Semester Review

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Wow. It’s been a very long time since I sat down to do this (sorry, fans!).

In the meantime I have had quite an eventful few months, starting with the week following my last blog, when my computer decided to die on me. After that, it wasn’t long until I departed for a ski trip with the university snow sports club. The holiday was to last for one week at the Val Thorens resort in southern France – two of my housemates were also coming, and we shared a hotel room with a few people they knew from lectures. The trip was awesome, and I could carry on talking about it for hours, but it would probably be best if I didn’t.

Following the Christmas vacation were the January exams. I would just like to say that they all went swimmingly, and that I achieved some very respectable marks all round… but that would be a lie. I’ve arranged to talk to my tutor on Wednesday regarding my results, and until then I don’t know what to say, really. I had hoped that last semester would turn out to have gone more smoothly, so the marks I received have left some doubt in my mind regarding the progression of my degree. Hopefully after the meeting some of my concerns will have been assuaged.

With all of the arduous modules from semester one out of the way, at least for now, we have moved on to a whole new set! Some of the new lectures are more interesting than the material we just finished, but a few just take the tedium further, in my opinion. I’m sure that there are some people somewhere that find power electronics interesting – sadly, I’m not one of them. Roll on, third year options!

One thing that is going well, however, is the Rover project. A couple of weeks ago we started developing ideas to increase the speed of the vehicle, using a set of Meccano gears. This involved many hours of CAD work for me, finally culminating in a new front wheel arch which in my eyes is truly a thing of beauty! The robot now zips around the test track at a breathtaking speed, and with that goal accomplished, I felt rather useless handing over the reins to the people in charge of the circuitry.

At this point, though, it’s all hands on deck to complete the machine before the dry run on Friday, when the course lecturers will assess our robot’s capabilities against the specification. I’ll have to let you know how it goes!

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