View Full Version : What can we do to get noticed
03-18-2002, 07:18 PM
Team 779 would like to know how to get noticed for the draft next time. At the Buckeye Regional some may recall a wooden robot (the only one there) that didn't do half bad, heck we think it did great. It was our first year and we really didn't know what we were getting into. Our team consisted of seven (even thats a stretch) students, 2 alumni engineers, and the shop teacher. At the end of the qualifying matches we were ranked 16th.
I'm sure everybody has stories like this, but we went 4 and 3 with two of the matches being extremely close. The Xerox team was extremely apologetic about not plugging their controls in, don't worry no hard feelings, seeing as ours broke that round if yours had worked we'd be apologizing to you. The FEDs and us had a tough loss because both of us overlooked how many balls were put into one of the goals and by the time we realized it, it was too late. The third loss we're still bitter about, oh well, its a team sport. We did manage to win our final match going solo. Our partner was dead from the get go, but fortunately for us our opposition was having similar problems.
At any rate, if any of our losses had been a win we would have been a seeded team, considering 2 of the top 8 were picked by top 8 teams.
So seeing as 3 robots on 8 teams makes 24 bots advancing we were very disappointed to be up in the top 24 and not get drafted. We did go and talk to every seed and then some. I guess its a matter of talking to the right people. Team 859 ( i think thats right) was the only team to give us a serious look. 240 was nice to us too. And Team 859 won it all with their selection of the FEDs and Las Guerillas, both robots similar to ours (the FEDs was basically a metalic clone and faster). Las Guerillas was a fabolous bot by the way, no one on our team saw it compete prior to the finals so it was a surprise dominator.
So when regionals rolls around next year, we just wanna know what it takes to get noticed.
03-18-2002, 09:13 PM
Hey 779- Well I'm sorry that you didn't get picked at your regional event but it sure seems like you have a hard working team. As for getting picked next time, I'll share some hints of how we got picked for an alliance at our scrimmage (we haven't had a competition yet this year, first one is next week, eek!). Well you definately did the right thing by talking to the teams. But just talking to them won't do the trick, since all the teams go out to promote. We went up to teams well before picking time and asked them about their robot and then explained how our robot complemented their features. I think they were really impressed with our knowledge about our robot and the capablities we have.
Also, our team had a ton of spirit at Chatsworth, with our team running around with flags I made and just being really pumped up and I think the team we picked noticed us for that and most importantly remembered. Teams wouldn't want to work with a dull team that isn't gonna give 100% so you gotta show your spirit and team unity.
This is our second year and it will be our first time visiting Seattle so most of the teams won't know us up there. To get our name out and show our sportsmanship side, we made all the teams little goodluck bags with tons of candy related to our team name (hartburn so we put a whole lot of atomic fire balls and hot tamales). We're also attatching a little card saying good luck and what our robot can do along with a picture. I'm really hoping that this will work associate our cool robot with a friendly team, and a team that a future finalist would want to work with. I'll have to tell you if it works out when we come back but I sure hope so!
03-18-2002, 10:24 PM
Pretty much what I figured, most of the teams at the Buckeye Regional had buttons or pins. I did talk strategy to other teams and told them how we compliment them.
To be very honest it concerns me how well certain teams compliment each other. Take GM, they had two teams, one was a ball handler, the other was a ball picker upper conincidence? I don't know, I know 302 was almost their first pick anyway, but it makes one wonder.
As for working on teamwork. I'd like to give a shout out to the best partner we had, 883, you rock! 883 the box on wheels and thats all they could do, but they were spectacular, they helped some teams beat the best teams out there. They just got in the way when we needed them to. 883 baby! (The big guns didn't like your annoyance strategy, but we love you!)
As for spirit it is absolutely ridiculous down there. So many kids just there to support, I guess that's great. Xerox was spirited beyond believe for everyone, I suppose that's why they won the award for it. Our school is tiny (around 250 ---in the entire school)and seeing how the competition takes place during school hours (and athletic practice times) big showings of support in terms of numbers for us isn't likely.
Don't mess with the moving coffee table! Aight?!?
03-18-2002, 11:09 PM
haha...maybe it would have been good to mention to you that I plan on being on a lawyer (and possibly politician) when I'm older and that I'm head of management on my robotics team. Of course all of the ideas are very "political" and people pleasing!
I'll try to think of more ideas after we go to competition too.
03-19-2002, 06:42 AM
I'm gonna paraphrase the great Bill Beatty:
Do your best and do it consistently. Show your capabilities during every practice round.
You will probably be noticed. I say probably because even though we had lots of folks watching the matches and scouting the pits, we missed some great machines. Our scouting system didn't fail entirely because we picked some good partners, but we missed others. That hurts, believe me. So many teams, so little time.
Performing consistently with a well designed and executed machine is the best advertisement you can do. Alternatively, you can go for the points and maybe do the picking...
03-19-2002, 02:54 PM
Spirit, spirit and more spirit! The only advice that I can give to people is to get out between matches and promote your team. As the student in charge of promotions for the X-Cats, that is all I know how to do. Anyone who will listen will hear all about our robot, and the people who dont want to, will ahve to anyway.
I saw a lot of great robots this weekend. Our robot may have hit a few bumps but I know that will only make us more ready for nationals. My advice to rookie teams trying to get picked, do you best to make friends on other teams. Get to know people. Hand out business cards and flyers and buttons, and candy and anything else that will get your team known. Make up some cheers and have a good time. Our policy is to cheer for everyone, we were always field side cheering for other teams. If people see that you are really involved they will think of you and research you team more when it comes time to scout for alliances.
X-Cats rock the house.
03-19-2002, 06:51 PM
first off i would like to say that last year we were the first pick for the top seed at long island and first pick of the second seed at nyc. this year we were the first pick by the seventh seeded team at the only competition we had so far. so we should probably know how to get picked.
the only thing that i can think of is to have a real impressive looking robot. sorry, nobody picks wooden robots. i don't know if you saw our robot last year at long island, nyc, or nationals, but it had treads, a 3-piece telescoping arm with a huge claw at the end to put up the big ball. the arm fell back to go under the bar. it actually look a lot like a scorpian. on top of that, it had 2 holographic stickers covering the sides.
another thing is that you were a rookie team, people would rather pick veteran than rookies. next year if you build a decent robot, you'll have a better chance of being picked.
03-19-2002, 07:18 PM
Nobody picks wooden robots?
Why not...we came from a woodshop, that what we do best.
It stated together just fine. So whats wrong with a wooden bot? Im seriously asking, what makes them less than a metal bot? Thanks for your imput.
03-19-2002, 07:18 PM
Besides showing off everything your robot can do, I'd suggest just being spirited, good sports, and sociable with the other teams.
At the KSC regional, we (180) were paired up with 186 for one of the early matches--we won, and both our teams ran into the pit, jumping around, hugging each other, and chanting for each other. We established a pretty good friendship then... and as most of you know, they later picked us. And the rest is history :D .
But seriously, if we hadn't made friends with them like we did, they probably wouldn't have picked us up later.
03-19-2002, 10:42 PM
i don't know, from my experience wooden robots just don't look as intimidating as metal ones.
03-19-2002, 11:24 PM
I have to agree. For some things, wood is far superior to metal. We made several components that didn't require super strength out of wood, and all of them are light, very rigid, strong, and, most importantly, easy to modify and repair. Had we used metal, our robot would've been heaver and flimsier.
I do think that structural members should be metal, but wood definatly has its place.
03-20-2002, 06:55 AM
Nobody picks wooden robots?
we have used wood for the past 8 years
We have done very well with it. Wood is so easy to work with and is very strong.
The best way to get notice is to have your robot do something great everytime you go out to the field and don't be working on your robot in the pits every minute.
when we look for a team we make sure there robot will be working at the time of finals and if they keep breaking down do not take there word that they will be ready. that is one of the biggest mistake people make.
do well and people will pick you. it does not matter were you ended up in the seeding rounds. because you could of been paired up with good teams that help you get there
03-20-2002, 07:55 PM
I was sitting near Chief Delphi's scouting team in Cleveland. They rated every robot in every match according to what it was designed to do, how well it did it, and how quickly it did it. They used the entire 40 min. lunch break saturday to compile the results and come up with a list of robots that they thought Chief Delphi 7 could do well with.
As it turned out, 47(seeded 7th) got picked by a team on the list, so they accepted. Had 47 been picked by a team not on the list they would have declined, waited for their turn, and picked a team the scouts thought they could do better with.
It was pretty impressive to watch the scouting team at work!
If anyone passed out buttons, or was active in trying to get picked, our scouting team wouldn't have noticed. They were too busy ranking, and tabulating.
Don't get me wrong, we like buttons and all kinds of stuff. But they don't affect our judgement.
My advice? Keep performing well on the field. You will get noticed. Our scouts didn't pay any attention to how high or low a team was seeded. They just looked to see how the robot performed, and whether it had the skills that would work well with our robot.
03-20-2002, 08:12 PM
One thing you should do: Show off your best asset. For us, especially in our last seeding match, we grabbed the goals and held on to 'em the entire match. If we weren't that successful, I wonder if we would still have been picked.
03-20-2002, 11:11 PM
Team 25 has been picked more often than getting to be the picker since we usually play a defensive game and that doesn't score lots of points for seeding. We were the second to last pick in the third round in two events in 2000 and went on to win the Nationals. Gray hair is standard on our adult team these days!
Don't be disheartened about not getting picked. Many teams have old favorites they like to work with and know they can rely on. That's life. With time and experience your team will develop a fine reputation and catch the eye of the big guys too. I've found that teams we've allied with become good friends and we look forward to the next time we can work together.
Since you asked for advice here are a few suggestions from someone who has been there a few times
1. Make a robot which is robust. Robots which are always needing repairs probably won't survive the fast pace of the elimination rounds.
2. Show the other teams that your operators are professional, know the game and are easy to work with. Sometimes teams with great robots make dumb decisions because their operators really don't know the rules. Vice versa also works. Interaction with other teams should be collaborative, not authoritative.
3. In the practice rounds be sure to demonstrate exactly what your robot can do. Show both its good points and limits.
4. Try not to make promises of your robot which it cannot keep. That was a big problem last year. I must admit we let a few teams down too I'm afraid! If you over extend yourself people will remember your team from the seeding rounds as "the little robot who couldn't"
As for buttons and pins, they are for fun and friendship in my book- not bribes. Scouting sheets may come in handy for basic stuff but there is nothing like watching robots actually in a round to see what they are capable of.
I hope it helps. We'll keep an eye out for you!
PS- there is nothing wrong with a wooden robot which works well and I've seen plenty of metal robots which haven't. Wooden robots don't short out to the frame and go up in smoke on the field ! If you really want to fool them cover the wood with metallic paint and decorations!
03-21-2002, 07:20 AM
If you really want to fool them cover the wood with metallic paint and decorations!
Take a look at what wood could look like.
03-21-2002, 02:11 PM
I do commend you guys for doing a very good job at Cleveland. I was on the scouting team for 254, the Cheesy Poofs, and I had the pleasure of scouting the specs of your team's robot and keeping track of your matches. IMHO...That wood looks good! It's chamfered, doesn't need to be painted, giving it a more natural and ultimately more refined look. And your performance on the field was pretty good too.
From scouting experience, teams don't take into account the materials a robot uses, except for stuff like if if it's for a critical part that has to resist stress (e.g. for a part that'll get bumped a lot, there's a difference: metal and wood are usually sturdier than thinner plexi/lexan and foam. We all saw the matches where foam armor and funnoodle scraps ended up lying on the field afterwards...:D )
Elimination picking has to do more with complementary abilities. The top seeds needed to pick the teams that would best complement their abilities, and most of them were ball+goal and two-goal teams. Therefore they probably wouldn't have needed a second two-goal team and instead opted for a ball team, or got a goal bot that had braking ability or a great drive sytem. Promotion comes in when teams need to advertise the aspects of their robot that may not be obvious. If you looked at 872 (another great robot), you couldn't tell at first that they had brakes to clamp them down in place after they grab a goal. But when we came over to ask them about their robot, we noticed it. They seeded high, but if they hadn't, and a picking team didn't know they could brake, then that's where promotion would have helped.
But feel proud of what your accomplishments in Cleveland, and I wish you the best of luck in your next competiton. Keep up the great work, and I hope to see you guys again in the future.
03-21-2002, 07:57 PM
Ways to get noticed
1. Pass out plenty of stuff. Good buttons and trinkets will last forever, no matter how many times your robot breaks down.
2. Win. Everyone remebers a good butt-kicking.
3. If you can't win, make your robot an eye-catcher, or incorporate some sort of unusual feature into that wouldn't normally be seen.
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