On the other side of the Class: Summarizing winter workshop 2015

Exactly an year ago, the tiring but fun NCC camp got over. And as most of the cadets headed home, I took what was to be one of the best decisions taken by me in the first year, which was ensuring that I attended the winter workshop conducted by Robotix and associates. In what was a one week microcontroller overload, which was all the way much more tough for me as I didn’t even know how to write for loops, let alone calling functions and talking about call by references 😛 But that one week knowledge changed the path of my interests once and forever. I for once knew that autonomous robotics had to stay under my radar for a long long time! And so it did.

Now after a year of battling academics, programming microcontrollers and writing long pieces of code, I finally found myself on the other side of the classroom, with the looks on the students’ faces just as ‘hallu’ as mine an year ago. But as mentors we weren’t as punctual as last year, but definitely trying to make the first years and a few second years understand the core concepts of microcontrollers and their programming. It was an amazing tiring experience overall, but nighttime bhaats with fellow mentors Aashay and Aranya in RP hall were well worth the pain. I found a new interest in indie games and horror games and that took fun to the next level.

Coming back to the problem statement, it was a step follower robot that could follow the headings using digital compasses. Also it could count the number of steps taken. Although it was accomplished on an Arduino (I2C is a pain on any other uC), the basics of all programming were taught on the AVR controller. The basics of Arduino coding were also taught along with introductions to modes of communication and where my interest lay, control loops. But that was after the PS was achieved, after a nightout (Embedded applications and problems are a match made in heaven, in case you didn’t know). Usual treats and funda sessions followed, but the real icing on the cake was that the seniors appreciated our work a lot.

In all it was an epic experience. I could’ve stayed another week for AGV but would have missed an amazing opportunity. Revised the rusted concepts, got a few tidbits of scattered information from batchies and overall an undeniably good time spent.

To summarize, I’m linking the Youtube video that encompasses our problem statement. That guy shouting orders, that’s me 😛

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