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Unread 05-01-2011, 04:20 PM
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2011 Lesson Learned :The Positive

What do you think FIRST doo particularly well this season that deserves recognition?
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Unread 05-01-2011, 04:22 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned :The Positive

The fields rarely had massive downtime. Finally, the bane of drive teams everywhere may be disappearing!
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Unread 05-01-2011, 04:23 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned :The Positive

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Originally Posted by PayneTrain View Post
The fields rarely had massive downtime. Finally, the bane of drive teams everywhere may be disappearing!
I would disagree with that; At FLR the field was down almost all of Thursday.
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Unread 05-01-2011, 04:39 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned :The Positive

This being one of the two incidents I can think of, I used the qualifier "rarely". Week 1 Regionals exist to dispel the gremlins that weren't caught in Week 0 (and more official Week 0 events/GDC planned early finalization would fix this almost all the way)

Being at NJR last year, where we stood around for four hours on Thursday waiting for FMS to wake up from its 10-month slumber, and at VCU, where between the inifinite tie games and field downtime I would have been better suited to tent out in the Siegel Center, I know field downtime sucks. Having little field downtime where I was this year was a blessing.
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Unread 05-01-2011, 05:17 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned :The Positive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grim Tuesday View Post
I would disagree with that; At FLR the field was down almost all of Thursday.
There was a greater underlining issue that created the Thursday downtime at FLR. I wouldn't consider it something FIRST should be at fault for. It will be addressed for the next FLR, so it's really FLR lessons learned.


Now then:

-A great game. This year was a great challenge, with only "entering the opponent's lane" penalties being the rule that frustrated teams. I like the 'empty field' games as they are much faster and easier to play defense in. I can't wait to see what the retooled GDC will give us for next year. I would rather not see minibots for another 8 years though.

-High Profile celebrities actually being at the event. We've seen our share of some celebrities make a 4 minute video and play it at champs, but it's so much better to actually have those celebrities at the event - even for one day and for photo-ops. I would think FIRST should get in touch with the other Mythbusters that aren't already involved with FIRST/VEX/Robotics programs and have them be apart of the Championship celebrations. Ask Jamie Hyneman to be on the GDC maybe?

-The Kickoff. I can't remember a better kickoff than this year. Good speakers, tons of information, and some speeches that weren't just the usual "You are the future". The reveal and rules explanation part of the kickoff still needs a bit of work, as the explanations are still vague and all over the place.
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Unread 05-01-2011, 07:03 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned :The Positive

The game this year was top-notch. The notion that you had to be better than everyone else at what you decided to do made it a very exciting, and challenging, erm, challenge. The importance of autonomous and endgame being on par with teleop made for a very interesting strategic and engineering challenge.

The support. Teams can get support when they need it because of how FIRST has structured what matters. Awesome.
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Unread 05-01-2011, 09:43 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned :The Positive

I'm going to focus on CMP rather than the game.

1. Super well-run, even better than last year in ATL. Outstanding job, testament to what good planning can do.
2. The location of the venue - right at the edge of the serious downtown area - is excellent. unlike ATL, where a 4 block walk got you the CNN food court, in STL a 4-block walk got you anything from The Dubliner Pub to Hardee's. Great variety, mostly of the non-fast-food type. OMG, Culture!
3. Spaciousness of the pits.
4. That 50-yard-line seating at the dome. Nice and soft and comfy and everything...

I also want to thank FIRST and the venue management for opening up the doors at hall 5 on Friday, cutting thousands of feet off the commute from pits to dome (via the courtyard).

I also want to thank FIRST for recognizing the noise issue and dropping the music during matches.

You know,, maybe it wasn't perfect, but it was awful darn close. See my post in the 'negative' thread for some minor quibbles.
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Unread 05-02-2011, 07:08 AM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned :The Positive

1. Surprisingly spacious pits. Escorting my (very) pregnant wife while pushing a stroller, I expected lots of logjams and unintentional crashes. Neither appreciably happened; aisles were sufficiently wide and people were courteous and respectful.

2. Wonderful staff taking care of a potentially sticky seating situation. The colored wristband technique chosen for the Einstein matches was potentially very confusing; the two ladies who worked with EJD security staff and the FIRST participants were exceptionally patient, gracious, and professional. Each belligerent parent shouting at them was greeted with a disarming smile and nod; these ladies deserve a round of applause (and probably a pay raise).
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Unread 05-02-2011, 08:28 AM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned :The Positive

THE CHAMPIONSHIP:

1. The venue was huge, convenient, and ultimately, I think St. Louis will work well as the host of CMP for the next few years.

2. The Friday night concert was a blast for our students.

EVERYTHING ELSE:

1. The robot rules continue to be relaxed in areas such as pneumatics and bumper mounting, and this flexibility leads to more creative robots and less stress on teams.

2. Playing a game that we had basically played before led to a pretty deep field of competitive bots at all of the events that I attended or watched.

3. The minibot race was extremely spectator friendly.

4. Game pieces were cheap and available (eventually).

5. Auto mode was done well. The right balance of difficulty and points, and there was an incentive for going above and beyond (2 tube autos).

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Unread 05-02-2011, 09:41 AM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned :The Positive

The extra week of robotics competitions leading up to an awesome set of teams at the Championship.
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Unread 05-02-2011, 09:54 AM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned :The Positive

The Championship:

1) Fields in the pits weren't all THAT bad (excluding seating). It was cool being able to see teams like 1114, 2056, 1503, 254, 968, 2415, and 233 play up close, you definitely get something out of it that can't be gotten in the dome.

2) The Finale, from what little time I spent there, seemed pretty cool. Not sure if it was better than the ATL finale, but it wasn't bad.

3) The Concert was really cool, and I can finally understand why the Stage took up almost half of the dome. I guess if you're going to do it, do it big.

4) Einstein's setup was very cool this year, the visual effects added something that had been missing before.

5) The Dean's list presentation was really, really cool. FIRST definitely stepped up the presentation for this award.

The Game:

1) Cheap and relatively available game pieces were awesome. being able to have half a fields worth of pieces without breaking the bank was really, really sweet.

2) Playing with a familiar game piece seemed to raise the overall competitiveness of many events from previous years.

3) Valuable autonomous was a nice touch, I enjoyed seeing most teams attempting to score and ubertube.

4) FIRST is onto something good with the concept of the Mini-Bot Race. It is exciting, but it's execution leaves something to be desired.
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Unread 05-02-2011, 12:08 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned :The Positive

For the first year of Championships being held in STL, it was very well pulled off.

- The concert. I know there had been a lot of controversy about this about a week ago, but I had a great time. It was exciting, fun, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. And the paper airplanes were great too
- The pit fields. Surprisingly, I enjoyed being in the pits more than being in the Dome. It was a closer walk to the pits, it was a better view of the matches, the noise level wasn't bad, and the floor wasn't sticky in the pits! Also, I enjoyed the FTC and FLL pits as well as the FIRST store and Scholarship Row, which I wouldn't have bothered to look at had I not been so close by.
- The visual effects. The Championships seem to get cooler and cooler every year, with the LED banners on Einstein and the great views on-screen of Einstein final matches.
- The spaciousness of the pits. While traveling through the pits, only a few times was I caught in a cluster of people or had to jump out of the way of a robot. In general, there seemed to be a lot more room to walk around.
- The celebrities! I know a lot of people disagree with FIRST using celebrities to expose FIRST because we want to be known for the robots rather than the celebrities that attend our competitions, but I think this is just what FIRST needs. It will increase public interest, not to mention it's very cool to see Will.I.Am play with his FTC robot and to see Morgan Freeman walk 5 feet in front of you.
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Unread 05-02-2011, 02:37 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned :The Positive

The high definition screen on Einstein was very nice.
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Unread 05-02-2011, 03:08 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned :The Positive

Better seating for Einstein. It was hard to find good seats in Atlanta and easy in St. Louis.
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Unread 05-02-2011, 03:33 PM
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Re: 2011 Lesson Learned :The Positive

When you think a ref might have a hard time making a call, make it so obvious that he can't make a call against you.
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