After a solid sixteen hours of travel, the USST finally made it to Poland! After making it to our hotel, checking out Krakow’s Old Town, and sleeping for another eleven hours, we managed to find our way back to the airport to pick up our rental van, pictured below. As you can imagine, we a re all very thankful for Austin volunteering to drive that monster through Poland’s narrow and often confusing streets!
While we had initially planned to pick up the rover in Krakow on August 31, shipping delays meant that we had to travel to Warsaw (an unexpected stop) on September 2. In the meanwhile, we focused on designing and building a tower for the communications system, and writing code for our LIDAR navigation system in order to accurately plot obstacles. Austin received a call letting us know that the rover was available for pick-up, and he and I drove to a warehouse in one of Warsaw’s industrial districts.
As the guard at the warehouse didn’t speak anything other than Polish, it took a lot of phone calls and exasperated sighs to get into the compound. Once we did, we found ourselves trying (largely unsuccessfully) to communicate using a broken mess of English, Polish, Ukrainian, and German. Though it took us about an hour and a half, and we might not have signed something we were supposed to, we did finally get the rover into the van and back to the hotel!
As the rover was delayed a couple days in transit, the past few days have been packed with coding, testing, and making sure that everything is in order. Today I spent four hours walking around Kielce looking for a power inverter, amongst other things! We are all so excited (and perhaps a little stressed) for the competition to begin on Saturday morning.