[Univ of Cambridge] [Dept of Engineering]

Welcome to the CUED IDC '02 Team Page

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The Cambridge Students

Warren Bennett Amy Chandler Edward Gunn Sheridan Kates

Other Websites relating to IDC 02

Main Contest Web Site Mitsubishi Diary Site Microsoft's Page Boston Globe New England Cable TV

Competition Diary (3rd August - 17th August)

Day 0 1 2 3 4 5

Saturday 3rd August

The teams meet up at Heathrow and get stuck in the first queue. To the annoyance of Sheridan, Warren gets upgraded to Club class, the rest of us have to go `cattle class'.

A 3 hour wait and 6 hours of flight later we arrive in Boston. Retribution for his upgrade hits Warren as he is taken aside by immigration, he has been issued with an incorrect visa. Two hours later Warren is released with a waiver and we emerge into an atmosphere of 27C + high humidity. Three changes of subway and a hike across the MIT campus we arrive at the McCormick hall of residence, our home for two weeks.

McCormick Hall of Residence
(A `Cheat' it was dark when we arrived!!!)

Sunday 4th August

To our great relief the day starts late, with a 10 O'clock meeting to introduce everyone and the competition. However, we wake to a brilliant sun rise and views over the Charles river.

9-30am and the team gratefully makes its way to the Kendall building for breakfast, blueberry pancakes all round.!!! (NOT according to Sheridan)

Here we go...HELP....a lecture in August

Alex (Slocum) starts off with an introduction of the organisers, the academics involved, an overview of the contest and the timescales involved. Keeping the crowds happy and interested, however we are still waiting to hear more of his `Folk Song's', ....later perhaps. To keep everyone on their toes the Japanese `Endurance' film crew is always in attendance. Dropped into the conversation is that the students are to use some of the `geekiest' (reminder: must get a SLOCUM dictionary) PCs around. There are only 40 in the world and 17 are here for the course, Awesome! (There we go again .. what is it two nations split by one language?)

Alex in Action
Prof. Shimizu, who unfortunately arrives late having been locked out of his room, then gives a quick overview of the history of the IDC,

More information on organisation and the ritual handing out of IDC teeshirts, whoops...the team sheets are incorrect. (Sorry Maureen, the only mistake in a faultlessly organised event. Congratulations) It is decided to change shirts after lunch. Off to the Pappalardo Lab to look at the tournament tables. Wow, what a lab! (more on this later) A quick look at the tables, THIS IS GOING TO BE INTERESTING....

The teams begin to gell, pigeon English/American and fluent A level French begins to flow. Balls and hockey pucks start to fly, THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE!! TWO WEEKS!!

Everyone decides to investigate lunch early, La Verde (the campus grocery store) has never seen it so good!

Everyone is back in Room 3-105 at 2pm for the `have you seen the geekiest PC' show. Pat Willoughby shows of the new Acer tablet PC's to a series of oooOHs and aaaRRs and with a promise at least 2/team. What follows is a amazing display of the new Robot World environment that is being trialled at this event, the project is only 5 months old!

3pm and it is back to the Poppalardo lab for a spin on the tablet PCs and the handing out of the material kits. The Cambridge team show they hack with the best and bury themselves in finding the finer points of pen control and fancy handwritting recognition. (No more unreadable tripos scripts!!)

The kits appear with dire warnings about the strength of the windscreen wiper motors, 14Nm torque! What do they splat on windscreens here?

4.30pm and the teams start dispersing to cogitate on the design problems, the Cambridge students stick it out to the end ... just one more email to send Warren?

Under 21 and Ma is dry, but CUED students are not deterred! Amy and Sheridan hit on a plan, but the Model `Oakley glasses' Warren and Ed are not so sure. Strength or pursuasion wins....more about this tomorrow when the pictures are exposed!

Monday 5th August

We are starting in earnest! We wake to a slightly cooler day with a gentle wind, the humidity is high but to veterans of Maebashi and Osaka this is a breeze.

8.30am and the students start to assemble in the lab sporting their technicolour team shirts and exchanging stories about the previous evening. Team CUED, well at least Sheridan and Amy, had great plans to visit the beach, just the way to end a hot sunny Sunday.
However, the best laid plans... see the photos

All starts well and dressed to kill...

Is this the right way ? (What did you do to that lamp post?)

[an error occurred while processing this directive] Warren finds his fraternity and Sheridan become 2

To prove that CUED students are never slack here is Ed up early working on his new tablet PC as the early morning light streams in.

How the teams are changing, everyone is wondering around in the team colours, bright green, purple and shocking yellow. The impact of technology is interesting, overnight a number of the team members have produced sketches on the tablets and it proves an excellent way to start the discussions going.

Soon the lack of tablets and familiarity with the software means that a number of the teams return to pencil and paper for the conceptual designs. But the work continues.....
(Note the attentive Cambridge student, the active student, the centre of attention and the student, is that emailing again!!!)

At all times the students have to have eyes in the back of their heads, here comes that TV crew again! and there is Maureen `there IS a schedule ALEX!' Lynch

Lunch comes and goes and there is another photo call, this time for all the teams together standing on the steps of MIT. The `paparatsi' descend again spoiling the view across Killan Court and the Charles River.

The teams return to the lab for more concept planning and emails, however it is soon 5pm and we make our way back to McCormick Hall for the Luau, (Opening Dinner). Dressed the part we settle down to a sumptuous buffet of oriental food.

All too soon it comes to an end and Alex suggest adjourning to the courtyard to hear stories about the previous nights activities. The Cambridge team, concerned that their activities may put the rest to shame, suggest a game of musical chairs! (Oh, when will we learn to keep our mouths shut?)

Alex put the choice to the vote and by 7-0 (45 abstentions or should that be NOs) it is decided that musical chairs it is, the music provided by the losers and staff.

Decamping to the courtyard it is obvious that the other teams just don't know how to play cricket, to quote Amy. Soon the Cambridge team are left to ponder the dubious tactics.

However, enter the musical turn of the evening the `IDC Pop Idols' ... (Move over Will and Gareth)

Soundtrack Soundtrack
Backing track -
Copyright CUED_PopIdols
For further information/concert bookings please contact

How competative can musical chairs become, it is the TAKING PART not the winning!
To reduce injuries Alex enters a trance and the remaining players are blindfolded. Cheered on by the administrators Alex continues to sing the `Robot Ballard' while still in a trance. A winner finally emerges and is awarded with a Slocum hug, (picture suppressed).

Many thanks to Maureen and her helpers another great event, no slip ups again.

The Cambridge team have another eventful evening planned but there is just time to chill out on the penthouse balcony and ponder the days/year to come.

Another evening in Warren's fraternity, don't ask surfice to say it involves a ping-pong ball, the `stars and strips'.

Tuesday 6th August

We wake to a nice cool morning, everyone looks happier. The team take a leisurely breakfast.

Deadlines are drawing near, the teams are due to give a presentation tomorrow, so work so metal and plastic begins to fly. However a fire alarm intervenes and while Sheridan tries to continue work her mind begins to wander and it is not long before the CUED escape bid is being planned. Come on Warren!

Soon the escape party are making fast progress beside the river, followed by the hijack of a boat and soon MIT is being left far behind.

Have you a driving licence for that Ed? Oh yes, thats Mr Oakley again.

Captured? and returned to the Pappalardo lab Warren is seen trying to make out a drawing on the Tablet, the sun reminding him of the failed escape bid, and Sheridan starts some delicate assembly.

It's not long before the `Call of the Water' is too strong again and it is down to the beach and swimming.

Wednesday 7th August

Day 4 start bright and sunny again. The team rises late and wanders to breakfast where Sheridan decides to have a new ident photograph taken.

Arriving in the Pappalardo Lab work is going apace as the teams must present their strategies and demonstrate the most critical component. The film crews are `breeding' this morning there are our friendly NHK crew, two from Microsoft and a still photographer. The teams take an early lunch to be ready for the 12-30 start for the presentations. Settling down in 3-250 the teams choose various methods to give their presentation, with almost every possible method of using the Tablets being tried, including sketches...

text based...

the `animated arms' ... the laid back....

and the swish with animations and cad models.

Most teams are using various combinations of scoops/bulldozers and `wackers', with a few wild variations. Although unable to attend the presentations Prof Slocum was not missed with an animated appearance.

The `Supreme Court' meets for hour or so to discuss the presentation and strategies. As a result a minor change is made to the rules to emphasise the requirement to have positive strategies, i.e. to score points rather than be disctructive. The new rule only allows spoiling tactics to be used after 10secs or when the a ball/puck is in the bin, which ever is first.

Stand by for the controversy to start

Unfortunately the day ended with a minor incident with a battery pack falling on Sheridan's toe. However soon first aid was administered, it is good to be in a place with ice on tap. A trip to the local hospital gives an impression of what the NHS should be... Easy parking, smart new wheel chair to hand, spoken to before you have even reached the reception, forms filled and the doctor in attendance within 10mins. Examined, diagnosed as probably only bruised, strapped, special shoe fitted, and pain killers issured and out of the door within 25mins, without feeling a burden or on a production line!

Thursday 8th August

Another day starting with bright sunshine and the temperature is still very pleasant. The teams obviously had a good night, the workshop is a little slow to get going. However, by 8.50 things are beginning to move and Sheridan has arrived showing off a bright blue bruise but feeling alot better.