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Unread 12-30-2002, 07:23 AM
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Al Skierkiewicz Al Skierkiewicz is offline
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What does your team do during the first few days?

Since kickoff is coming soon, I mean REAL SOON, it might be interesting to teams on what your team does in the first days following kickoff...
Wildstang does a whole team approach on brainstorming starting on Sunday. All team members, volunteers and parents and siblings are invited to come and analyze the problem, scoring and robot needs. All ideas are recorded and reviewed over the next several days and prototyping will begin as well. We are lucky to have a "field team" which will start making field pieces on Saturday so that we can have an idea of what the playing field will look like and the problems the robot will encounter during play.
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Unread 12-30-2002, 10:11 AM
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FIRST few days

That is almost a carbon copy of what we do. The goal is to have a basic design and understand the game by Wednesday following the kick off. Making styrofoam models to play the game is very important.
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Unread 12-30-2002, 11:40 AM
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Bomb Squad's approach

Well, we watch the thingy on NASA and we all leave. We skip suunday, to give everyone time to decide firmly on what they believe is the best approach. Monday we break up into teams of 5 people(5-7 of them) and each small team decided what is the best approach between itself, and then the whole group comes together and each team presents it's idea, then we vote on the best, then we have several rebutals to the idea(sometimes someone see's a major fault in an idea that noone else does) if the rebutals are strong enough we re-vote on the design. The whole process took just over a week last year, and it's by far the funnest part of the whole building process i think.
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Unread 12-30-2002, 11:56 AM
sanddrag sanddrag is offline
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1st week schedule

We set it up pretty formally like this. I really hate how legislatively and formally everything is done on our team bu it is probably for the better. Keeps the slack off students in line I suppose.


Our build season starts at 6:30 am on Saturday January 4. We will meet here at Clark (unless there is a problem with getting the video feed) and watch the Kickoff until 9 am. After a short break, we will carry out some activities designed to help us understand the game and to begin to understand the characteristics we want our robot to have. This will go on until approximately 5:00 pm or a little later.

On Sunday we will meet from noon until about 5 pm. We will continue to refine our desired characteristics of the robot and we will break up into smaller groups to begin the process of creating proposals (designs) to be presented to the executive committee (Veteran Members) on Wednesday.

On Monday and Tuesday, space will be provided for you to continue to meet in your small groups, creating your designs, from 3 until 8 PM. You don't need to be here the whole time, but you may if you need to.

On Wednesday you may work here from 3 until 5;45. At 6:00 proposals will be presented to the executive committee. The committee will decide which plan or plans will be refined further.

On Saturday 1/11, the executive committee will make final decisions
leading to work groups.

From this time on until February 18 we will meet on Saturdays from 8:30 until approx 5:00 pm and Tuesday from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm at a minimum. Subgroups are likely to meet at other times during that period as well.

We will not take design proposals from anyone who misses the first Saturday or Sunday. Only first year students will be allowed to make presentations on Wednesday night. This means that veteran students who have ideas will have to develop them with first year students who will then present. All decisions will be made by the executive committee of 5 students made up of veterans and subject to veto by the adults.
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Unread 12-30-2002, 12:27 PM
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We're going to try something a little different this year.

Jan. 4, Day One: Pick up kits and have evening kick off party. Watch NASA video taped earlier in the day. Disseminate rules to most of the team. Go through the bins of parts and get a viceral idea of what we have to work with.

Depending on how many people show up to the kick off, we may start brainstorming right then.

Jan. 5, Day Two: Make major drive train decisions (ie shift or not, gear ratio, motors to use). Complete basic frame, controller box, battery mounting design.

Jan. 6, Day Three: Start building controller box and battery tray. Start gear box design. Assign major sub-system designs to sub-groups for brain-storming on how to do them.

By the end of the first week, we should have picked our sub-systems and have a good idea on what we will be doing there and have them assigned to the "engineer in charge" to carry on. We should be building our drive system, base platform, controller box, battery tray and starting to wire the controller box connectors, test the speed controllers, sensors, et al. We should also be starting our operator interface design and build.

On field pieces, we may begin building "critical artifacts." However, from past experience, we don't usually need actual field pieces till about week five or six. This year, we're going to focus on getting our drive system up and running by week two-three to the exclusion of all else. At the end of every competition season, we've complained, "if only we had our drive system running by week three, we would have discovered all these little problems and been able to correct them." This year, we're going to try to "make it so."

Although we will have "locked in" some critical design decisions real quick, the only restrictions on the sub-system designs will be mounting points and non-availability of some resources. These activities (continued strategy brain-storming, determination of which modules to go to final design with) should continue well into week three. Hopefully by week three-six we will only be spending time on design and fab of our modules and not on working on our drive system.

Andrew
Team 356
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Unread 12-30-2002, 01:04 PM
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A team member is going to record the NASA TV broadcast to VHS while teachers and myself attend the remote kick-off in Brooklyn.

After we've picked up the kit and head back out onto the Island, the team will assemble in the school and watch the kick off video together. Then, we will go over the game rules, scoring, and its strategy. Saturday, we will discuss strategy alone - as I found last season that some students on the team didn't grasp the concept of the game until weeks after regionals began. This year, I want to make sure that everyone understands the nuances of scoring so as to be sure that mechanism designs are coming from knowledgeable groups with an understanding of how to play the game.

I'm a rogue; an outlaw. . . I operate above the law, so I'll probably start designing things as I drive back from kick off

On Sunday, we will meet again to discuss mechanism design. Small groups will spend some time discussing possibilities and creating rough mock ups from card stock. Sunday evening, they will present their concepts to the larger group.

The veterans from last season and myself will likely discuss these concepts' feasibility, potential, and and aggravation factor. From there, I hope we'll reach a concensus regarding design strategy. If not, the veterans will make the final decision. Last year, I decided on the design. This year, they've earned the right to make that decision themselves.

By midweek, we'll iron out specific plans of attack. We'll determine the style or category of each mechanism that needs to be design (4WD, Basket vs. Direct Feed Ball Collection, etc.)

By Friday, the drivetrain and frame will be designed. (That's a personal goal, really.) By the following Saturday night, I'll have a clear idea of each mechanism that will end up on the robot. On Sunday night, I'm moving to Seattle.

Then, a lot of long distance collaboration begins.
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Unread 12-30-2002, 01:10 PM
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Wink

Sunday, us few (5) elite members of the team are gathering at one of our homes. We're going to watch the taped NASA broadcast, then rip through the parts and rules. We'll discuss pretty much everything we can and need to discuss before presenting it monday afternoon to the rest of the team. Can't have those noobs messing around with it first!
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Unread 12-30-2002, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Saturday, we will discuss strategy alone - as I found last season that some students on the team didn't grasp the concept of the game until weeks after regionals began. This year, I want to make sure that everyone understands the nuances of scoring so as to be sure that mechanism designs are coming from knowledgeable groups with an understanding of how to play the game.
This year, we're going to have two written tests, one on the game rules, the other on strategy. Those who want to be part of the strategy sessions or driving squad are going to have to score a minimum on these tests.

We've had the same problem every year, where even the drivers have not necessarily read the rules!

Andrew
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Unread 12-30-2002, 04:20 PM
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We're very informal as compared to other teams. Basically, we take a break after the kickoff and the 'team leaders' convene at a central place (this may happen differently now that the EduBot competition is going on, so we may do something different). Usually what happens is we sit around looking at the kit and discussing potential strategies and basically how the game works. Last year for example, we figured out all the types of robots there'd be, contrasted that with how we'd work cooperatively, and basically calculated throught logic and math what would be ideally the best way to go. This of course changes later on in subsequent brainstorming meetings where the team splits up into groups and offers ideas. For the first week, no prototypes are built, and nothing is assembled (except perhaps the gearbox, which is ongoing).
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Unread 12-30-2002, 04:26 PM
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Saturday we all meet at one of our sponsors in a conferance room to watch the kickoff, its mandatory to attend so that everyone can know what this year's game is from the beginning. When we get home saturday we are suppose to think of ideas and such in order to dicuss and plan sunday at our planning meeting.
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Unread 12-30-2002, 06:51 PM
DJSKRABL22 DJSKRABL22 is offline
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eh u know, we just sort of chill. No pressure.
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Unread 12-30-2002, 07:05 PM
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On Saturday, myslef two other students and an adult will be attending the San Jose Remote Kickoff site. We will then come back to either SLAC (Our sponsor) or the school to inform the rest of the team of the game. we will then decide what general functions we want the robot to do, ex: pick up balls, handle goals, etc. On sunday, the entire team will meet to barianstorm mechanisms that will complete our shosen task. monday-friday of the first week, a few select students and advisors will start designing the actual mechanisms. after that we will protoype/build the base/drivetrain, move on to manipulators, and then any extras, then testing and driver training

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Unread 12-30-2002, 09:20 PM
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For the first few days after kickoff, we split into 2 groups: the field building group, and the strategy group. The field building group machines the parts, and assembles the field. While the strategy group decides what our robot will do this year.
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Unread 12-30-2002, 10:24 PM
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Re: FIRST few days

Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Martus Making styrofoam models to play the game is very important.
Heck. We don't stop at styrofoam, last year we build two full goals. It took forever because we had to re-cut the threads on all the flanges by hand
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Unread 12-30-2002, 10:56 PM
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Well the way were doing it this year is:

Day 1: Go to BAE to watch live satellite broadcast, then take lunch to think about different aspects of the game, after lunch the entire team gets together in one big room to talk about the simple stuff relating to the game i.e. Wheels or Treads, Shift or no shift and basic chassis designs, we see what needs to be done to score points and then decide roughly what we want our robot to do, then we split in to groups to go in to deeper designs, grabbers, pincher lifters, launcher.. whatever

Day 2 - Day 5: The teams design the specific robot that they think will be the best robot for the job, each part is brought before a committee of engineers and veteran students to see if with what drafting hours we have and what machine shop hours we have, they ask will we be able to do this under budget.

Day 6: The designs that passed are brought before the entire team,only new student can make the presentations of there teams robot, then the team votes on the best parts of all designs and puts them together

Day 7- Shipping: Draw all parts, make all parts, make all parts fit, wire, and hopefully test.
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