Day 9: A Series of Unfortunate Events

  1. Politics talk
  2. Lunch
  3. Robots
  4. Dinner

These are the series of unfortunate events. I’ll touch on each of them within the normal blog. Note: Some are more unfortunate than others

Our day started with a talk regarding German politics and the culture around that. It was interesting but in all honesty I was a little confused through it because politics have never really been my thing. I tried to follow it as best as I could, and it was cool to have a perspective on the political aspects of a different country.

1. So here we start with a not too unfortunate one, it was just that this talk was a little boring for me and also since it was our first thing in the morning I was also a little tired and, will be honest, was struggling to stay awake.

Next we had a couple hours before we needed to leave for KUKA, so we were given another lunch ticket to Mensa and also some free time for our blogs which was helpful, especially with the really bad wifi at the hotel.

After about an hour of independent blog work, a group of us decided to grab lunch together. We thought we had it figured out better this time, walking around more before taking something, and not just taking fries or something we’re super comfortable with. However, I realized midway through eating that other German students leave absolutely nothing on their plate! Which would explain why one of the workers the other day gave us a very annoyed look after we dropped our plates off.

2. And this brings us to unfortunate event number two. Lunch – I had a full stomach and a 1/3 full tray that needed to be empty! Problem with this was also I didn’t like one of the things I grabbed. I didn’t want to leave the food I had left because I felt bad, as did the rest of us at our table. With our best efforts we tried to finish as much of our plates as we could. It was a good effort and we did manage to clear the majority of our plates, but still an unfortunate occurrence.

Now on to KUKA! We took a tram there since the HQ is right in Augsburg. We all got lanyards with a visitor badge, and in our business clothes it made us look really official! Anyway we started our tour of KUKA and it started off really well. The room we went in to was cool with the lights out and a lot of orange light highlighting facts and dates of the company. Then we saw two robots work together in a display type thing, not 100% sure what it was but it was very interesting, especially thinking of all the programming that had to have been done for it. After this though, that’s where it started to go downhill.

3. So there was a portion of the robot demo thing where it was supposed to draw something for us but it timed out loading it and didn’t work, so our tour guide just gave up with that and moved on to the next thing. Good thing that happened: We got a picture with one of the robots.

Our group with the robot!

We then got to see the iiwa robot, which is their new, lightweight, and ‘safe’ robot. Our KUKA group then went to get a picture of just us but all of a sudden all the lights went on as if an alarm was set off. Then we hear “who touched my robot!?” and our tour guide fast walked to the iiwa robot, which Jeremy touched. She then struggled to restart it, and asked him if he pressed the red button. He didn’t, and said no, but we later found out that Derek actually pressed the red button. So basically we thought the robot was broken. I was just glad it wasn’t a KUKA group member.

The unfortunate KUKA story continues. We went to the factory tour and it was hard to follow and our guide wasn’t really explaining things too well. We then waited to see one of the forklifts move using Mecanum wheel technology (basically they can move any direction). This was cool, but all of a sudden it came racing towards me and for a second I didn’t think it was going to stop. I held my breath for a second and even Arielle half put her arm out across me, which obviously wouldn’t have stopped it, but shows that she even thought it was coming close!

And all this wasn’t it for the unfortunate events at KUKA alone. The tour continued but is was even harder to follow now because we were all single file in a factory and she’s explaining things in a way that you’d have to observe but there were instances where she was almost 50 ft in front of me and the others in the back of the line. Then the presentation itself was super long and honestly didn’t address several things our group hoped they would, which then meant that the Q+A was really long too.

And that was it for our KUKA trip, which most of us were thankful to have been let out of the hot room too!

We got back and most of us decided it was time for dinner. We went to the döner place again but this time was just a mess. I didn’t think anymore could go wrong today, but I was totally wrong myself.

4. We get to the restaurant and instead of ordering at the counter they asked that we all sit down which was totally fine, but as we all go to grab our seat, Liam sits down and the chair just breaks underneath him. The server and manager come racing over to make sure everything’s alright and that he’s okay. I felt bad because at the time I was laughing so hard, I mean he even said while he was down “Jesus, I didn’t think I put on that much weight on this trip” like how can you not laugh at that. We thought all was well after Liam got a new chair and we were all set to order, but wrong again. Next thing we know there’s a ringing, like an alarm going off and we turn around to see Arman standing in the disability bathroom with the manager. He’d pulled the ‘help string,’ which he thought was the light switch. At this point I said, “guys, we can’t ever come back here.” They were probably so done with us at this point. Even I was done with this day.

After the chair break and alarm pull, we did actually get food there

Luckily that was basically the end of the day. We got ice cream after dinner and then stopped in at a small grocery store where we bought some chocolate and candy. The night ended with a group of us going to play pool. When I’m playing something little went wrong there too, as I acquired a nickname on this trip, “Scratch,” from my ‘amazing’ pool skills. I hit the ball off of the table…again :/

And our dessert, where the ice cream lady got mad with us

Wow, long blog! I bet you’re just as glad to be done reading this as I was for this “Series of Unfortunate Events” to be over!




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