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How long should production time be???
Posted by Kate.
Engineer on team #190, Gompei, from Mass Academy of Math and Science and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Posted on 7/22/99 11:46 AM MST
WARNING: THIS MESSAGE IS VERY LONG WINDED..
Alright, I know that we've talked about how long we think the competition should be around for, but this time, JJ's message made me think of something different.. This time, I thought about how long the p
roduction time frame should be.. Is our 6-week time frame not enough??
'Another way that these design competitions are like FIRST is that they are usually a short time span (typically 6-8 weeks) and the time frame is insane.'
While this quote is from
JJ comparing FIRST to the real world, it's still about FIRST and does state that the time frame is insane..
We've spent a long time discussing how many years to keep each competition around, but how long do we want to be able to design, build, test, and
practice witht he 'bots?? Is 6 weeks long enough?? Do we need more or less time??
Here's my view on this.. We all know that 6 weeks never seems like enough time to build and play with the robots, so we don't want less time for the production time.. As
a gut feeling, I want more time to work.. The more I think about it, the more I like the 6 week period we have now..
In theory, if we got the work time extended, we would just have to work a little bit every day, we wouldn't have to use the whole time (
or for the less organized teams, they wouldn't be sending an unfinished robot), and the stress level would be reduced..
Yes, I did just say in theory.. That's never a good thing.. Just ask any of the kids that have had me for a counslor at any of the FI
RST Place camps.. Whenever I have 'theory' in any of my sentences, it doesn't work..
Here's why I don't htink it will work.. It won't just be a little bit of work every day.. Let's say that in our 6 week time frame, we work and average of 4 hours a day
for the whole 6 weeks.. If we got the time extended, you may think that you could work for an average of 3 hours a day instead.. I don't know about toher teams, but I know that the students on my team get too into working and have too much fun to stop.. I
f our machine shop guy would have let us, I know there would have been a couple nights where we could have stayed all night 'cause we were so into it..
I know of a couple of people that say their teams wouldn't use the whole time if they were given more
than the 6 weeks.. I, personally, think that all teams would use the whole time to their advantage.. The last week or so could be used for anything from finishing the design to practicing driving and anywhere in between.. Granted those are the extremes,
but anything is possible..
If we're given more than the 6 weeks, then it will give us more time.. In this time, it means there is more time to spend money and have more stress.. Sue, it's great if you have the money to spend on spare parts.. I know a lo
t of teams that already have the time and money to make spare jparts, but for those of us that would be given the time, they would need to find the money to be able to make the spare parts.. I think there will be more stress because we will be working jus
t as much per day, just for more days.. So, we get more time, but we also get more cash spent and stress..
So, we're spending more money and having more stress, but are we getting more playing time?? If we spend more time, money, and stress, we should b
e getting more playing time.. The only ways that I can think of to get more playing time are to put out more money to go to more competitions, longer bigger or invitation only nationals, and more competitions like Rumble at the Rock.. But we've already di
scussed all this..
So, how long does everyone else think our production time should be???
Eat, Sleep, Dream FIRST
Re: How long should production time be???
Posted by Fran .
Other on team #166, Team Merrimack, from Merrimack High School and Unitrode/R.S. Machines.
Posted on 7/23/99 8:44 PM MST
In Reply to: Re: How long should production time be??? posted by Jon on 7/23/99 12:25 PM MST:
Excellent idea..it's the first one that will keep the teams from just working til the longer deadline makes them ship the robot.
Admittedly this will be a most interesting site to visit.....especially if no one knows the shape of the objects either.
It certainly would give an opportunity to get part of the work out of the way though sometimes it does provide busy
work for those who watch but don't want to work on the robot...there are always some.
: I think that six weeks is fine as long as it's managed properly...
: If there was more time, i know that it'd just be used to create more stress and possibly waste more money. For those coaches and engineers who have families, it would just pull even more time away from their families so they could supervise properly. (Their efforts and sacrifices are greatly appreciated!)
: Sure for college students/engineers it's not too big of a deal, we're juggling course loads, FIRST, and jobs... but for the most part we're not attached to families just yet and we just suck our friends into the FIRST project anyways, so it's all good.
: Extra time could be useful... get more design time in, fix things just a little before you have to put the bot in the crates... you know, the little things.
: Time on the back end probably wouldn't be a good thing... Time on the front end, on the other hand, has some potential IMHO (in my humble opinion). Here's a WhatIf: What if we got the rules (or a summary) say a week before Kickoff (and the all important kit distribution. That would have to be used as brainstorming/design time because you couldn't build junk... well, you probably could build something... say the playing field or whatever the important doohickey is so that you're not spending manpower on that when it's crunch time...
: OK, I'VE GOT IT!!
: Release the drawings of the playing field a week or two before Kickoff, but nothing else. This place would go crazy as people try to figure out what it means and what the point is, but more importantly, teams could build it before the kits and full rules came back from NH. This would help smaller teams more than big teams because they wouldn't put manpower on the playing field that they could be using on the robot... but the mere existance of the playing field without an explanation would get people thinking about what it could be for. Just random thoughts uninhibited by the Big Book of Rules and Regulations... weird stuff could come of this...
Posted by Brandon Martus.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;[PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]
Other on team #47, Chief Delphi, from Pontiac Central High School and Delphi Automotive Systems.
Posted on 7/23/99 1:20 PM MST
In Reply to: How long should production time be??? posted by Kate on 7/22/99 11:46 AM MST:
I apologize for the mixup's on this thread.
(double messages, missing links, etc)
It should work now. (which is partly the purpose of this message-- to check)
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