Welcome Back to Buggy! Rolls Report 2/19

If you’re not in town it might have been easy to miss, but here on campus, it’s buggy season again!  Last weekend was cancelled well in advance due to generally crappy weather and an insufficient number of caped teams, but the past week was nothing but ridiculously nice caping weather, and almost everyone got their act together.  9 orgs made it out (everyone except for SAE) to kick off the semester together with two new buggies and a robot.  Sunday was called off for unsuitable weather.  The wind was freakin intense on Saturday and apparently it was going to be worse on Sunday.  “Wind?!” you old-timers say?  Well, wind=cold.

In Attendance (buggies listed newest to oldest)

Org Saturday
AEPi Robobuggy
CIA #17, Frejya, Renaissance
Fringe Borealis, Bedlam, Blizzard
KapSig Apache
PiKA Nemesis, Chimera, Knightfall
Pioneers Chaos
SDC Bane, Avarice, Malice, Psychosis, Addiction, Rage
SigEp Barracuda, Pandora
Spirit Seraph, Fuko, Haraka

Observations (Saturday gallery)

  • CIA brought out their unnamed new buggy, making it their third build year in a row.   #17 is also their third foray into monocoque construction and it looks like this generation has what it takes to officially make frame construction a historical memory.  #17 is definitely of the same breed as last year’s Frejya with straight lines to and from the peak of the shell.  The design element that sets it apart is the rear wheel compartment which is nearly independent of the rest of the body.  #17 got off to a bit of a slow start on its first day, requiring extra pushes at multiple points down the hill and didn’t roll again.
  • SDC also joined the on-schedule-build club and brought out Bane.  Bane is a deep purple and it’s great that they added some color to the paint this year, because it would be impossible to differentiate from Malice otherwise.  SDC seems to be quite comfortable with their external design decisions because they’re putting together the most uniform fleet in the business.  Bane only rolled once before being replaced by Rage in the lineup.  Rage was quoted as saying, “That’s right bitches, I ain’t never going away.”  I try not to editorialize too much, and I know SDC has a negativity naming scheme going, but you couldn’t pay me to name my new buggy Bane, ” — noun. a person or thing that ruins or spoils”
  • AEPi also added to the first day excitement with the revival of Robobuggy.  If that doesn’t ring any bells, you must not have been around in 2000 & 2001 when Robobuggy rolled in exhibitions trying to become the first autonomous vehicle to complete the race.  Drivers might argue that they exercise plenty of autonomy all the time, but we’re talking robotic autonomy here.  The attempts 10 years ago were not successful, but AEPi has acquired the original vehicle and started modernizing to give it another try.  They had Robobuggy out this weekend in RC mode to collect course data.  Unfortunately, the basics got the best of them and Robobuggy had trouble rolling downhill and was taken off the course after stopping somewhere around the transition flag.  We’ll keep you updated on the project here, but you can follow in greater detail at their blog here:  http://robobuggy.blogspot.com/
  • KapSig started the semester off like they’re out to win this race.  If you feel like you’ve been following buggy, but you’re surprised to hear their name it’s because they’re just getting back into buggy and only made it out for the very last weekend last semester.  They have a cool buggy they built themselves — Apache — and they got 5 whole rolls with it in November.  Inexperience be damned, they started this semester off with a fearless full speed hill 2.  Granted, their hill 3 still knows to wait in the chute for the pickup, but when Apache gets there they don’t jog it around to window 0.  I like what I see out of this team.
  • Spirit spun on the very last roll of the day after being so smooth all day that I foolishly started walking back to my car when I heard they were last roll.  But that’s not the most exciting Spirit news of the day anyhow because they brought out some cool looking new 6-spoke wheels with a new bright yellow compound.  They didn’t use it until the second roll of the day, but I’m not sure which wheels were on the buggy that spun.  I like the custom rims.
  • Pioneers scratched on their first roll after their brake was squeaking loudly enough at the top of hill 2 to catch sweepstakes’ attention.  On their second roll, the driver never turned right at the top of hill 2 and the buggy was stopped before she ran into the curb.  They pulled back a bit, had a word of clarification about the need to steer and sent her down.  She didn’t make it around, although I’m not sure of the details.  Sweepstakes’ note in the spreadsheet is “Pioneers lost driver” which could be interpreted in a number of ways.
  • In the rumor category, PiKA and Fringe are believed to be close to brining out new buggies while Spirit and SigEp have builds in the works that may or may not make it out.  Also, it looks like there is still hope that SN will grace buggy with their presence.  They haven’t safetied or caped, but they have sent a rep to the last few sweepstakes meetings, so it’s looking like we’ll be up to 11 orgs for raceday.
  • In the not-too-interesting-but-I-noticed category, SDC already got two pass tests done and Knightfall had an exceptionally slow and squeaky last roll.

It feels like build season back at cmubuggy.org garage as we are building our new vehicle — a redesigned website.  We hoped to make it out for the first weekend of rolls, but like PiKA and Fringe next weekend is more likely to be the big reveal.  We’ve got the chassis done, but the steering and brakes still need a bit of work.

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