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Unread 12-01-2001, 05:00 PM
Jessica Boucher Jessica Boucher is offline
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What advice would you give?

Hi everyone,

What advice would you give to a rookie team to do with their kit of parts just after opening it? What did you do with your kit as a rookie team just after opening it?

Please respond, everyone, I know you all have your own opinions on this
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Unread 12-01-2001, 05:36 PM
D.J. Fluck
 
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Heres what I would do....FIRST, take all the parts and have the team sort and label each part on tables... after all parts are sorted, get to know them like the back of your head....you will need to know these things really well if u ever want to be successful....when designing your robot, think back to the kit of parts and see what you can use and how you can use it....but remember stay under that 130 pounds...

Make sure you get all the inovation first parts, spikes, speed controls, fuses, control boxes into one group here is a link to the manual:
http://www.innovationfirst.com/FIRSTRobotics/

Get a group of people to learn the pneumatics and other parts...if you have people that know how to use them, you could benifit real well...

For tutorials or explanations you can dl and view last years competiton guides and manuals... you can find them here: http://www.usfirst.org/2001comp/Docs/

I gave a start and i expect others to add in details onto this and other ideas
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Unread 12-01-2001, 05:43 PM
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Cool Maybe

You could also construct "pneumatics boards" that have a controller/spikes/pneumatics/or anything else that you would need....then set it up so u have one joystick or some buttons that make the pneumatics work.....

This gives the kids an opportunity to learn how to assembly the pneumatics and learn how to wire and use the control system.


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Unread 12-01-2001, 05:47 PM
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Good idea, Clark. We weren't a rookie team, but last year was our first year using Pneumatics on our robot. We set up a pneumatics board like FIRST did for the kickoff last year so that we could all learn how the pneumatics worked before we started building the robot. It's a lot easier to learn how things work when you lay them out on a table and test them than when you put everything together and wonder "Well, now why doesn't this thing work."

Those kind of suggestions are also very helpful for new members on veteran teams. It's very frustrating to sit around and do nothing because you don't understand how the equipment works and noone will tell you because they don't have time to explain. Having new members put together test boards and such (with advice from vets) can be a great way to show the "newbies" what to do. After all, you might find that your best electronics guy is a new member, or something. Don't underestimate the rookies (teams or people)!

Last edited by Jeff Waegelin : 12-01-2001 at 05:50 PM.
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Unread 12-01-2001, 09:56 PM
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I can tell you what we're planning to do after we get our kit of parts. :-) My team is having a meeting on January 5th at night (it depends on how long it'll take us to drive back down) and we're going to put all the parts out on a table and we're going to get everyone very well aquainted with all the parts. Even the "what in the world could this possibly be used for?" parts. Hmm...so pretty much what DJ said. That's what we did for the two years I was on 263 (and those were the team's first two years as well). We actually had a nice guy from FESTO come and show us a pneumatics board in October. So, that's the plan. It's kinda weird being a rookie again, but on the same note, kinda fun.

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Unread 12-01-2001, 10:30 PM
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good advice but you forgot something

Last year we were rookies and I must say that we had a problem putting a board together the first day because well let's face it THERE WAS NO BOARD(the kits don't come with any structure materials).

So as your mentors come back from the kick off with the kits they should make a five minute stop at Home Depot to get some ply wood. This will help you if you want to start on the first day.
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Unread 12-01-2001, 11:01 PM
nick reynolds nick reynolds is offline
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The first thing one needs to do is go over the inventory list, check to make sure that what is issued is what you have. Make sure all the parts issued work.
Sort the items into an electrical and mechanical section. make the teams for each responsible for keeping those parts safe. Use old prior equipment if you have it as a learning aid, try not to use you new stuff as experimentals.
Put everything away at night, this way it wont get lost.
Read the rules on use of the parts, dont assume anything and ask if your not sure.
Thats my 2c. I hope it helps some one.
Nick237
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Unread 12-01-2001, 11:43 PM
Carolyn Duncan Carolyn Duncan is offline
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Last year my team sorted the parts as mentioned by Nick. Then we took each part and weighed it. that way we would know exactly how much weight we had to play with. We knew that we had to have the light, battery, pneumatics pump, etc. When we added that up we knew what we had to play with. This helped in idea searching because we could eliminate certain things. I hope this makes sense.
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Unread 12-02-2001, 06:10 AM
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Post what to do with kits of parts...

For rookie teams who have no training at all about building robots, just a basic lecture about the things in kits of parts probably isn't good enough. You can lecture them about something, and they will never be able to memorize everything at once.

The competition manual doesnˇ¦t come with the kits, but you can get it from the team representatives who went to kick off (remote). Make sure you check out the kits of parts list. And make copies of rules/regulation for all members.

First, you should label the parts as many have suggested. You want to at least make sure people aren't confused about different parts. Have a selected few who's interested or even have a little experience about hardware, and have them sort out the parts and check through the list for any missing things while they do that.

You want to divide the parts into different group: Motors, electronics, the light, battery, wheels, field parts and different hardware... etc. Make sure your team knows that the control system, battery, light, and some of the motors have to go on the robot. You will have to explain to them how important weight and size is.

The next thing to do is to start showing your team what's available in the kits. Show them the different motors, and tell them different things the motors can specialize in. For example, tell them about the window lift motor and the tape drive attachment, or the rack and pinion came with the seat motor, or how drill motor is probably best for drive train, etc. You will want some of the group leaders to understand performances of motors, but that can be later. (Show them some of the motor presentation in white paper, or my lecture notes about the same topic )

Show everyone the switches and sensors they can use on the robot. But explain the available electronics parts only to the electronics/control system people on your team. A lot of team members don't need to know about control system at this point, so you can just introduce the parts and not descriptions. Also you want to make sure the motors people are there to understand how motors are controlled.

And finally, show the rest of "small pieces" in the kits to everyone. There are things like bearings, shaft collars, metal stocks, springs, and weird stuff people can make use of.

There should always be some sort of field parts that come with the kits. Usually they are the balls used in competition, and the carpet example. Let the students get a feel of them.

At the end of this, you want to sort them into different places so the students can go look at them anytime afterward. Label boxes and drawers so they can find the stuff.

So, in short words: Check through list for missing parts, divide them into different categories, explain parts most useful for robot's design, and out them away where people can look at them easily later.
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