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Sub Contracted, Eh?

Posted by John.

Student on team Hoppers from Monadnock Regional.

Posted on 3/20/2000 5:03 PM MST



At the Jersey Competition, I was told that Team 47 Sub Contracted their Chief Delphi Robot. This might just have been a rumor, but I wouldn't doubt it. Perhaps you can clarify that for me.


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Re: Sub Contracted, Eh?

Posted by Michael Martus.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]


Coach on team #47, Chief Delphi, from Pontiac Central H.S. and Delphi Automotives Systems.

Posted on 3/20/2000 5:35 PM MST


In Reply to: Sub Contracted, Eh? posted by John on 3/20/2000 5:03 PM MST:




I am a teacher at the High School (team coordinator)and have the only shop in a school of 1200. We have like many high schools in america, limited equipment. We have a drill press and hand tools.

Delphi has a work room/shop where prototyping and assembly is done. Many days each week (after 4pm) and every Saturday students go to Delphi to work. We have a breakfast club that starts the day.

Some parts and welding is done at another location. Students shawdow the engineers and skilled trades in the construction of the machine that THEY DESIGNED! They go to the location and do what is allowed by safety standards and union rules.

When you say sub-contracting you need to define your use of the word. If you mean a person other than the engineers weld or do the complicated machining then yes it applies SOMETIMES. Many teams do not have all the resources and send items to be welded, fitted or shaped to other shops within their own company or outside. That also is subcontracting. Look at the sponsors, many teams have many small shops listed.

Subtracting can be defined as having another person or company provied a service to you that you cannot.

If you meant that we draw it in CAD and send the drawings to a shop for manufacture, then the answer is NO WE DO NOT SUB-CONTRACT. This is another definition, I think the one to which you are referencing. This will not apply to us because we do not do this.

Stop by our pit any time and ask the students what part they worked on or how the robot functions. I think you will see that they know the name of each part, the function and purpose. Add to this the instruction by the engineers on the principles of physics and you will see that this is a learning tool of the best kind.

Look around in the pit. I think you will see teams that use students to do most of the repairs. Then you will also see teams that there are NO students to be seen only adults. Who really built their robots.

Our pit crew (rotating team) work in the pit doing and helping what they are capable of. Its a learning experience that some enjoy more than others.

Remember this is not a science fair!
Students CAN learn by a combination of watching and doing. This is the process of getting excited about technology.

I hope that this has answered your questions. Have more, contact me and I will answer to the best of my ability.


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Re: Sub Contracted ?

Posted by mike aubry.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]


Engineer on team #47, Chiefs, from Pontiac Central.

Posted on 3/20/2000 6:14 PM MST


In Reply to: Sub Contracted, Eh? posted by John on 3/20/2000 5:03 PM MST:



John,
You know John, I heard the same thing! It's amazing how these rumors get started. I've always found that whenever someone wants to get some stuff started they simply plant an idea in some poor unsuspecting souls head (usually it's someone that is most likely to repeat it) and walla - there it's started. So let's just get this out on the table for all to read and maybe it will help those folks understand how we do what we do. We, at Delphi Interior Systems, begin the robot building processes much like everyother team - brainstorm with the students, parents, teachers, engineers, and designers. We follow a pretty good process that leads us to developing design iterations that are rapidly assessed for capability in meeting our targetted criteria. This by the way is the most critical part of the process. Try to establish the robot capability based on the strategy by which you want to play the game. We don't (I don't allow them) to talk about the robot the first day - it's reserved for understanding the game and determining how we want to play it! The second and third day is reserved for translating 'how' we want to play the game into robot characteristics that are then evaluated for engineering and design realism. Can we really 'go multiple directions' or 'pick up multiple balls' with the identified characteristic? After establishing the list of robot characteristics, the Engineers and Designers go to work. We do this by divying the major components and sub-systems up and have 1, 2 or 3 people create the designs. We design the robot in Unigraphics by creating solid models of the components and assemblies, eventually melding them into one big assembly (the complete robot). As the components and sub-systems are being designed, we assign each a target 'not to exceed weight' and 'SPI dollar amount'. We usually all meet during our lunch break to evaluate the progress of the designs. Also, while progressing with the designs we make decisions on making vs. buying, assigning motors, kit material utilization, and assembly sequence. Once we have enough information together we start buying and modifying the purchased parts and making the 'make' parts. We utilize all the resources that we can get our hands on. Some is done 'inside' some is done 'outside' for free and some is purchased. Some is done at home, some is done by friends, but it all gets done. Since the building we work in is a union shop and for liability reasons, the engineers, designers, teachers, and students are not allowed to run the machinery and equipment on the shop floor. Hand tools are allowed back in the lab, where we do the finshing of components, sub-assembly bench work, final assembly of the robot mechanical systems, finish wiring and programming. We do send some specialty stuff outside to have done, whenever we don't have the resources available in our building to do. I don't think that this against any FIRST rules, after all how many times does Dean have to say that 'this is NOT a science project nor is it expected that students are to build the robot?' There are many teams (especially voc ed. type schools) that take this project as the opportunity to get their students some hands on experience - and I applaud them for that! In any case, we can debate this later if need be. As the components are completed, we do all of the assembly work as I earlier stated. The students meet us every Saturday morning for breakfast at a local eatery to talk and mingle, then we go to work doing everything we can from creating the chairmans award to animation to sawing, filing, wiring, drilling, wrenching, etc. So, hopefully you now have a better idea of what we do as a team. We are proud of our effort. We (Delphi Engineers and Designers), know we are successfully inspiring our partner schools students and even better we are making a difference in their lives. So, for anyone that wants to question the process by which our team builds our robot, maybe this message will end any and all speculation. We abide by ALL the rules when creatively designing and building the robot, period. And just for the record, many (very many) FIRST teams sub-contract parts of their robot component fabrication out - as they too, do not have the capability to do everything that is necessary to manufacture or modify the components that they use. I hope I haven't missed anything - and to my fellow teammates I hope that you are not offended by my frankness. I don't think that any of this giving away too much of our successful approach - it probably should be shared with everyone anyways.


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Re: Sub Contracted ?

Posted by John.

Student on team Hoppers from Monadnock Regional.

Posted on 3/20/2000 7:03 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: Sub Contracted ? posted by mike aubry on 3/20/2000 6:14 PM MST:



Basically, what I got out of your last post was the kids told you what they wanted the robot to do, then Delphi, using what it seemed to be infinite pocketbook (around a few hundred grand), and its expert engineers (which specialized in the field) AND Delphiís connections made the robot work. I can't see how it was entirely necessary investing so much money into the project, seems how we made it to the finals using only a fraction of that amount.

I heard you guys have another Chief Delphi robot with more advanced and revised systems you are planning to use at the Nationals, rather than the one you used at the Jersey Competition. Well, if thatís true, I canít see it being very fair. Perhaps you can clarify that for me.

I'd also like to know if the students actually played a key role in the construction of the robot, or if their hands on experience was more revolved around assembling the Chief Delphi after all the major components had been built.



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Re: Getting pretty tired

Posted by mike aubry.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]


Engineer on team #47, Chiefs, from Pontiac Central.

Posted on 3/20/2000 7:36 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: Sub Contracted ? posted by John on 3/20/2000 7:03 PM MST:



: Basically, what I got out of your last post was the kids told you what they wanted the robot to do, then Delphi, using what it seemed to be infinite pocketbook (around a few hundred grand), and its expert engineers (which specialized in the field) AND Delphiís connections made the robot work. I can't see how it was entirely necessary investing so much money into the project, seems how we made it to the finals using only a fraction of that amount.

Johnny, Congrats on getting to the finals, but do you ask these questions because you want to learn something or just to satisfy some goofy thoughts about our 'pocket book'? I'm sure that you must have some preconceived notions regarding how much we invest in the robot, but believe me you are not even close! Why don't you come over to our pit in Florida I can set you straight on what we do, because it sounds like you are just trying to wind us up to get some sort of reaction. Or is this your way of rubbing it in? Please tell...

: I heard you guys have another Chief Delphi robot with more advanced and revised systems you are planning to use at the Nationals, rather than the one you used at the Jersey Competition. Well, if thatís true, I canít see it being very fair. Perhaps you can clarify that for me.

This is even more of a joke than I can handle... Where do they dream this stuff up?

: I'd also like to know if the students actually played a key role in the construction of the robot, or if their hands on experience was more revolved around assembling the Chief Delphi after all the major components had been built.

I've already told you what involvement the students have. Are you suggesting that any, no let's make that ALL students - should have a certain amount of 'hands on' experience? You don't sound like you have ever listened to Dean Kamen or Woody Flowers, but then again .... maybe you can tell me - How much involvement you had in creating your robot. I believe that we can all learn from each other and since you must have had a 'great' robot (it made it to the finals) pray tell how'd you build yours? But if you just want to talk trash, take it some where else. This website is for sharing constructive ideas, not tearing down, or ripping on others.





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Re: Sub Contracted ?

Posted by S. Krussell.

Coach on team #349, Robahamas, from International Academy and Ford Motor Co..

Posted on 3/20/2000 7:40 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: Sub Contracted ? posted by John on 3/20/2000 7:03 PM MST:



Hey John....you're coming across a little hostile. I think that Pontiac's people gave a full accounting of how they operate in the previous few messages. But more to the point, why should they or any other team have to defend themselves like this? Dean says repeatedly, that the point is not necessarily education, but inspiration. Pontiac and Delphi have been nothing but gracious and always willing to give assistance, parts, help in a crisis to any team who asks. They have bailed my team out on several occasions.

Your comments about their financial situation also comes across poorly. It was inappropriate for you to put comments in print like that, when I am fairly certain that you don't know the reality. THe kids at Pontiac Central spend the entire school year and beyond doing fundraising, writing newsletter, working on Chairman's awards activities, teaching middle school kids, running tournaments for them, learning about the machine, creating animations, in addition to working with Delphi.

FIRST has had a huge and major impact on both the big high schools in Pontiac, and has provided fabulous opportunities for a LOT of kids over the past 6 years or so. These kids are not living in an affluent area, and Delphi and the engineers and teachers have been true 'stand up' adults and mentors for these students.

So lighten up John. You don't even know these people.


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Re: thanks

Posted by mike aubry.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]


Engineer on team #47, Chiefs, from Pontiac Central.

Posted on 3/20/2000 7:43 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: Sub Contracted ? posted by S. Krussell on 3/20/2000 7:40 PM MST:



Thanks for the kind words, we appreciate that others notice.



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Re: Sub Contracted ?

Posted by Michael Martus.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]


Coach on team #47, Chief Delphi, from Pontiac Central H.S. and Delphi Automotives Systems.

Posted on 3/20/2000 8:53 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: Sub Contracted ? posted by S. Krussell on 3/20/2000 7:40 PM MST:




Sue you are so nice. I was not. I sent this young person a strong response that I hope he shares with his team.

He knows nothing about us. Why is he so angry?


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Re: Sub Contracted ?

Posted by Bethany Dunning.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]


Coach on team #349, RoBahamas, from International Academy and Ford Motor Company.

Posted on 3/21/2000 6:12 AM MST


In Reply to: Re: Sub Contracted ? posted by Michael Martus on 3/20/2000 8:53 PM MST:



Mike - I really don't think it's anger. It's jealousy, or frustration, or something else. Like you said, he knows nothing about you. And if he was looking for info, he was going about it the wrong way. I could give him the names of several teams that Chief Delphi has been exceedingly gracious to, including the International Academy last year, when you guys went way out of your way to make sure our robot got to Ypsilanti when our ride dumped us last minute (fyi to everyone but Mike Martus - Brandon Martus, webmaster extraordinaire, took a day off of university to drive our robot in his truck.) I can't count the time that Joe Johnson and Mike Aubry spent in our pit trying to figure out what exactly was going on with our robot that it wouldn't run. The Delphi students are some of the most helpful and knowlegable out there. Delphi rocks, and I'm proud to say that we shared Great Lakes with them. :-)

:
: Sue you are so nice. I was not. I sent this young person a strong response that I hope he shares with his team.

: He knows nothing about us. Why is he so angry?


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Re: Sub Contracted ?

Posted by Ron Hartman.

Coach on team #79, The Navigators, from Eastlake High School and Explorers Post 991 and Honeywell.

Posted on 3/20/2000 8:09 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: Sub Contracted ? posted by John on 3/20/2000 7:03 PM MST:



John,
I think you're being a bit harsh on Mike and the Delphi team. I've been involved with FIRST competitions for 3 years now and have had the pleasure to compete against and *alongside* Team #47. Few teams, in my opinion, better exemplify what FIRST is about than Chief Delphi. The idea is to inspire students, expose them to science and technology, make a difference in their lives, and eventually, little by little, make a difference in our society. The competition is the means, not the ends. It peaks the students interest and keeps them motivated and interested. The real measure of a team is not how well they do ON the field at the competitions, but OFF the field BEFORE and AFTER the competition. So what if Delphi has more financial backing than other teams? So what if they have 'expert engineers' (aren't ALL engineers 'experts'???), so what if they fabricate pieces of their robot in outside shops? What difference does that make? Does it give them an unfair advantage? No way. If it did, perhaps they would be National Champions every year.

As project leader on Team 79, I feel we are very generously funded, have some fantastically gifted engineers and technicians working the project and have the fortune to work with some very bright and talented students. We, like Delphi, sometimes send work to outside shops, sometimes for free, sometime for money, when our internal time/resources are exhausted. I doubt you'll hear anybody complaining about *our* unfair advantage this year. Fact is, as far as our robot goes, we're probably only in the middle of the pack this year. It takes a heck of lot more than funding, 'expert engineers' (Iím still chuckling over that one!), and ďconnectionsĒ to build a successful robot. It takes even MORE to build a successful TEAM. Delphi has both and I applaud them for their extraordinary efforts. When this yearís competition concludes at Epcot itís very likely that we will not be the last robot standing (and perhaps not Team 47, or 16, or Heatwave, or some of the other outstanding robots out there), but guess what? When I go home, I can say with all confidence that weíve made a positive impact on our students lives. I hope you can say the same thing.

And by the way, the fact that your team made it to the finals, but only spent a fraction of what you *think* Team 47 invested, is partly why this whole project works so well.

Good luck to all and letís not forget what FIRST is REALLY about.

Ron



: Basically, what I got out of your last post was the kids told you what they wanted the robot to do, then Delphi, using what it seemed to be infinite pocketbook (around a few hundred grand), and its expert engineers (which specialized in the field) AND Delphiís connections made the robot work. I can't see how it was entirely necessary investing so much money into the project, seems how we made it to the finals using only a fraction of that amount.

: I heard you guys have another Chief Delphi robot with more advanced and revised systems you are planning to use at the Nationals, rather than the one you used at the Jersey Competition. Well, if thatís true, I canít see it being very fair. Perhaps you can clarify that for me.

: I'd also like to know if the students actually played a key role in the construction of the robot, or if their hands on experience was more revolved around assembling the Chief Delphi after all the major components had been built.





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They are role models for us all!!

Posted by Scott Strickland.

Engineer on team #21, ComBBAT, from Astronaut & Titusville High School and Boeing/NASA.

Posted on 3/20/2000 8:16 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: Sub Contracted ? posted by John on 3/20/2000 7:03 PM MST:



I think many students and engineers miss the point about FIRST because they are unable to attend the NH kickoff. Dean wants this to be the biggest, most-exciting, technically-advanced, inspiratitional competition there is. period. As big as any sports contest.

The only way this will happen is when big companies open their pockets and hearts. When companies and communities understand the idea of a cooper-tition and strive to be the best. The best at inspiring young people. The best at sportsmanship. The best at building complex machines.

A team that built a robot that made it to the finals on a shoe string budget is great. A team that raised thousands, inspired their communities to support, and built a pretty good machine is OUTSTANDING!!!! Why do you think there is so much luck involved in winning the competitions. I submit that it is by design, to further emphasize the Chairman's Award.

I think there should be T-shirts printed for FIRST, 'It's about the Chairman's Award Stupid!!!!'

Every year our team is able to take a step closer to Chief Delphi, Bomb Squad, and a few other heavies... I am happy with the results, regardless of our standing in the 'robot' competition.


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JUST PROMOTING FIRST!

Posted by michael ciavaglia.

Engineer on team #47, Chief Delphi, from Pontiac Central High School and Delphi Interior Systems.

Posted on 3/21/2000 6:33 AM MST


In Reply to: Re: Sub Contracted ? posted by John on 3/20/2000 7:03 PM MST:



: Basically, what I got out of your last post was the kids told you what they wanted the robot to do, then Delphi, using what it seemed to be infinite pocketbook (around a few hundred grand), and its expert engineers (which specialized in the field) AND Delphiís connections made the robot work. I can't see how it was entirely necessary investing so much money into the project, seems how we made it to the finals using only a fraction of that amount.

FIRST OF ALL, 'WHAT IT SEEMED TO BE INFINITE POCKETBOOK (AROUND A FEW HUNDRED GRAND' AND IT'S EXPERT ENGINEERS...' BELIEVE ME, IT WAS FAR LESS THAN AN INFINITE POCKETBOOK. ACTUALLY, WE SPENT LESS THAN HALF THE AMOUNT FROM LAST YEARS MACHINE. WE PLANNED AND EXECUTED WELL.

THANKS FOR THE COMPLIMENT 'EXPERT ENGINEER'. I THINK I WILL USE THE QUOTE IN MY NEXT PERFORMANCE REVIEW.

NEXT, IS YOUR COMPANY SO VERTICALLY INTEGRATED THAT YOU DON'T GO OUTSIDE TO HAVE ANYTHING DONE.

: I heard you guys have another Chief Delphi robot with more advanced and revised systems you are planning to use at the Nationals, rather than the one you used at the Jersey Competition. Well, if thatís true, I canít see it being very fair. Perhaps you can clarify that for me.

WE FOLLOW ALL THE RULES ALL THE TIME. THE RULES ARE MUCH DIFFERENT THAN YEARS PAST. THAT IS WHY WE PUSHED FOR A RUNNING ROBOT AT WEEK 4. THIS WOULD GIVE US TWO WEEKS TO DEBUG OUR MACHINE.

WHAT YOU DON'T SEE ARE (OR MAYBE YOU DO) THE HOURS THAT WE PUT INTO THE MACHINE. DO YOU SEE THE MULTIPLE 11:00 P.M. FRIDAY NIGHT SESSIONS? DO YOU SEE THE MULTIPLE 4:30 A.M. WORK BEFORE 'REAL WORK' STARTED. OR FINALLY, DO YOU SEE THE 36-HOUR DAY? WAIT, ISN'T THERE ONLY 24-HOURS IN A DAY?!? WE WENT BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY TO MAKE SURE OUR ROBOT WOULD PERFORM THE WAY WE ENVISIONED IT.

SO, YOU WILL SEE THE SAME BATTLE-SCARED MACHINE EVERYWHERE. THE BUMPER WILL PROBABLY BE DIFFERENT BECAUSE IT WAS BEAT UP PRETTY BAD IN NEW JERSEY. IT IS BEING FABRICATED RIGHT NOW. ALL WORK WILL STOP TODAY AT 4:00 P.M. SO DON'T BE SURPRISED TO SEE A NEW BUMPER.

: I'd also like to know if the students actually played a key role in the construction of the robot, or if their hands on experience was more revolved around assembling the Chief Delphi after all the major components had been built.

WE BUILD SUB-ASSEMBLYS FOR QUICK REPLACEMENT AND THE ABILITY TO HAVE MULTIPLE PEOPLE DESIGNING THE MACHINE. THEY ARE VERY USEFUL. WHERE DOES THE SUB-ASSEMBLY END AND THE ASSEMBLY BEGIN. I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT STUDENTS LOOK TO CERTAIN SUB-ASSEMBLYS AND SAY 'THAT IS MY CANNON', 'THAT IS MY BOOM', 'WE DESIGNED THIS IN CAD','WE DESIGNED THAT IN CAD'. THEY DO AND DID ALL THE THINGS THAT WE DO IN OUR EVERYDAY JOB.

PLEASE REMEMBER, WE ARE JUST TRYING TO PROMOTE FIRST. FROM THIS WEBSITE, TO THE ROOKIE CAMP, TO THE ADDITIONAL PARTS THAT JOE J. HAS ADDED TO THE KIT, TO THE CHIEF DELPHI INVITATIONAL, TO THE CADET PROGRAM, TO THE SUMMER STUDENT INTERNS, TO THE ...

WE WANT PONTIAC CENTRAL STUDENTS TO FOLLOW IN OUR FOOTSTEPS.





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Is there something wrong with your keyboard?

Posted by Brett R..

Student on team #201, Viste-Feds, from Rochester High School and Visteon Automotive Systems.

Posted on 3/25/2000 9:59 PM MST


In Reply to: JUST PROMOTING FIRST! posted by michael ciavaglia on 3/21/2000 6:33 AM MST:



n/t


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Stop the Slander

Posted by Lora Knepper.

Student on team #69, HYPER (Helping Youth Pursue Engineering & Robotics), from Quincy Public Schools and The Gillette Company.

Posted on 3/21/2000 8:24 AM MST


In Reply to: Re: Sub Contracted ? posted by John on 3/20/2000 7:03 PM MST:



John,

Please just give it a rest. You have no reason, nor basis to rip upon a fellow team like this, and it is offensive to why we are all in FIRST to begin with! Chief Delphi has made some magnificent bots year after year, and I am in awe for each of their creations. Even more than that, I look at the students from Pontiac Central, and I am amazed. They have a passion, a drive, that is incredible. Team 47 goes out of their way to help and support all of us in FIRST, and you have no right to tear them down. We are one team...a FIRST team. If you cannot see that, then I honestly can say I pity you. Everyone is entitiled to his/her own opinions, but that was nothing but pure slander. Do not accuse when you cannot back up your statements, and if you feel the need to carry this disscussion further, come to pit 69 and look me up in the Nationals. I will show you what FIRST is. From the faces of the team on little to no funding, cheering for a bot that barely runs...to the team like Delphi, who spends time helping them repair that bot when something is wrong. The teams that cheer in the stands, becasue their own bot is not there, but because there is a team with 5 students, (all on the field), is all they could bring...and everyone should have a cheering squad. If that is not FIRST to you, fine. But do not rip into my fellow teams, and simply keep that opinion to yourself.

Lora Knepper
Driver/Team Leader
Team HYPER


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A matter of opinion..

Posted by colleen.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]


Other on team #246, a FIRST-aholic, from John D. O'Byrant High School/Boston Latin Academy and NSTAR/Boston University/Wentworth Institute of Technology/MassPEP.

Posted on 3/20/2000 8:58 PM MST


In Reply to: Re: Sub Contracted ? posted by mike aubry on 3/20/2000 6:14 PM MST:



basically, all that's being argued is a matter of opinion.. some teams see FIRST as a project to be done solely by the kids, others see it as a process like Delphi runs, and others see it as a solely engineer thing.. the fact of the matter is, mike's right, there are no rules on how it should be done, and therefore their process is in no way wrong..

personally, (and this is only personally), i have no issues/bad thoughts about the way Delphi's team is run.. for the last 5 years, i've been throughly impressed by the team and the robot 47 brings to competition.. however, i would never really want to be on a team run that way because i see FIRST as something different.. i joined FIRST my freshman year because when i was in 8th, my dad drraaaaaaagged unwilling me to the competition and i was awestruck just to think 'hey- these kids built these robots, they work, and i can do that too?!?!' fortunately for my busy hands, my old team Nypro runs a team in which the students directly brainstorm, mockup, design, manufacture the robot... was i not allowed that opportunity my freshman year, i can guarantee that i never would have returned my sophomore year or every year so after...

basically- we are all in FIRST for the same core reason, to inspire kids. I was once the student, now i'm a mentor and work my hardest to afford the kids on my new team the same chances to learn as i had, because i think there is a lot to be said about the 'hands-on' approach.. afterall, it's the sole reason i'm studying engineering now...

what my long-winded nutshell means is: i think we should all respect the fact that we are all in FIRST for the same reason, and all the right reasons, and we are doing something positive for the world no matter how we all feel the process should be completed.. some sponsors, some companies, engineers, teachers, students want to give more, do more, learn more and do it in different ways - and we should respect that..

after all- like dean said in jersey, we're all one big FIRST family... so we may not do it the same, but remember are goals are the same, and we should be proud of every team who's working towards that goal..

Congrats to everyone :-)


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