Day 3 – ANA Avatar XPRIZE Finals – Let’s get this robot party started

Day 3! Our goal today: get the system up and running and do some final tuning of the system. And afterwards, hopefully do some dry runs of operator training and test course for the finals.

The final tuning of the system included tuning the face of EVE (which was updated while EVE was away), tuning the sound settings, setting up the network for XPRIZE and some small system improvements that were identified before sending the system to the US. We also wanted to do a full hardware check of EVE before taking the robot to the Convention Center.

The tuning of the system went smoothly today. The face was updated successfully (see picture above), only some small improvements were needed to make the eyes a bit less twitchy and thus less creepy! And this means we now have a new feature implemented on our robot: we can now wink!

We also did a full soundcheck today: we want the sound to be loud enough so the operator can hear the recipient, even in a full stadium. But well… How do you do a soundcheck while you have both the robot and the operator pod in the same (small) hotel room? Well, you take EVE outside! And this got quite some attention. Most people had never seen such an awesome robot before. Part of the team even got donuts from some interested grandmas.

In the afternoon, the team had a little bit of time left to have a small hike and visit the beach of Long Beach.

However, not everything can go perfectly of course. During the full hardware check of EVE, Christopher found a damaged tendon, which needed to be replaced. However: We do not yet have the right hardware to attach the tendon (we are missing a small zip tie…). We did visit quite some true American stores to check if they got the right equipment there: Home Depot and Walmart. No luck so far… but it was quite an experience! As Halloween is approaching here, the stores are fully stocked with *useful* stuff. Below: a picture with Tycho. In his left hand: materials for repairing EVE, in his right the “Gym Werewolf lifting dumbbells”.

So… No correct zip ties yet, but we currently have some alternative solution, that will hopefully do the trick. And we do have other great news: Stefano, after a successful IROS2022 conference in Kyoto is on his way to LA via Seoul and looking forward to join the team! And he’s taking a very cool prize: The best paper award for industrial robotics research with real-world applications.

More on our progress tomorrow! The goal of doing a dry run of the test course is postponed, it is the first point on the agenda for tomorrow.

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