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Unread 03-12-2009, 05:19 PM
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Robots after the competition

So Team 2458 was trying to come up with ideas on what to do with the robot after all the competitions for the 2009 year and off season competitions. Unfortuanatly our school will not allow us to keep the robots unless we come up with a productive use for them so we are going to edit ours to become a tee shirt launcher. We decided that would be something fun to do during the off season and that would benefit the schools because they could use it during basketball games.

Any other ideas?
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Unread 03-12-2009, 05:21 PM
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Re: Robots after the competition

Wow, the school I deal with expects all the robots to still work, but won't give us enough room to store them properly.
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Unread 03-12-2009, 05:23 PM
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Re: Robots after the competition

Lucky yeah ours is like if you find a good use for it and we can use it you can keep it other wise take it apart, keep the parts that you need and dispose of it
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Unread 03-12-2009, 05:25 PM
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Re: Robots after the competition

A tshirt launcher is doable, but I always like to keep a couple robots around as is. They can be useful as a platform to teach programming or test out code. It is also useful for demos.

It also seems early to tear down a robot when there are off season events that occur into the fall.
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Unread 03-12-2009, 05:27 PM
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Re: Robots after the competition

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Originally Posted by Coffeeism View Post
It is also useful for demos.
Use this point to your school. Tell them you will use it at demos at schools without robotics programs to help start new teams as well as at potential sponsors to try to gain more monetary support.
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Unread 03-12-2009, 05:28 PM
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Re: Robots after the competition

Yeah well if we do not have a design by the time the robot is going to come back then they are just going to throw it out themselves.

Any other ideas besides a tee shirt launcher that this robot could be made into
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Unread 03-12-2009, 05:29 PM
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Re: Robots after the competition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Collin Fultz View Post
Use this point to your school. Tell them you will use it at demos at schools without robotics programs to help start new teams as well as at potential sponsors to try to gain more monetary support.
Yeah the school is not buying that. Our school is really strange and really does not see the point in this team even though it has done so much for the students who joined
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Unread 03-12-2009, 05:30 PM
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Re: Robots after the competition

If you take apart your robot you cannot attend Monty Madness!

http://www.montymadness.org/
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Unread 03-12-2009, 05:40 PM
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Re: Robots after the competition

As a temporary solution, see if you can park it at a students house for the time being. In the meantime, ask the school if they would provide space for a storage container. Seatainers can be had very cheaply, and if you ask the right companies they can even be had for free.

Just an idea.
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Unread 03-12-2009, 05:41 PM
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Re: Robots after the competition

What if you "throw it out" by taking it to your lead mentor's house for storage?
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Unread 03-12-2009, 06:26 PM
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Re: Robots after the competition

I always thought a bot with a brush on it could be turned into a street/sidewalk cleaner. So when ever a kid gets into trouble the principal could tell him/her to clean up around the school. Wait, never mind, everyone will get in trouble then.
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Unread 03-12-2009, 06:30 PM
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Re: Robots after the competition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Collin Fultz View Post
What if you "throw it out" by taking it to your lead mentor's house for storage?
Definitely consider doing that because then your team can keep your robot together for demos and off season events.
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Unread 03-12-2009, 07:20 PM
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Re: Robots after the competition

if the school won;t let you keep the bot there, why not keep it at home? (mentor or student;s house!!!)

our school won;t let us store the bot at school, but we can still keep it at home!

if the school refuses any of those solutions, and do throw it out, press charges for theft! since it is you guys who built the bot, not them...

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Unread 03-12-2009, 08:29 PM
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Re: Robots after the competition

Please tell me you guys are joking...my department director and superintendent would be FURIOUS if we trashed out bots. Just as an example we are a second year team who partially disassembled last years robot to do some prototyping and practice after we shipped. The first thing my director said when he walked in and saw it was, "You are going to put it back together when you're done with it aren't you?"...

Here's a question for you, who are your mentors? If your sponsors are either science or math teachers your bot is an INCREDIBLE teaching tool (think gear ratios, torque, horsepower etc.) have you used that approach with the administration? Also, if you need to play dirty then use the old going for a greener world! I mean come on...there are resistors, capacitors, etc. that we really don't need to be putting anymore of in the landfills!

All the bots in the bot graveyard...
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Unread 03-12-2009, 09:32 PM
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Re: Robots after the competition

This seems like something that one of the New Jersey old-timers could offer a better insight on. You might want to talk with them to see if they can help convince your administrators on the importance of keeping old robots together. Try talking to 25 in particular, as they've championed the pre-rookie concept for fall events. (And, as a mentor of 2458 for about 24 hours at Brunswick Eruption in 2007, I know North Brunswick is in reach.)

To that end, uses for a full and complete robot:

1) Eye candy. You can ask any mentor--or they'll tell you--about the importance of having a robot to show anyone you're trying to bring aboard. Students, mentors, sponsors, anybody--show a robot, and it becomes a lot easier for folks to wrap their heads around it. If they don't buy this, ask them to pitch a product (and ask for the money upfront) where you have nothing to show a client right now but have Really Awesome Stuff coming around the bend. Nine times out of ten, this approach will get you laughed out of the building. (Case in point: when 2815 started, they borrowed a robot from Metal In Motion to show at the first meeting in order to help the kids and parents wrap their head around what exactly they were signing up for.)

2) Programming practice. Heck, make it a programming contest if you've got the nerve to teach enough folks LabVIEW. This is the robot--no, you can't modify it--and this is the objective. Go.

3) A way to learn from your past mistakes. I've been on and around teams that would make bone-headed mistakes. If it weren't for the ability to go back and see how we did this or that a couple years ago, we'd repeat that bone-headed mistake. Keep running your robot, and see what breaks. If you can figure out what is most likely to break on your robot, you can start figuring out how to make it break less often or be repaired quicker--but this only happens with a robot around.

4) Rolling physics demonstration, as stated above.

5) Tackling dummy for future robots. (Sure, your robot can score when everything is lined up perfectly--but how does it handle when you've got another robot shaking you about?)

That said, the later posts make me believe you might have a deeper issue than what to do with a robot. If a school doesn't give proper support to the team, whether financial or (more frequently) logistical, it is infinitely harder to build a sustainable team. I've been fortunate to be on teams where the schools have been big fans of the robotics team, so I can't offer advice there. Your administrators don't "see the point" in the team? Do everything you can to make them see it. Invite/bring/drag/kidnap them to an event--since 2458 appears done for the regular season, try PARC or Monty Madness that happens before summer hits. Have them talk to the old-timers, the folks who've seen the effect this can have on students when a team is really running at full bore.

If you haven't done so already, start compiling your own statistics on the effectiveness of your program. How many members of the team have adjusted their post-graduation plans as a result of working with the team? How many people have you reached out to in the larger community? Have you created any partnerships with local businesses? (This isn't always money, mind you; ask WildStang about their efforts to place their graduates within Motorola, their primary sponsor.) NASA requires this sort of assessment of all teams that receive grants from them, in no small part because they have to justify the effectiveness of over a million dollars each year in federal grants. Your issue is probably not on the same scale as that of an agency of the federal government, but the importance of gauging effectiveness remains the same.

Stall for time on the robot, worry about getting the school on board.
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