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08/02/2014

Day 4: The 1st Semi-Final Run

More so than ever before, TRANSDEC was filled with energy, excitement, and anxiety. Local visitors were tent-hopping to understand what the competition was about, film crew from various media organizations were capturing the moment, and the mayor of San Diego, Kevin Faulconer, made a speech and showed his support.

KBPS media filming our CUAUV booth
Spectators filled the entire perimeter of TRANSDEC. As usual, team's vehicles and their mission runs were being displayed on the Jumboscreen. We were able to secure our desired time-slot of 3:30PM by placing 1st in static judging. Static judging score was mainly based on our presentation, team website, and competition video. During our semi-final run, we witnessed our newly implemented mission optimizer in full play. After successfully driving pass the gate, hitting the red buoy, and circumnavigating the wire, Gemini pleasantly surprised everyone by choosing to go for recovery task 2.5 minutes into our run. The usual element Gemini tackles next is the bin. However, given the current vehicle location, distance from all elements, and potential score estimate of each task, Gemini made an intelligent autonomously to go for recovery (which can potentially earn us over 27,000 points). On the way, however, Gemini encountered a problem in the pipe-tracking code, forcing us to 'kill' the mission and restart. When the vehicle returned to dock, the remaining time was little over 7 minutes. As soon as Gemini left the dock and passed the validation gate, it shot straight to the recovery task -- nothing was on Gemini's mind other than getting some cheese and rocks. Although Gemini attempted to grab all 6 elements numerous times, it was able to only successfully grab 2 mars rocks an



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