leave. I din't wanna put the participants through anymore hardships. I knew the winners and the participants would be extremely disappointed if I fail to give them the prize money in time. I was expecting a miracle and that was the small but sufficient delay in the ending of open quiz. The time taken for the prize distribution of open quiz was just enough. The moment the last team to win a prize came out, the bot race winners were there. They got their prize money in due time, all the participants were happy. I still had to apologise for the amount of screwing up I did. So I sent a note of apology to all the participants through SMS.

Next day was comparatively smooth, I finished the presentations in due time and the winners got their prize money and certificates without much of a mess. I really wanna thank Anush for having given the right idea at the right time, Aishwarya for having arranged the hall in such short notice, Srini, Sath, Vignesh and Rama for having spent their time in organizing bot race in spite of not being the event coords. They were there for me when I needed, I owe them a lot. A very very special thanks to all the first year guys who helped me with everything. Diwakar, Aravindh, Lokesh, Vishnu, Karna, Dino Karthick, Aravindh (there were two Aravindhs), Sathish and all others.

Above all this, I must not forget to thank the participants who stayed with a load of patience and did not force me to hurry up at all. I cannot express my gratitude in mere words. Thanks a million everyone.

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