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Unread 02-02-2010, 04:34 AM
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Re: The Spirit of FIRST

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Originally Posted by steelerborn View Post
I know that we only have 6 weeks to build the best robot we possibly can. However what stops a team from building two bots, ship one, and then get an extra few weeks to practice driving with the other. I know that a few teams do this, and those teams are also very good.

This is totally against the spirit of FIRST, and gives an unfair advantage to those teams, and should not be allowed. It all comes down to if you think Dean would be upset, or not, with what those teams are doing.

I would like to know other views on this subject.

Thanks
Dean has made clear his stance on this before. Simply stated "Life isn't fair."
FIRST does not want to get into the business of micromanaging thousands of teams on what they do, how they do it, why, where or when they get together to work (the teams that strive for excellence in FIRST do as much outside the six weeks more importantly building their team than they do the robot. Because when you build the people and the team building the robot comes much easier when they learn to work together which enables them to build that second robot).
As you have already learned you don't want to open that Pandora's box about complaining about what other FIRST teams do. Every FIRST team is different from their sizes to funding to motivations and histories.
We've been in FIRST from year one and have almost every robot from all those years at our disposal to observe at our leisure at our build site to learn from. That is a huge help for us (not every robot is a great one but you can learn just as much from your failures as you can from your successes).
So is that fair that a handful of legacy teams have that history and long term mentors to help them while other teams have to learn on the go?
You'd be wise to learn from these teams that it is not just about the robot. Instead of looking at the robot on the field observe the drives team and see how they interact with their partners. Watch and see what the team itself is doing while the match is going on and after their match is going on what they are doing. Most of their success comes outside of the 2 minute and 15 second window when they are preparing for the nest round. I go to alot of events and the one thing that has always stood out to me is how some teams come so grossly unprepared to the field that could simply be remedied with some organization and simply reading the manual. You don't need to build a second robot to do that.
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Unread 02-02-2010, 05:40 AM
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Re: The Spirit of FIRST

First is like the game of golf its a gentlemens sport.
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Unread 02-02-2010, 06:06 AM
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Re: The Spirit of FIRST

This is 1727's first year building a practice 'bot. The main reason behind it is that we experienced a large influx of members this year, our team stands at over 40 students. In order to keep everyone learning, building, and interacting with mentors, we decided to build a second robot. Any practice we get out of it will be an added bonus. Not to mention that it gives us a much more refined final product.
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Unread 02-02-2010, 06:41 AM
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Re: The Spirit of FIRST

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Originally Posted by nuggetsyl View Post
First is like the game of golf its a gentlemens sport.
No, FIRST is a soccer game. There is an old saying that "football is a gentleman’s game played by hooligans, and rugby is a hooligans’ game played by gentlemen".

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Originally Posted by BrendanB View Post
If anything, it takes more time and effort to get two running compared to one all while pushing our skills to the limit.
Brendan has touched on something here that no one else has picked up on yet. Not only does it take more time, there has to be more effort put into it to ensure your tolerances. A practice robot does no good if it is not a copy of your competition bot. You need to perfect your building skills so you can make two things alike. That's not an easy endeavor.
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Unread 02-02-2010, 07:59 AM
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Re: The Spirit of FIRST

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Originally Posted by steelerborn View Post
wow I feel like I am being hunted lol

I just needed to know outside opinions.

I apologize for getting anyone upset.
You should never be made to feel like you are being hunted on CD. If veteran posters are part of the reason that you are feeling that way, then they should look at how they are posting and the attack mode that they are using.

It is also wise for veteran posters to remember and keep in mind, that the build season brings ideas and innovations to individual teams that are new to those teams, even though they may have already become common practices to other teams. The benefits of having the opportunity to build a second robot is an excellent example. It is always good to think about doing some searches in CD on the topic that is of interest. It can also be helpful to provide an example of a thread that is already in existence when making that suggestion.

Some discussions in CD can mirror the part of FRC that is cyclical and follows a structured pattern, creating opportunities to think. We are all on the path, but we aren't all in the same place at the same time in areas of team development. Some of us would do well to remember that and rein in our impatience and intolerance. If we don't, that zero tolerance can lead to fast/superfast burnout.

Jane

P.S. It's good to see that experience, humor, and wisdom are being shared in this thread now, replacing judgment.
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Last edited by JaneYoung : 02-02-2010 at 08:07 AM.
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Unread 02-02-2010, 08:40 AM
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Re: The Spirit of FIRST

Regarding building two robots with Team 2502, it's always been a "We wish" sort of a thing. We see it also as an "unfair advantage" but only because they've worked hard for it. This year, we have the funds to build two robots. However, after building two robots, we aren't going to have any money left, so we decided against it (haha, pretty quickly, too). This is something every team should strive to get to, instead of complaining and trying to bring other teams down.
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Unread 02-02-2010, 09:27 AM
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Re: The Spirit of FIRST

Thank you i really appreciate all of this input.

I wish everyone the best of luck this year.
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Unread 02-02-2010, 09:42 AM
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Re: The Spirit of FIRST

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelerborn View Post
I know that we only have 6 weeks to build the best robot we possibly can. However what stops a team from building two bots, ship one, and then get an extra few weeks to practice driving with the other. I know that a few teams do this, and those teams are also very good.

This is totally against the spirit of FIRST, and gives an unfair advantage to those teams, and should not be allowed. It all comes down to if you think Dean would be upset, or not, with what those teams are doing.

I would like to know other views on this subject.

Thanks
You should look at rule R27 and especially the text in the blue box at the end of this rule:
Quote:
The primary intent of this rule is to allow teams to withhold the ROBOT control system, the OPERATOR CONSOLE, and selected relevant subsystems, and access them after the shipping deadline. This will allow teams to have the maximum time possible prior to each competition event to develop and complete the software for their ROBOT while maximizing the potential capabilities provided by the control system.
It very specifically states that they are encouraging teams to continue software development after the ship date.

Another point to consider is teams who can only afford to attend a single regional in week 5 or 6, where other teams that they are competing against have attended several before that. Those other teams would have had the advantage of the driving practice (and robot system tuning) during those previous competitions.

The point is that every team must make choices to get the most out of the resources that are available to them (eg. $ for a prototype vs. $ for another regional)... and possibly work to get more resources. Engineering is about more than just what part to bolt where and what wire to connect where; it is about trade-offs and making the most of the time, talent, and physical resources available. The spirit of FIRST is about learning not just about winning.
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Unread 02-02-2010, 11:52 AM
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Re: The Spirit of FIRST

And now, for our next topic - "Why I hate puppies and kittens" -
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Unread 02-02-2010, 01:40 PM
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Re: The Spirit of FIRST

My thought at reading the start of this post was that we have all had these thoughts... so for those of you immediately on the attack, think back to your first years, Im SURE there was something you thought was "unfair". Now realize you have gained wisdom and seen so much that others havent, then sit back down and type something NICE.

As for my thoughts, it all comes back to what you think FIRST is about. Is it about winning? NO! Dean & Woodie & Dave have clearly stated that. It is about Inspiration. Is winning inspirational? heck yes. Is building a robot alongside an awesome group of engineers inspirational? Absolutely! Does it really matter in a game that is based more on luck of the draw (partners and such) if you win?? Not really... while it feels great to win, teams competing in FIRST come from all different backgrounds, from all different countries, from all different sponsorship levels, to make all of them compete at the exact same level would be nearly impossible. So lets all just have fun with it!!

I will echo what those here have already said. If it feels unfair, take a step back and learn from them. Two years ago 1511 wrote to Paul, Karthik & Andy B asking "how do you develop such key strategies", and every one of them responded with some amazing answers that we learned so much from. If you really desperately want to build a second robot, ask one of those "fortunate" teams for help... they may be able to lend you parts, help you make things, etc! You will be surprised how much teams that "have" will help those that "have not", all it takes is someone to ask!
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Unread 02-02-2010, 02:18 PM
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Re: The Spirit of FIRST

In several conversations with my previous Team Captain this has come up many times. I respect him greatly, he has helped me grow as an engineer and as a leader in ways he will never fully understand. But many a times have we been looking at pictures of previous years robots to see how things have been done just in case we need them.

At some point he would say "I wish we could do that. I really do. It would be so amazing. And it would make us so much better." We would then sit there for a moment and I would respond "But we can't. We don't have the resources, and our mentors are holding us back." that would get us both thinking. He would typically respond "Your right. So how can we fix that?" I would think for a bit and respond "Well, we know what we have, and we know what we can do. Lets start with that."

What I am saying is that, no, it's not unfair. They are simply taking advantage of the hard work they have done. What right do we have to stop them? I personally like seeing the teams that can do this. I look at them and say "I want to be like them. We will strive to be like them. Lets get started! "

Good luck this season!
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Unread 02-02-2010, 02:58 PM
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Re: The Spirit of FIRST

My team has completed seasons with and without a practice robot. Yes there is nothing in the rules about not having one. Yes, it is an ethical dilema that all teams have to face. But if you can look past the ethical roadblock for a second and weigh the advantages and disadvantages, things become a bit clearer. I remember in 2007 when my team had this exact same debate. It was hard for some to see past the ethics, I was one of those people. Due to this some asked others to weigh the advantages and disadvantages, then if it is close add the ethics in. In the end we went with the practice bot for a few years, those were our best seasons. (This past year due to resources we did not, and regreted the decision.) Not only did the inexperianced members have more time on the robot, but it gave the advanced members an opertunity to teach and see how far they have come. Not only did we inspire the new team members, but allowed the old to recignize their own engineering expertise.

Obviously I'm skewed towards the practice bot idea, but notice there was no attack. I have been attacked myself on CD and view it as a hostile place. I think some FIRSTers need to ask themselves "Am I acting like my grandmother is watching?" If the answer is no, then why are you posting in a FIRST forum? (I'm fully aware this is an unofficial forum ) Just some food for thought, that I expect will affect my green dots.
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Unread 02-02-2010, 04:31 PM
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Re: The Spirit of FIRST

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Originally Posted by fuzzy1718 View Post
My team has completed seasons with and without a practice robot. Yes there is nothing in the rules about not having one. Yes, it is an ethical dilema that all teams have to face. But if you can look past the ethical roadblock for a second and weigh the advantages and disadvantages, things become a bit clearer. I remember in 2007 when my team had this exact same debate. It was hard for some to see past the ethics, I was one of those people.
How is this an ethical dilemma at all?
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