There and Back Again

This last two weeks have been a whirlwind of events, from the Microsoft Mobile & Embedded Devcon in Las Vegas to the outdoor concert and fantastic fireworks at the Embarcadero in San Francisco.  I have never felt better.
As usual, MEDC kicked off this year with pre-conference workshops on the first day, followed by a series of sessions and hand-on-labs throughout the next three days.
We’ve manged to get a decent hotel which was within walking distance from the event.  We stayed at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas, located right across from Caesars Palace, and a few minutes walk away from The Venetian, where the conference was held.
This year, we have bravely put our names down for the Sumobot competition,and I have to admit that I was pleased as punch that we got into the semi-finals.  Our little robot did very well even though we did not spend much time programming it.  The Sumobot competition first started at the MEDC 2004 in San Francisco.  The competition was limited to 40 teams this time, with a maximum of four members in a team.  Each team is given a SumoBot kit that contains a black anodized aluminium chassis and scoop, servo motors, wheels, 4AA power pack mounting standoffs and screws, detailed specifications of the Sumo ring and rules of engagements, as well as a manual with basic competition code written in C#.  The code provided reads the light sensors to detect the lines at the edge of the ring, and reads the IR sensors while looking out and tracking down the opposing sumobot.  All the teams have the same kits, the main objective of the competition is to see how each team can enhance the existing program and get their sumobots to perform more actions, keep the sumobot within the ring and to knock it’s opponent out of the ring.  All the teams were given about 3 days to get their sumobots up and ready for battle. 

The competition was held during the attendee party at the TAO nightclub at The Venetian on the third day of the conference.
This year’s MEDC felt quiet, no ground breaking announcements or exceptionally good sessions or hand-on-labs.  Nevertheless, we were glad to see Loke Uei again at the event and we look forward to seeing him next month at MEDC Malaysia.
I did not have a chance to enjoy and take pictures on some of the meals and snacks we had at the conference as I was busy rushing from one session to another.  We even skipped lunch on some of the days due to trying to catch up with work online.  But I’ve managed to have a proper sit down lunch on the last day of the event as the number of sessions were not as hectic as before.

With some time to spare after the conference on the last day, we decided to head down for a stroll on the Las Vegas Boulevard strip in the evening to snap some photos before heading back to the hotel to pack our bags.
We checked out of the hotel early the next morning, got on the flight to San Francisco, and reached the Hotel Des Arts in downtown a little after 2PM.

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