Preparing for the competition

Hello World!

Sorry I didn’t post last week! Things have been crazy with finals coming up, and that week wasn’t very interesting anyways so you weren’t really missing that much. But this way, I’m talking about TWO weeks this time!

We plan for the hyperloop pod to be finished by June 9th, and that seems like it’s going to work out. In any event, there isn’t much that I need to do personally to ensure that its finished by then because I’m currently on the controls team. Our controls team is WAY ahead of the rest of the team, probably because it’s led by two masters students and has one of the biggest teams. The size discrepancy makes sense, because it focuses on programming which is way cooler than anything else. As a result of this, our controls systems inside the rest of our pod is kind of like an adult’s brain inside of a child’s body. Or a very smart child’s brain inside a very dumb adult’s body. However you want to look at it. Our pod’s ‘brains’ are Rockewell machines, and they could control something ten times as large and complex as our pod right now. This is probably a good thing, because it ensures that next year I can make the pod as complex as I want and won’t have to buy new brains!

We may have to buy a new chassis however, because to quote the chassis team leader, “We’ve been putting rivets into our chassis, and it hasn’t been going very well.” Which is never something you want to hear from a team lead. Basically, we’ve screwed up the chassis too much to use and are going to have to buy a new one. It’ll be a crunch to get it done on time, but I’m confident that it’ll turn out fine. And if it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter because I’m not the president at the moment so nobody will blame me!

Our deformed air tank

We almost killed the current president by filling up a gas tank that can take 150lbs of pressure up to 1300lbs. It could have exploded and blown shrapnel into everybody nearby, although that was ‘pretty unlikely’. And it’s a testament to how dedicated our team is that they were willing to risk their lives for a failure test!

This Thursday, I got to hear a Davis alumn talk about startups! The event was called Pitches and Prizes because people who pitched their startup idea got Amazon gift cards. The presenter, Nitan Gupta, founded two startups and they both went public, which for many people is the goal of working in Silicon Valley (not mine but that’s a different story). He mostly talked about how important it was to be ambitious, and said that you should take all your goals, multiply them by ten, and then try to do that. Then we all discussed problems that we would like to solve, and presented them.

Best way to show the world that your event is worth going to: huge monitors

I’m going to Livermore in two weeks! Hopefully my post will get a lot more interesting when that happens. Not because Livermore is super interesting (no offense to anybody who lives there, but as somebody who comes from San Francisco, that town is very boring) but because the lab is going to be pretty neat! The group chat indicates that the people in the lab are fairly interesting people. So far the group has seen two invitations to death metal concerts, and one invitation to a rare and exotic plant show. I also had an interesting conversation with a business major — apparently it’s not normal to show up in jeans every day to work for most majors? Yet another benefit of working in tech.

I also discovered a very interesting object on campus, and I’m still not sure what it is. It looks like a Dwarvish monument, but I’m not really sure.

wood axe

See you all next week!