OCCRA
Go to Post I always wondered what would happen if two robots mated. - Greg Needel [more]
Home
Go Back   Chief Delphi > FIRST > General Forum
CD-Events   CD-Media   CD-Spy   FRC-Spy  
portal register members calendar search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read FAQ rules

 
Reply
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
  #46   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 12-14-2007, 08:35 PM
DonRotolo's Avatar
DonRotolo DonRotolo is offline
Feeling Honorable
FRC #1676 (Pascack PI Oneers)
Team Role: Mentor
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Rookie Year: 2005
Location: Montvale NJ
Posts: 6,443
DonRotolo has a reputation beyond reputeDonRotolo has a reputation beyond reputeDonRotolo has a reputation beyond reputeDonRotolo has a reputation beyond reputeDonRotolo has a reputation beyond reputeDonRotolo has a reputation beyond reputeDonRotolo has a reputation beyond reputeDonRotolo has a reputation beyond reputeDonRotolo has a reputation beyond reputeDonRotolo has a reputation beyond reputeDonRotolo has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Corporations Build Robots

I shared my opinion in the second thread mentioned by Andy Baker, and I'll repeat it here: While student designed & built is my favorite, virtually all of the goals of FIRST are achieved with student designed/mentor built.

As an engineer in the design world, I work on paper, then hand it off to a technician to actually fabricate my design. Not that isn't fun to fabricate, but they pay me far too much to operate a saw and lathe.

But, I am just as good with the saw and lathe as the master technician. Just not quite as fast. That makes me a better designer, a better engineer, and ultimately a more valuable employee.

Student designed & built offers more value to the students, but student designed and mentor (or commercially) built is nearly as good. If that's what it takes to field a team, do it.

Don

PS: I wonder if we can start a Mentor-Designed & Built class of competition in FIRST? Maybe the kids wouldn't get much from it, but boyoboy would us mentors have a blast!
__________________

I am N2IRZ - What's your callsign?
Reply With Quote
  #47   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 12-14-2007, 09:10 PM
ebarker's Avatar
ebarker ebarker is offline
Registered User
AKA: Ed Barker
FRC #1311 (Kell Robotics)
Team Role: Mentor
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Rookie Year: 2006
Location: Kennesaw GA
Posts: 1,331
ebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Corporations Build Robots

It is time for the periodic all-mentor versus all-student debate.

The all-mentor is obviously not a desirable situation.

But is an all-student situation desirable ?

In normal practice there should be a continuous cascade of knowledge spilling over to the less experienced team members and and continuous upward flow of members gaining experience. Almost like a continuous fractional distillation column.

In FIRST parlance it is the "cascade of mentorship". More experienced members (mentors, highly experienced students) raising up junior members. FRC teams to FLL teams, etc.

Maybe if this collaborative team experience doesn't exist in the steady state then either mentors are not giving up knowledge and challenging the students enough, OR the students are not learning as fast as they could with some good mentorship.

For thousands of years people learned their trades in an apprentice to journeyman to master craftsman educational progression. Where did the idea come from to abandon that method to throwing a KOP on the floor in front of a group of inexperienced students (or mentors) and expect that to be optimal?

Kudos to all those that have struggled to get the robot designed and built without any help. Just think how much more you could have learned if there had been a good healthy collaborative partnership with mentors and experienced students.

The student versus mentor debate tends to miss the point. It is more helpful to describe the model for teams to strive to achieve. The "continuous cascade" principle is probably a pretty good description.

I like the "continuous fractional distillation" idea. Raw students in, pure engineers out.
__________________
Ed Barker
Reply With Quote
  #48   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 12-15-2007, 01:09 AM
EricH's Avatar
EricH EricH is offline
New year, new team
FRC #1197 (Torbots)
Team Role: Engineer
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Rookie Year: 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 15,633
EricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond repute
Send a message via Skype™ to EricH
Re: Corporations Build Robots

I'm going to say that if the students are inspired, I'm fine. Now, how they are inspired differs from team to team. I'm going to make some generalizations here. These may not be accurate; they might describe your team exactly. I'm just presenting a broad spectrum of possible team structures and adding my personal opinion to each.

Situation A: Mentors hide everything, students just see finished product, no explanation or anything. I don't know about this. I'd say, probably not a good idea in terms of inspiration. Not having been on a team like this, though, I can't say for sure. (This is the situation asked about by the original poster.)

Situation B: Mentors do all the work, but explain what they are doing to the students. I'd say, OK, great. Are the students inspired? Likely. Even more likely if they have some input, but I'll take what I can get. Again, I haven't been on a team like this.

Situation C: "Ideal" situation: 50-50 or similar split. Mentors mentor students, and students eventually take more of the initiative, moving to Situation D. Students are inspired a lot. I have been on a team like this.

Situation D: Logical continuation of Situation C. Students take a lot of responsibility for the robot, but mentors are there mainly to help the students stay within reason. The other "ideal" situation. I haven't been on a team like this either.

Situation E: No mentors. I'd say, Go find a mentor who can help organize. Try to get to Situation D from the other side. As I understand FIRST's intention, some sort of engineering mentor should be involved. No, it isn't required. Yes, it is recommended. I don't think I have seen or been on a team like this yet, though some have "borrowed" a mentor from another team (but who cares where the mentors come from, as long as they are there).

Again, as long as the students are inspired, I don't really care. If a Situation E team wallops a Situation A team and is inspired by that, so be it. The same goes for the other way around.

Let's get back to preparing for Kickoff and the ensuing six weeks. Use the system that works for your team.


Spoiler for Semi-rant:

I feel a need to respond to this post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nawaid Ladak View Post
I think bigger was a wrong choice of words on my part. I should have said teams i consider a little "shady". I refuse to name any names because i know i would cause MAJOR problems. [. . .]

P.S. Finals+No Sleep=Poor Choice of Words
"Shady" is still a poor choice of words. Maybe "teams I think are mentor-built" would have been better, though not by much. Think before you post; if it's likely to open a can of worms, then don't post. (It's also not exactly a good idea to post while tired. I once "snapped" doing that to refute an accusation. My own fault, and definitely not a good idea.) A better option would have been to edit or delete your previous post, if possible.


__________________
Past teams:
2003-2007: FRC0330 BeachBots
2008: FRC1135 Shmoebotics
2012: FRC4046 Schroedinger's Dragons

Read the rules and make a picklist before thinking about winning a competition.

"Rockets are tricky..."--Elon Musk

Last edited by EricH : 12-15-2007 at 11:09 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #49   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 12-15-2007, 03:46 AM
Arefin Bari's Avatar
Arefin Bari Arefin Bari is offline
Registered User
AKA: Ari
FRC #0108 (SigmaC@T)
Team Role: Engineer
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Rookie Year: 2001
Location: Ft. lauderdale, FL
Posts: 3,216
Arefin Bari has a reputation beyond reputeArefin Bari has a reputation beyond reputeArefin Bari has a reputation beyond reputeArefin Bari has a reputation beyond reputeArefin Bari has a reputation beyond reputeArefin Bari has a reputation beyond reputeArefin Bari has a reputation beyond reputeArefin Bari has a reputation beyond reputeArefin Bari has a reputation beyond reputeArefin Bari has a reputation beyond reputeArefin Bari has a reputation beyond repute
Send a message via ICQ to Arefin Bari Send a message via AIM to Arefin Bari Send a message via MSN to Arefin Bari Send a message via Yahoo to Arefin Bari
Re: Corporations Build Robots - If You Don't Care, Stop Reading

A. if there are teams that have corporations or groups of adult mentors exclusively design and build the robot

- Yes, maybe, I don't know. It doesn't really matter to me either.

B. is this fact talked about in the FIRST community.

- Too many times.

... You got 6 weeks to build the robot. Some teams have time to train the students, some don't. Some teams have mentors who get their hand dirty and the students follow them to get their hand dirty as well and some teams don't have a single engineer.

Individuals have their own opinion and I personally would worry about how my teams will get through those 6 weeks to come up with a product rather than worrying about what other teams are doing. Whether you like it or not, teams you are competing against will be on the other side of the field with the best they got and you will be out there with the best you could come up with in the 6 weeks.
Reply With Quote
  #50   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 12-15-2007, 10:02 AM
Team2339's Avatar
Team2339 Team2339 is offline
Mentor#1
AKA: Myrle McLernon
FRC #2339 (Robolopes)
Team Role: Mentor
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Rookie Year: 2007
Location: Lancaster,Ca
Posts: 77
Team2339 is a splendid one to beholdTeam2339 is a splendid one to beholdTeam2339 is a splendid one to beholdTeam2339 is a splendid one to beholdTeam2339 is a splendid one to beholdTeam2339 is a splendid one to beholdTeam2339 is a splendid one to behold
Re: Corporations Build Robots

Interesting thread. Team 2339 is new and it seams there are a lot of ways to get the project done.

Our team doesn't have a separation between mentor and student. Of course my task as a mentor is to ask the right questions and push for logical answers. I find the best results so far by letting the students drill, cut, fabricate etc based of their designs massaged by info found elsewhere

We just completed a simple 2WD KOP frame platform in 1 week. Most of the work by students. My job was to teach how, theirs was to do. It worked and they are ready for Jan 5. There was no real separation between who did what. "we" did it all and it was fun.

It seams whatever a teams setup, we all benefit from the final design thru discovery, ideas, and just good different design. Most of 2339's ideas are from this and other websites. We are looking forward to the regional and the other teams solutions to the challenge.
Reply With Quote
  #51   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 12-15-2007, 03:09 PM
meaubry meaubry is offline
Registered User
None #0047 (Chief Delphi)
Team Role: Alumni
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Rookie Year: 1994
Location: pontiac, mi
Posts: 778
meaubry has a reputation beyond reputemeaubry has a reputation beyond reputemeaubry has a reputation beyond reputemeaubry has a reputation beyond reputemeaubry has a reputation beyond reputemeaubry has a reputation beyond reputemeaubry has a reputation beyond reputemeaubry has a reputation beyond reputemeaubry has a reputation beyond reputemeaubry has a reputation beyond reputemeaubry has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Corporations Build Robots

I realize that every year we have many, many, new folks register on this forum - and many don't know the history of FIRST, nor what it is really all about, so they ask questions. Every now and then, a topic or issue surfaces that causes debates and arguements about what is "right" or "fair" or "meant" by FIRST. The past 12 years experience tells me that this is one of them.

I must say, that I'm proud of the veterans that have absolved from posting the perverbial "did you search first" line. Thanks to those that have posted in a professional, and well mannered method.

From the 1st year to this past year, I can truely say that I've been part of every variety of engineer/mentor/teacher/student/parent level of participation in the FIRST experience with team 47.

From mostly engineer designed, to mostly student built.
Sometime, over the past 12 years, we made a big decision to re-locate the robot build from our company shop to the school - that made an enormous difference in who did what, and how we mentored to meet the same goal. In doing so we had to implement a plan that included re-stocking the school shop with the basic essential machines and equipment. It took a long term plan and alot of effort to get that done - thanks to the great relationship between our sponsor, the teachers, and the school, we were able to pull it off.

In doing so, what we learned was that regardless of the percent done by any group of team members, if you always stay focused on INSPIRATION as the goal, you will be successful. I would also have to say that regardless of the "mix" of who did what - we have always succeeded in meeting that goal - even when our robot didn't do very well - and I think that many of our students would support that statement.

To answer the questions in the initial post -
1) Are robots designed and/or built solely by the sponsor (engineers)? - I don't know, they might be, but to us, this is a non-issue - as our focus is on how our team attempts to meet our goal of inspiring the students.
2) Is it talked about - Yes, every year it comes up. As alluded to by others, it usually comes down to this.
FIRST doesn't care how much, if any, any one group of people from a team designs, builds, mentors, or INSPIRES (in any way), one, or all of the students on your, or any other, FIRST team.
3) I have no idea - again, it doesn't matter to us - see answers to #1 and #2

Mike Aubry
Engineer Lead, Coach, Mentor, Teammate
Chief Delphi - Team 47

Last edited by meaubry : 12-15-2007 at 03:50 PM. Reason: spelling corrections - typing too fast - better slow down - next time
Reply With Quote
  #52   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 12-15-2007, 05:20 PM
casualobserver casualobserver is offline
Registered User
no team
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Rookie Year: 2001
Location: somewhere
Posts: 3
casualobserver is just really nicecasualobserver is just really nicecasualobserver is just really nicecasualobserver is just really nice
Re: Corporations Build Robots

I am a recently graduated member of a "big-team" and the idea that mentors design and build the robot almost entirely is very reasonable. I am going to share my own experience with out naming names, etc... in order to stay GP.

My team has a large corporation as its main sponsor. Building is done at their facilities and the team of engineers numbers about 10 in total. It seems that in this thread, many people are concerned with all the work being done by 1 group or another. That, I doubt, has ever been the case. However, in my own experience, very little design work was ever done by the students. The electrical system was always designed/constructed by the engineers, and the most work the students ever did was assembly. Student input to the design was basically a presentation of our ideas, in a conceptual manner, to the entire team (mentors included) and then occasionally (i.e. maybe once every other year) some concept from a students design would be incorporated in some way onto the robot.
However, before I make this sound like it was all bad, I need to explain the full extent of what was going on. Sponsoring a team is an expensive endeavour, and our team in a sense needed to perform well in order to justify our rather large budget. This is completely understandable, however, the actual mentors were put under pressure to produce a well built, clean, effective robot that would represent our sponsor well. Also, understandable, because image can be inspiring itself. A well built robot, that is clean, effect, and robust is inspiring, we all can admit that we have stood in front of some of the robots in recent years and just drooled over them. However, at least on my team, although I supposed this is why a lot of teams might do this, this sort of pressure to perform and look good doing it, puts the mentors in a bind. I don't doubt for one second that the mentors on my team were people interested in achieving the goals of FIRST. However, I also don't doubt for a second that they thought that the only way to win was to have the mentors do the work.

As a result, as the build season progressed, students would drop from the team, finding the meetings boring because there was no real student involvement until week 4/5. A bunch of my team mates found it all to be some kind of joke, like the engineers were playing us into thinking we were involved in order to keep us around until the robot was essentially done. Personally, I don't entirely buy that idea, however, there did seem times when that was the case.

But what did this all mean? Some members of my team were actually pushed away from the idea of becoming an engineer because of their experience in FIRST. This is not what FIRST is about! If the mentors insist on designing the robot, for whatever justified or unjustified reason, they should still and always include the students, even if we just sit back and watch the engineers work through problems that arise.

I think it is important to note as well, that our robot was designed entirely on CAD by the engineers, the most the students ever saw, were weekly renderings of the progress. The parts were then shipped off to be made, and returned needing only assembly.

Yes, students can learn from assembly, but they can learn a ton more from design.

In general, I fear that teams that compete to win, will often cut corners in reaching the goal of FIRST, in order to reach their own goals. The students always lose in case, because even if their team wins the championship, the students will be no better prepared for engineering, or, in many cases, even know how their robot worked! (This is true, there were kids on my team who did not know how many wheels were on the robot until week 5). I think this leads to what I have really been trying to say in a rather long, round-about way, FIRST is not about the competition, it is about the 6 weeks we actually work as a team to achieve something. The competition is only their to motivate us to reach the rather short deadline, and to motivate us to do better. Those 6 weeks are when you learn about working with people, and about design, fabrication, construction, destruction, and all the other things that make robots the things we build to get inspired.

I hope that teams that do have the mentors design/build their robots at least keep the students in the loop every step of the way. This is so important to the goal of FIRST, students must know what is going on on the robot, even if they aren't directly a part of it.
Reply With Quote
  #53   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 12-15-2007, 10:00 PM
ebarker's Avatar
ebarker ebarker is offline
Registered User
AKA: Ed Barker
FRC #1311 (Kell Robotics)
Team Role: Mentor
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Rookie Year: 2006
Location: Kennesaw GA
Posts: 1,331
ebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond reputeebarker has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Corporations Build Robots

Everyone,

Could I ask you to take a look at this one page document and see what you think about this approach to explaining the mentor-student relationship, the mathematics of FIRST mentorship.

http://www.kellrobotics.org/pdf/FIRST_Mathematics.pdf

Thanks,
__________________
Ed Barker
Reply With Quote
  #54   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 12-15-2007, 10:06 PM
EricH's Avatar
EricH EricH is offline
New year, new team
FRC #1197 (Torbots)
Team Role: Engineer
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Rookie Year: 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 15,633
EricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond reputeEricH has a reputation beyond repute
Send a message via Skype™ to EricH
Re: Corporations Build Robots

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebarker View Post
Everyone,

Could I ask you to take a look at this one page document and see what you think about this approach to explaining the mentor-student relationship, the mathematics of FIRST mentorship.

http://www.kellrobotics.org/pdf/FIRST_Mathematics.pdf

Thanks,
Priceless. This fits in with a spotlight I have seen (sorry, I don't remember whose it is) that reads, "Good mentors[list of attributes] and, over time, make themselves progressively unnecessary."
__________________
Past teams:
2003-2007: FRC0330 BeachBots
2008: FRC1135 Shmoebotics
2012: FRC4046 Schroedinger's Dragons

Read the rules and make a picklist before thinking about winning a competition.

"Rockets are tricky..."--Elon Musk
Reply With Quote
  #55   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 12-16-2007, 07:44 AM
JaneYoung's Avatar
JaneYoung JaneYoung is offline
Onward through the fog.
FRC #0418 (LASA Robotics/Purple Haze)
Team Role: Alumni
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Rookie Year: 2002
Location: Austin, TX USA
Posts: 5,956
JaneYoung has a reputation beyond reputeJaneYoung has a reputation beyond reputeJaneYoung has a reputation beyond reputeJaneYoung has a reputation beyond reputeJaneYoung has a reputation beyond reputeJaneYoung has a reputation beyond reputeJaneYoung has a reputation beyond reputeJaneYoung has a reputation beyond reputeJaneYoung has a reputation beyond reputeJaneYoung has a reputation beyond reputeJaneYoung has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Corporations Build Robots

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricH View Post
Priceless. This fits in with a spotlight I have seen (sorry, I don't remember whose it is) that reads, "Good mentors[list of attributes] and, over time, make themselves progressively unnecessary."
That would be Mr. Kressly:

'"A mentor, by definition, provides a nuturing environment and, over time, makes themselves progressively unnecessary."

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/sh...53&postcount=5

The thread this post came from is a great read. It was started by JVN
__________________
Excellence is contagious. ~ Andy Baker, President, AndyMark, Inc. and Woodie Flowers Award 2003

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
~ Helen Keller
(1880-1968)
Reply With Quote
  #56   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 12-16-2007, 11:39 AM
CzarValvador's Avatar
CzarValvador CzarValvador is offline
Registered User
AKA: Val
FRC #1717 (D'penguineers)
Team Role: Electrical
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Rookie Year: 2008
Location: Goleta, CA
Posts: 51
CzarValvador has a spectacular aura aboutCzarValvador has a spectacular aura about
Re: Corporations Build Robots

Well, from what I've heard, there are teams who barely actually use their students, and lock engineers in a shop for 6 weeks and have those 20 - 40 year old men (or women) produce something, and have very little input from the actual students.

Whatever works for them, sure it's not fair, but that team doesn't get the same experience as we do. Playing a game with a robot that you contributed to, feels amazing in many aspects, especially if that robot is working properly.

Playing a game with a robot that came in a box, and you had very little input on, is like getting a remote control car on Christmas when you're way too old to be playing with remote control cars.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Did You Build 2 Robots This Year?! the_short1 General Forum 20 03-01-2006 12:04 AM
Teams that build 2 robots PHIL358 General Forum 22 04-09-2005 10:45 AM
Let us build robots KenWittlief Chit-Chat 7 11-13-2003 08:16 AM
Can you build as many robots as you want? Elgin Clock General Forum 4 11-24-2001 08:57 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:04 PM.

The Chief Delphi Forums are sponsored by Innovation First International, Inc.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © Chief Delphi