The Llantarnam Charity Event
Hosted By UK's Team Panic

UK's Team Panic held an excellent Charity Event
in their school in Llantarnam in South Wales (UK) in December 1998.

Llantarnam Poster

Do please look in on Team Panic's own web site and read more about the event.

We popped along with Slippery Strana and in spite of the rain in the afternoon, had a lovely day out. We think we fulfilled at least one of the main objectives for the day - to meet and chat to dozens of people about Slippery Strana. There was a minor epidemic of autograph gathering, from which no robot team member escaped. Very flattering!

It was good also to meet our fellow roboteers and to compare and take notes and pinch ideas for our next robot !

Our main regret was not taking many more photographs. There was so much to see and so many faces that mattered in the robot realm. In particular, who was that familiar face with all that marvellous white hair ? and why did I not approach him for a chat ? Shame shame Colin.

But just wait 'till next time !

(In fact I did take a few more photographs, but they don't do justice to the event, nor to those unlucky few people I snapped. That's why it's important folks, if you bring a camera, to use the damned thing !! )

Here's Slippery Strana, rescued from the rain.

Charlie, Martin and I spent the morning in the secondary display hall, with the wall of TV screens. After lunch we dragged ourselves outside to the mini-arena and waited in line for a turn among the hay bales. There were some awesomely dark clouds looming.

Our turn came, and just as we lifted Slippery Strana's lid to switch on the power, the drizzle started arriving, and the spectators started leaving!

But we weren't going to be put off by a drop of rain, so in we went.

Slippery Strana, in from the rain.

Lovely British Weather
The drizzle got heavier as Charlie zipped Slippery Strana in and out of the damp hay bales. He couldn't resist plunging our spikes at top speed into the hay. Great fun, and Slippery Strana was performing so well, we began wondering if any other moderate-sized robot would accept a challenge, even a heavyweight. . .

. . . never mind that it was now actually raining.

We glanced around the few brave roboteers who were still willing to get wet, but they were all very big, and although we were brave enough to shrug off the rain, we weren't actually brave (daft) enough to pit ourselves against the particular heavyweights that were still present !

Have Adrenalin - Will Fight
I sensed that Charlie's adrenalin was rising. We were in the arena. Slippery Strana was humming. The hay bales were softies. There was no competitor. Frustration was mounting. The rain got heavier. He had to do something. Then yes - there - the giant car-sized see-saw. Slippery Strana is invulnerable. The see-saw was only made from steel. That'll do nicely as a victim, thought Charlie . . .

So Charlie rolled Slippery Strana back from the see-saw as far as possible, lined it up like a bull facing a toreador, and thrust the joysticks forward to full throttle. Slippery Strana's wheels skidded, throwing straw and gravel behind it, got up to full speed in about two seconds - and wham! The see-saw moved about an inch - and Slippery Strana went dead.

And we were all getting wetter.

Not possible. Cannot be. The see-saw can't have defeated us! I leapt over the barrier with our spanners and we soon had the cover off. A quick diagnosis revealed that the wire carrying the in-line switch for the radio receiver had moved in the crash and the swich had been bumped against a hard edge, turning it off. Quite a fluke. No real damage.

But now the inside of Slippery Strana was wet too. Ooh all right then - time to go inside and dry off. Where's that trolley.

The canteen was just across the corridor from our hall and they did a roaring trade in delicious chips and tea. They had lots of other good food too, but as far as I could tell the tea and chips queues were consistently the longest! Lots of satisfied tummies and lots of lovely money for the Argus St. David's Foundation Appeal.

This picture shows a lot of people taking a lot of interest in our robots and that's how it was all day. Lots of people. Lovely - and full credit to the team for an obviously successful publicity campaign.

A glimpse of the hall

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Slippery Strana Home



The Name

The Speed



Amazing Shell

A Good Fight

This page was last adjusted on 2007-04-15