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Andrew Rudolph
12-02-2013, 06:55 PM
Officially we are doing Robot in 3 Days again in 2014. More details to come on that later.

We want to know what you liked, disliked, want to see and any other feedback you can offer to us. Either post here, hit us up on Facebook, or tweet us @robotin3days

32 Days till Ri3d and a new season of FRC!

Jessica Boucher
12-02-2013, 06:56 PM
More cute baby.

yash101
12-02-2013, 06:57 PM
Man, I love you guys. Break a leg! :D I'll be watching! :D

geomapguy
12-02-2013, 07:05 PM
Officially we are doing Robot in 3 Days again in 2014. More details to come on that later.

We want to know what you liked, disliked, want to see and any other feedback you can offer to us. Either post here, hit us up on Facebook, or tweet us @robotin3days

32 Days till Ri3d and a new season of FRC!

You guys did some awesome stuff last year.

Looking forward to the new season and new Ri3Days

yash101
12-02-2013, 07:10 PM
You had made Mine, and many others' rookie year! Everyone LOVED it :D

Tom Line
12-02-2013, 07:14 PM
Officially we are doing Robot in 3 Days again in 2014. More details to come on that later.

We want to know what you liked, disliked, want to see and any other feedback you can offer to us. Either post here, hit us up on Facebook, or tweet us @robotin3days

32 Days till Ri3d and a new season of FRC!

Andrew, I attribute the extremely high level of play we saw out of rookies in 2013 directly to your efforts. We saw robots using your concepts at every regional we attended. We even saw them at the World Championship.

Frankly, it was a huge service to the entire FIRST community, and I think Robot in 3 Days is something FIRST as a organization should directly support through finances and resources.

BrendanB
12-02-2013, 07:20 PM
Andrew, I attribute the extremely high level of play we saw out of rookies in 2013 directly to your efforts. We saw robots using your concepts at every regional we attended. We even saw them at the World Championship.

Frankly, it was a huge service to the entire FIRST community, and I think Robot in 3 Days is something FIRST as a organization should directly support through finances and resources.

Can't agree more! While the game itself was aimed more at robots playing different roles over the common "master everything" that we have seen for years, I wholeheartedly agree that RI3D greatly contributed to the success seen by many teams!

Can't wait to see what you do this year!

Samwaldo
12-02-2013, 07:28 PM
We too used some of what we saw. One such thing was the use of the same 2 wheels.

As for Feedback...I loved the constant videos and kept waiting in anticipation for more. I understand that you have a robot to make so its a bit difficult to make more videos so possibly some high quality pictures or 10 second video clips would keep people informed of your process.

Andrew Lawrence
12-02-2013, 07:32 PM
I know you're limited on man power, but it would be great if you could document your first phase of prototyping, including what you thought of, how you ruled ideas out (and why), and why you chose the design you did. Your work last year greatly aided a ton of teams, but I know quite a few teams who did things "because Ri3D did it", and released documentation of your decision making through your prototyping and design could definitely help teach teams exactly WHY you made the decisions you did, and help them make more educated decisions for their teams.

TheMadCADer
12-02-2013, 07:35 PM
Like others have pointed out, your concepts were everywhere last season. Not full robot clones, but the concepts. Iterations had clearly been made, and many mechanisms were changed or swapped for others. Having a fully competitive robot ready in just 3 days is great for grabbing peoples' interest, but the real takeaway is the parts that make up that robot.

You also helped show teams a kind of strategy that is extremely under-utilized in FRC. Advocating for a simple and reliable design helped a lot of teams, especially since there was the allure of building a 30 point climber that wouldn't serve many teams well, being an "all-or-nothing" point scorer. Reliability is king in FRC, after all.

My feedback would be to focus a lot on all the prototypes you make, why they were designed the way they were, what does work, and what doesn't. Talk about the various strategies you see emerging in the game that year, and the merits of each. Prototyping and strategy are two of the hardest things for inexperienced students to learn, and last year you did a great job of teaching it.

Coach Norm
12-02-2013, 09:16 PM
You also helped show teams a kind of strategy that is extremely under-utilized in FRC. Advocating for a simple and reliable design helped a lot of teams, especially since there was the allure of building a 30 point climber that wouldn't serve many teams well, being an "all-or-nothing" point scorer. Reliability is king in FRC, after all.


I think reinforcing this concept to rookies and teams with little technical support or knowledge is a great takeaway from your efforts.

Steven Donow
12-02-2013, 09:47 PM
RI3D revolutionized FIRST last year.

One major change would be to include more of the brainstorming process in the videos you post during the build. As I look through the videos on your Youtube channel, there's really only one 2 minute video where you discuss game strategy.

Of course, this could all depend on the game next year and it could prove to be something not necessary next year (ie. the only idea in Ri3D to me upon the reveal that struck me, at the time, as an interesting decision was that, when building what is implied to be the MCC of the game, discs weren't picked up). Basing off 2012 and past games, it was a given that 3-point goals would be the primary scoring method and 30 point climbing was clear to be extremely difficult to implement.


typical jumbled thoughts from me while procrastinating on HW

wilsonmw04
12-02-2013, 10:04 PM
Officially we are doing Robot in 3 Days again in 2014. More details to come on that later.

We want to know what you liked, disliked, want to see and any other feedback you can offer to us. Either post here, hit us up on Facebook, or tweet us @robotin3days

32 Days till Ri3d and a new season of FRC!

Greetings,

I think you are doing a great service for FRC and FIRST in general. My question for you is: what can we do to help you out this year? Let me know and folks will bend over backwards to help you out.

Oblarg
12-02-2013, 10:04 PM
I'd definitely advocate making your brainstorming/design sessions more visible, as that's something a lot of us could use improving on. It'd be nice to see how exactly you handle downselecting from a large pool of ideas to a single design - that's always been tough, in my experience.

Micah Chetrit
12-02-2013, 10:10 PM
I know you're limited on man power, but it would be great if you could document your first phase of prototyping, including what you thought of, how you ruled ideas out (and why), and why you chose the design you did. Your work last year greatly aided a ton of teams, but I know quite a few teams who did things "because Ri3D did it", and released documentation of your decision making through your prototyping and design could definitely help teach teams exactly WHY you made the decisions you did, and help them make more educated decisions for their teams.

I second this.

You did a great job last year, keep it up!

Pault
12-02-2013, 10:22 PM
A lot of people are requesting that they go more into the design process, but I'm not too sure that is a great idea. Remember that they are building a robot in 3 days, so for them the general design phase is probably about 1 day long. There is no way that you could hold a proper discussion with things like weighted objective tables and solid, methodical analyzation of the game, plus prototyping in that type of time frame. These guys are experienced mentors who know enough about FRC to look at the game and figure out the MCC without too much difficulty or mulling over how things will play out. And that is perfectly fine for their purposes, but do we really want them to set this example for inexperienced teams?

swwrobotics
12-02-2013, 10:24 PM
I'm crying. The fact that you're doing robot in 3 days this year is enough of an improvement. But maybe this year include more about the preparation that went into getting everything for the robot.

Steven Donow
12-02-2013, 10:35 PM
A lot of people are requesting that they go more into the design process, but I'm not too sure that is a great idea. Remember that they are building a robot in 3 days, so for them the general design phase is probably about 1 day long. There is no way that you could hold a proper discussion with things like weighted objective tables and solid, methodical analyzation of the game, plus prototyping in that type of time frame. These guys are experienced mentors who know enough about FRC to look at the game and figure out the MCC without too much difficulty or mulling over how things will play out. And that is perfectly fine for their purposes, but do we really want them to set this example for inexperienced teams?

This is part of what I was trying to say at the end of my post; the value in adding this depends on the game compared to previous games. Scoringwise, 2013 was very similar to 2012. I'd even argue that there are similarities with 2011 also.

Now, a game like 2008 where there were a relatively larger amount of ways to score goals (lapbots, laps while holding trackball, sending trackball over rack; ie. a much grey-er area as to what the MCC is) could see value in going more into analysis. Also, my limited knowledge of strategy towards 2004 and 2005 makes me feel like those are the types of games that would see benefits in this.

ttldomination
12-03-2013, 12:00 AM
We want to know what you liked, disliked, want to see and any other feedback you can offer to us. Either post here, hit us up on Facebook, or tweet us @robotin3days

So, having never really seen something like Ri3D happen, it's hard for me to provide good criticism. Last year, there really wasn't anything that made me go, "I wish they had done that differently."

Personally, I'd like to see more of the process. I loved the occasional videos, but if you want to, you could do a lot more to bring people into the process.

Consider bringing on board a media manager that will spend three days documenting, logging, and releasing more regular videos. It may very well be over the top, but a log of what you guys are thinking every 2-3 hours would be helpful, and it would let people in FRC not only follow along, but even provide some feedback.

Just a thought,
- Sunny G.

DampRobot
12-03-2013, 12:07 AM
I'd love to see a more in depth analysis about what kind of strategies this type of robot would employ in a match. IE, how many points actual drivers could score in a practice match, how it would play around defense (including a bot actually playing defense on it), etc.

As everyone else has said already, fantastic job, and I'm really excited that it will be continuing next year.

cmrnpizzo14
12-03-2013, 12:33 AM
I like the idea of documenting strategies but I hope that it encourages more designs besides your final one. It was fantastic how many teams elevated their play this year by using the RI3D design but I felt at times that competitions were slightly over-saturated with bots like yours.

I would have loved to see more teams really nail the 50 pt. climb (not that it was easy) or more niche style robots like the fanbot. I like a bit more variety than constant cycling I guess.

What you did last year was phenomenal and if you end up stuck and can't figure out a good idea of what to do differently then don't hesitate to just fall back on what you did last year. It gave so many teams a taste of success that they hadn't experienced before. That is the epitome of inspiration. Great job, keep it up this year.

Mark Sheridan
12-03-2013, 01:09 AM
I like the way it is, if any thing there needs to be more exposure. If the video links can sent out in a FIRST email, then that would be the biggest improvement.

Libby K
12-03-2013, 01:34 AM
Consider bringing on board a media manager that will spend three days documenting, logging, and releasing more regular videos. It may very well be over the top, but a log of what you guys are thinking every 2-3 hours would be helpful, and it would let people in FRC not only follow along, but even provide some feedback.

Just a thought,
- Sunny G.

This is a good point. That could help you bring more attention to the design process as people are requesting.

If the video links can sent out in a FIRST email, then that would be the biggest improvement.

FIRST tends not to promote non-official media - if only for the principle of fairness. Why give someone's show a free promotion when there are others? Sadly, it means that some community resources are well-kept secrets.

I think ri3d is a really interesting take on the FIRST challenge. Excited to see all the different media that'll be happening this season. Documenting the build season and design process is starting to catch on, and I'm a big fan.

George1902
12-03-2013, 11:24 AM
Two things that I can think of would really add to the show this year.

First, it takes three days to build the robot, but MONTHS of planning go into it. I'd love to see an introductory feature on how you guys prepared for this year. What you learned from last year, where you'll build, who's on the team this year, what equipment and parts you've assembled in advance, etc.

Second, I don't remember if you had some sort of countdown timer last year. I think you did. What would be neat is if you correlated "Ri3D time" to "FRC time." You guys have 3 days, we have 6 weeks. So, every 12 hours for you is like a week for us. Some sort of live reminder of that fact would help keep everything in context. I suggest miketwalker ringing a cow bell every 12 hours and screaming "End of week 1!! Beginning of week 2!!!! WOOOHOO!!!11!one!" Or something.

Pendulum^-1
12-03-2013, 11:48 AM
Ri3D was the most important single innovation in FIRST for 2013. Period.

Your prototypes and demonstrations made a HUGE difference in improving the performance of teams across the spectrum. Having more teams able to do the basics of the challenges helps keep teams in FIRST.

Thank you.

I really look forward to Ri3D for 2014.

Lil' Lavery
12-03-2013, 12:40 PM
Don't post anything until week 2. It was really frustrating trying to break the students on my team out of just proposing RI3D variants with regards to shooting a frisbee during brainstorming last year. Sometimes seeing something that works ends up creating tunnel vision during the brainstorming and design processes.

wilsonmw04
12-03-2013, 12:48 PM
Don't post anything until week 2. It was really frustrating trying to break the students on my team out of just proposing RI3D variants with regards to shooting a frisbee during brainstorming last year. Sometimes seeing something that works ends up creating tunnel vision during the brainstorming and design processes.

I disagree. We took their design as: this is going to be the baseline of what every team is going to have. What do we need to do to make it that much better?

Having it early was great motivation for my team.

Akash Rastogi
12-03-2013, 12:49 PM
Don't post anything until week 2. It was really frustrating trying to break the students on my team out of just proposing RI3D variants with regards to shooting a frisbee during brainstorming last year. Sometimes seeing something that works ends up creating tunnel vision during the brainstorming and design processes.

I could see this happening on most teams. Tunnel vision can definitely be a problem in FRC in general, even when it isn't caused by videos from other teams such as Ri3D. Maybe teams should discuss this topic with their students prior to the start of build season, and talk about how to minimize tunnel vision on the team. Many teams benefited from using RI3D design features, but maybe a video from RI3D in December could include a message to students and mentors about continuing to use their videos as just another guide, instead of a be-all end-all solution to the game. Teams need to discuss on their own what they plan to do with the information they gather from these videos. Will they build on top of them, or will they just copy the majority of the design?


Other than that, I think the videos were great for FRC. I noticed a difference in MAR along with a few robots that had similar designs as Ri3D.

Anupam Goli
12-03-2013, 12:51 PM
Don't post anything until week 2. It was really frustrating trying to break the students on my team out of just proposing RI3D variants with regards to shooting a frisbee during brainstorming last year. Sometimes seeing something that works ends up creating tunnel vision during the brainstorming and design processes.

While this is true, for some teams it took the entire 6 weeks to design and fabricate a bot that was similar to the Ri3D. It should stay as it is: a baseline design to do a simple task in the game that gets the ball rolling for teams who are having trouble or need some inspiration for a design.

Michael Corsetto
12-03-2013, 01:20 PM
Don't post anything until week 2. It was really frustrating trying to break the students on my team out of just proposing RI3D variants with regards to shooting a frisbee during brainstorming last year. Sometimes seeing something that works ends up creating tunnel vision during the brainstorming and design processes.

If you don't like it, don't look at it. Tell your kids not to go on CD for 2 weeks. RI3D aren't the only people posting prototype videos. Did you see the google search trends for "frisbee shooter video" right after kickoff? People want this information, and they're smart to go find it. Maybe you should take a closer look at your design process instead?

I go to CD during build to ask questions, answer questions, and skim the best ideas from the CD community. RI3D helps me do that, and is another reason why I am invested in this community.

Steal from the best, invent the rest.

-Mike

Akash Rastogi
12-03-2013, 02:12 PM
If you don't like it, don't look at it. Tell your kids not to go on CD for 2 weeks. RI3D aren't the only people posting prototype videos. Did you see the google search trends for "frisbee shooter video" right after kickoff? People want this information, and they're smart to go find it. Maybe you should take a closer look at your design process instead?

I go to CD during build to ask questions, answer questions, and skim the best ideas from the CD community. RI3D helps me do that, and is another reason why I am invested in this community.

Steal from the best, invent the rest.

-Mike

Like I said in my previous post, and as you mentioned, teams should discuss how they want to utilize outside information on their own.

Michael Corsetto
12-03-2013, 02:26 PM
Like I said in my previous post, and as you mentioned, teams should discuss how they want to utilize outside information on their own.

Agreed! However, your post (before you editted it) clearly mentioned being in favor of a delayed RI3D release. I am of the persuasion that if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

-Mike

EDIT: Keep doing what you're doing RI3D! One suggestion, maybe use the kit-bot DT this year? Might encourage more teams, especially veterans, to consider using the kit-bot rather than building their own failing DT.

Akash Rastogi
12-03-2013, 02:36 PM
Agreed! However, your post (before you editted it) clearly mentioned being in favor of a delayed RI3D release. I am of the persuasion that if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

-Mike

EDIT: Keep doing what you're doing RI3D! One suggestion, maybe use the kit-bot DT this year? Might encourage more teams, especially veterans, to consider using the kit-bot rather than building their own failing DT.

I was trying to show I understood where Sean's opinion was coming from, and stated that releasing the videos on Wednesday wouldn't be such a bad idea. I was agreeing that tunnel vision from these videos can be a problem, but realized after your post that it is no different from what happens from any other prototyping video on youtube, CD, etc. As you said very bluntly, the information should be out there just like other team videos are, and each team should decide on it's own how to deal with it.

Edit - I do like Michael's idea of using the Kitbot on Steroids, but it is understandable if you guys would prefer using IR3 Creative products to make a drivetrain instead. Using a Kitbot would also require purchasing one beforehand, but since the new Kitbot from AndyMark won't be available until after Kickoff, that won't be an option.

Gary Dillard
12-03-2013, 02:50 PM
Can you build it during the 3 days before kickoff this year? :yikes:

techhelpbb
12-03-2013, 03:17 PM
The upside of the RI3D build is that you can get a feel for any surprises with the game components without having to expend that energy yourself.

I can certainly see how teams might not have tunnel vision as much as limited resources to mess around and find their own way.

There's a saying among hackers: code wins arguments

If your team is hyper-focusing on the RI3D design then your team should take a good review of how that happens internally. There are many reasons why any team will just accept a solution. This is not to say that the RI3D design is flawed in any way but part of being an engineer is to be able to speak up against detractors and also to be able to accept that there may be problems with what you advocate as well. How one does that is often an art and a significant effort. Wrap that up in some politics and sometimes the best idea is just not the one everyone agrees on. Whatever the reason for the design choices one should not hold accountable the people that give their ideas away for basically free. The right way to work out a design is not by censoring potentially valuable information from the design process. That's a political fix that covers a fault somewhere in the process.

Oblarg
12-03-2013, 04:09 PM
Steal from the best, invent the rest.

This is a very wise design philosophy.

Tunnel vision is bad, sure. Reinventing the wheel is worse.

Ryan Dognaux
12-03-2013, 04:33 PM
I think Ri3D was the biggest factor in raising last season's competitiveness among all teams. I would say don't change a thing, unless you want to put out even more awesome video updates.

It'd be great to see more teams being as open about their build season as Ri3D is. Just think how much everyone could learn if there were hundreds of open build seasons being documented even half as well as Ri3D's is documented.

Navid Shafa
12-03-2013, 05:47 PM
Andrew, I attribute the extremely high level of play we saw out of rookies in 2013 directly to your efforts. We saw robots using your concepts at every regional we attended.

I definitely think it's a useful tool for raising the overall level of competition. It hopefully helps rookie teams identify simple and effective systems that allow them to play the game at a competitive level.

I also think it's an extremely helpful tool for Veterans. It's being produced at a critical time when many teams are still going over rules, discussing strategy and identifying goals. I think seeing refined prototypes and concepts interact with the game pieces is something that everyone can benefit from. Last year, I felt it was really helpful to see how size and storage space would play a factor in the game.

I'll definitely tune in again. My only feedback would be to have an overlay on the stream. Often the view is of people working, without any talking. I understand they are pressed for time, but if somebody tunes in, it would be nice to know what component(s) they are currently working on. Or where they are in the overall process. It wouldn't have to be much, something simple like "Working on Collector Parts" or "Assembling Lifter Assembly".

Thanks for doing what you do!

Tom Line
12-03-2013, 06:55 PM
Robot in 3 days provided us a baseline of where everyone would be. It also gave us confidence that when a particular mechanism didn't work, we'd have a fallback that was already proven. You guys were the prototypers for all of FIRST.

I'd like to see you live-stream the whole thing with audio. Most streaming sites allow replays so people could watch the entire thing at their leisure.

Siri
12-03-2013, 09:55 PM
FIRST tends not to promote non-official media - if only for the principle of fairness. Why give someone's show a free promotion when there are others? Sadly, it means that some community resources are well-kept secrets.

I think ri3d is a really interesting take on the FIRST challenge. Excited to see all the different media that'll be happening this season. Documenting the build season and design process is starting to catch on, and I'm a big fan.On the topic of accessing a broader audience, I have no idea what they'd say, but Ri3D might consider reaching out to Andy and Mark. It's still not FIRST-wide, but their mailing list probably spreads past active CD viewers. They sent blasts out this year listing off-season events, so there's some precedent for unofficial promotions. Similarly check in with the Senior Mentor network--they tend to know where the struggling rookies are in their area.

I agree that broader access would be the biggest way to improve impact. Everything else last year was great (not that some suggestions here aren't also good), and I think it really is the biggest widespread competitive boost since the kitbot. Absolutely awesome job guys. You're really doing a huge service to the community.

cmrnpizzo14
12-03-2013, 10:03 PM
Could you possibly set up a Vine account for this? I know many tests that we do rarely last 7 seconds. You could post one showing wheels moving, a frisbee being fired, the lift working, etc... It would be a quick and easy way to release information in between the actual video updates that you guys do.

BBray_T1296
12-03-2013, 10:59 PM
Can you build it during the 3 days before kickoff this year? :yikes: How is that possible?

yash101
12-03-2013, 11:02 PM
How is that possible?

Magic is one option :D
FRC gave them the game early is another option :D
Typo. That is another option :D

colin340
12-04-2013, 06:52 AM
Don't post anything until week 2. It was really frustrating trying to break the students on my team out of just proposing RI3D variants with regards to shooting a frisbee during brainstorming last year. Sometimes seeing something that works ends up creating tunnel vision during the brainstorming and design processes.

I'm with Lavery on this one, hold off until week 2 so crazy fringe ideas and non-conventional strategies have time to grow legs. it's hard for super unpolished ideas to be debated against polished, proven, videotaped ideas.

RI3D I appreciate the passion you have for pushing first to a higher level I'm just concerned that too much of this in week one will lead to incredibly uniform robots and strategies.

Invictus3593
12-04-2013, 09:00 AM
You guys helped out SO many teams this past year, including ours and I look forward to seeing it happen again.

I would definitely like to second the notion(s) of showing more of the design/brainstorming process. I know that when we were rookies, design was something we didn't exactly know how to effectively do and I think watching you guys do it would give other rookies an idea of how it's supposed to go and how to rule out options that would take away from the overall quality of their bot.

Steven Donow
12-04-2013, 09:52 AM
I'm with Lavery on this one, hold off until week 2 so crazy fringe ideas and non-conventional strategies have time to grow legs. it's hard for super unpolished ideas to be debated against polished, proven, videotaped ideas.

RI3D I appreciate the passion you have for pushing first to a higher level I'm just concerned that too much of this in week one will lead to incredibly uniform robots and strategies.

The "dillema" I see with pushing Ri3D back from Kickoff weekend is then, in some ways, it's not truly a "Robot in 3 Days" from a design standpoint. I don't see any way that, if the Ri3D team is exposed to the game prior to starting the 3 days, that they'd NOT be thinking about what to do.


Some could argue that this would be good, giving the team more time to develop what they're defining as the MCC(if upper-level MCC is what Ri3D intends to make), but on the other hand, it defeats the intent of Ri3D(if I'm interpreting their intent properly) of being, "build season in 3 days".

Also a possible downside to not exposing your team to Ri3D until later in the season is, what if, upon seeing that what Ri3D does is drastically different than how your team interpreted the game, your team feels as though they've been doing the game "wrong", thus possibly derailling the design process even further.

Lil' Lavery
12-04-2013, 11:05 AM
They could still do the project over the first three days of build season, but simply not post the results online until later on (midway through week 1 or week 2). That would also give them time to prepare plenty of supporting documentation and fully explain their processes and iterations.

My gripe doesn't only necessarily come from my team, though I used it as an example. How many non-wheeled frisbee shooters did you see last year? I only know of 1024 and 1503. Everyone else was using the wheeled launcher design. I don't know of a single Nerf-inspired frisbee "flicker" or rotating arm flinger. I know a handful of teams took the time to prototype other concepts and didn't like their results, but the bulk of teams went immediately into the wheeled shooter concept demonstrated by RI3D.

Don't take my comments to mean I don't like RI3D, but I think delaying the release some could lead to more variety across FRC. The right-after-kickoff nature of the project leads to a tremendous amount of influence over FRC teams, perhaps an unhealthy amount so. I recognize the potential to allow it to help raise the bar of many mid-level teams, but I also don't want it to be used as a crutch.

techhelpbb
12-04-2013, 11:17 AM
Don't take my comments to mean I don't like RI3D, but I think delaying the release some could lead to more variety across FRC. The right-after-kickoff nature of the project leads to a tremendous amount of influence over FRC teams, perhaps an unhealthy amount so. I recognize the potential to allow it to help raise the bar of many mid-level teams, but I also don't want it to be used as a crutch.

Has anyone considered the decade of FIRST before RI3D?
What is the data to support the idea that the RI3D was even the influence?
How do we know it's not just that the use of the Frisbee are the cause?

Not being argumentative, just curious to see the supporting evidence.

James1902
12-04-2013, 11:21 AM
I think the argument could be made that we would have seen a majority of wheeled shooters this past season even if Ri3D didn't happen. It was the most efficient way most teams could shoot discs and there were already a number of videos showing the concept posted from non-FIRST related projects before kickoff.

Oblarg
12-04-2013, 11:49 AM
They could still do the project over the first three days of build season, but simply not post the results online until later on (midway through week 1 or week 2). That would also give them time to prepare plenty of supporting documentation and fully explain their processes and iterations.

My gripe doesn't only necessarily come from my team, though I used it as an example. How many non-wheeled frisbee shooters did you see last year? I only know of 1024 and 1503. Everyone else was using the wheeled launcher design. I don't know of a single Nerf-inspired frisbee "flicker" or rotating arm flinger. I know a handful of teams took the time to prototype other concepts and didn't like their results, but the bulk of teams went immediately into the wheeled shooter concept demonstrated by RI3D.

I do not see this as a bad thing, necessarily. Cribbing designs that work is an essential part of good engineering.

Delaying the release of Ri3D information would remove a very, very important early resource for inexperienced teams. I do not think the marginal benefit of a possible increase in robot variety (I'm not entirely convinced of the magnitude of this effect on well-established teams, at any rate - I know 449 prototyped a very wide variety of designs) compares to the utility of having that information out there for teams which it benefits greatly.

Anecdotally, I know for a fact that 4464 would not have had the success we did last year without Ri3D. We had a working shooter prototype by the second weekend - it was the only prototype mechanism we were able to build, due to budgetary constraints. Without Ri3D, we would not have had a tested, feasible design to attempt, and as a team we simply could not afford to try things which we did not know would work.

Spatel7793
12-04-2013, 12:15 PM
If you guys want to have a completed robot, I suggest just focusing on building the actual robot and less about the videos. Honestly, if you want to share, vine vids are a quick way to do so, coupled with tweets. Quick, simple, and you're not wasting manpower by sitting in front of a computer, dealing with setup for your stream and whatnot.

Honestly, I think Ri3D is a good concept, and while I don't endorse copying other peoples' designs, it is definitely a good place to start. There were definitely a good amount of rookies who seemed to know what they were doing whereas previous years, a "turtle bot" was the way to go to show that you could at least drive. Definitely made the game more interesting.

Once again, not saying anyone copied directly (because wheel based shooters hands down were probably the best way to go with this game).
There were plenty of changes that would have been made to Ri3D's design.

Didn't read through all the comments, but I saw that someone mentioned to release the footage sometime at the end of week 1 or week 2. I agree with this. It gives teams time to think about how they want to approach the problem themselves, and Ri3D would just be either another way of looking at it, or a way of executing it.

In summation: I think Ri3D is a great event. Building the robot would be more efficient with tweets and vines during the project and releasing a final documentary style video later.

Michael Corsetto
12-04-2013, 01:03 PM
My gripe doesn't only necessarily come from my team, though I used it as an example. How many non-wheeled frisbee shooters did you see last year? I only know of 1024 and 1503. Everyone else was using the wheeled launcher design. I don't know of a single Nerf-inspired frisbee "flicker" or rotating arm flinger. I know a handful of teams took the time to prototype other concepts and didn't like their results, but the bulk of teams went immediately into the wheeled shooter concept demonstrated by RI3D.

I see your point about how RI3D could limit variety in design. However, how many non-wheeled shooters did we see in 2012, the pre-RI3D era? I can think of 16 and was it 1523? Also a team from Israel used a tennis racket. That's all I can think of, maybe I'm missing a ton. Can we really say RI3D was to blame for lack in shooter variety?

A lot of teams used 2006 and 2009 as their base for designing their 2012 bot. I know the frisbee was a new game element, but like James said, there were already videos of wheeled frisbee shooters online, and more videos from other FRC teams by the end of week 1. It seems like whatever is out there, teams will use. If not RI3D, something else.

In your team's design process, are you against looking at online videos/testing/data, and instead rely mostly on in-house designs? Or is that your goal at least? Sounds like RI3D was a point of contention/frustration in your team's design process last year. Just curious.

Don't take my comments to mean I don't like RI3D, but I think delaying the release some could lead to more variety across FRC. The right-after-kickoff nature of the project leads to a tremendous amount of influence over FRC teams, perhaps an unhealthy amount so. I recognize the potential to allow it to help raise the bar of many mid-level teams, but I also don't want it to be used as a crutch.

You use a certain set of skills by ignoring outside data and brute forcing through a problem yourself. You use another set of skills by blindly copying what is available on the internet. You use another set of skills by taking outside data, synthesizing it, and utilizing the data to improve your designs.

Some would call using RI3D a crutch. Some would call it smart. I fall with those in the second camp. But then again, I'm a terrible engineer and copy everyone else all the time :)

-Mike

Joe Ross
12-04-2013, 01:45 PM
Right now, Robot in 3 Days is a powerful marketing tool to showcase the rapid prototyping products made by iR3 Creative Engineering and the other sponsors. With the robot done in 3 days, teams can see all the cool products used, and still have time to purchase them and use them to prototype their robot this year. If a delayed release was done, teams wouldn't have chance to design those products into the current year's robot.

Mr_K
12-04-2013, 01:49 PM
As a 15-year participant in FIRST I am impressed with "Robot in 3 Days" ability to product a robot as they do.

I am sadden to see all the FIRST students viewing their site wanting to copy this concept instead of having to think to develop their on their own robot concept. I thought the purpose of FIRST was to show students HOW TO apply STEM in their thought process.

Giving student the answer up front does not really help them to think outside the box.

I do agree that many new teams and teams with limited technical support and resources find what is presented as a "God sent". I will agree it is.

I would like to see the "Robot in 3 Days" roll some STEM into their presentation so students can see how and why the robot was built the way is was.

Lil' Lavery
12-04-2013, 01:54 PM
I see your point about how RI3D could limit variety in design. However, how many non-wheeled shooters did we see in 2012, the pre-RI3D era? I can think of 16 and was it 1523? Also a team from Israel used a tennis racket. That's all I can think of, maybe I'm missing a ton. Can we really say RI3D was to blame for lack in shooter variety?

A lot of teams used 2006 and 2009 as their base for designing their 2012 bot. I know the frisbee was a new game element, but like James said, there were already videos of wheeled frisbee shooters online, and more videos from other FRC teams by the end of week 1. It seems like whatever is out there, teams will use. If not RI3D, something else.
I remember at least a couple catapult or other weird launcher designs at each event I went to in 2006 and 2009. One of my alliance partners at Peachtree in 2006, 1139, used a pneumatic piston to launch balls (they also made it to Einstein that year). 384 and 1086 both built catapults in 2009, and faced each other in the finals at VCU.

2012 saw less, that's for sure. 16 and 2474 are the most notable I can think of in terms of shooting from the key (and 2474 had a wheeled shooter for barrier shots). But we still did see plenty of "dumping" and "dunking" mechanisms for 2-pt shots that didn't rely on wheeled shooting. I was hoping to see more mechanisms specially crafted to score on, say, the pyramid goal (like 1024). Wheeled shooters were likely the optimum design for the "cycling" and full court shooting robots, but there were other strategies that would have suited other shooting mechanisms that were left mostly unexplored.


In your team's design process, are you against looking at online videos/testing/data, and instead rely mostly on in-house designs? Or is that your goal at least? Sounds like RI3D was a point of contention/frustration in your team's design process last year. Just curious.
No, not in the least. But, like most good teams, we want to arrive at a design driven by our approach to game strategy and consider all opportunities. Outside influence is very important in our design process, but it's not the initial step. Thus the immediate release of RI3D tainted our brainstorming process some, with a large portion of it almost immediately following along those lines (aside of a couple wacky climber ideas that almost certainly wouldn't have worked). It wasn't at all a point of contention or frustration for the team as a whole, but it didn't allow for pure design brainstorming as much as I would have liked. Research has a lot of value in engineering design, but it can also stifle creativity if timed poorly.


You use a certain set of skills by ignoring outside data and brute forcing through a problem yourself. You use another set of skills by blindly copying what is available on the internet. You use another set of skills by taking outside data, synthesizing it, and utilizing the data to improve your designs.

Some would call using RI3D a crutch. Some would call it smart. I fall with those in the second camp. But then again, I'm a terrible engineer and copy everyone else all the time :)
I didn't mean to say that RI3D was a crutch to every team, but it is certainly a crutch to many. If used responsibly it can be beneficial with minimal side effects, but that is not always the case.

AdamHeard
12-04-2013, 02:00 PM
I think the potential distraction to established teams is a minor side effect that is well worth the huge potential gain for newer teams and teams without mentors.

We can all idealize and say teams should follow a perfect design process that is posted in presentations, but many teams have no mentors, no experience, etc... If they get a functional scoring machine because they copied Ri3D then that's AWESOME. That certainly puts them in a better place, both in terms of experience and morale, to grow for the future than a robot that just drives.

In summary, release it as early as possible.

Ryan Dognaux
12-04-2013, 02:06 PM
We can all idealize and say teams should follow a perfect design process that is posted in presentations, but many teams have no mentors, no experience, etc... If they get a functional scoring machine because they copied Ri3D then that's AWESOME. That certainly puts them in a better place, both in terms of experience and morale, to grow for the future than a robot that just drives.

This x1000. I think we forget just how many teams would show up to regionals with maybe a running drive base a few years ago. I saw much less of this last year and I think Ri3D was the primary factor in this. Release everything as you did last year and if teams don't want to be influenced by it then they should just not view it.

techtiger1
12-04-2013, 02:11 PM
Life was better without all the COTS stuff out there. This forced teams to actually design and think as well as budget for a robot. Now I feel like teams do certain things because they already know it works or have it on hand. The idea of bringing up each teams level of play is just putting it nicely. We all know who the great teams are and at the end of the day, they just want more capable robots to choose from in alliance selection in the second round. Robot in three days is awesome, they should keep it up, and can/ will release the robot whenever they feel like it.

Ryan Dognaux
12-04-2013, 02:21 PM
Life was better without all the COTS stuff out there.

You and I have very different definitions of better. I like knowing that I can integrate an existing gearbox into our mechanism and have confidence that it will just work. It lets us spend more time designing and iterating our mechanisms instead of designing a gearbox to properly power it. This is only one example, but if we can use COTS parts, we probably will. Time is the most valuable resource during build season.

AdamHeard
12-04-2013, 02:22 PM
Life was better without all the COTS stuff out there. This forced teams to actually design and think as well as budget for a robot. Now I feel like teams do certain things because they already know it works or have it on hand. The idea of bringing up each teams level of play is just putting it nicely. We all know who the great teams are and at the end of the day, they just want more capable robots to choose from in alliance selection in the second round. Robot in three days is awesome, they should keep it up, and can/ will release the robot whenever they feel like it.

I'm not sure what point you're really making. That COTS items are bad? That good teams only want other teams to be good so they can serve themselves by picking better teams?

Paul Copioli
12-04-2013, 02:23 PM
I was personally inspired by the RI3D project. I think they set a very lofty goal for themselves and achieved it. This was a very risky endeavor, yet they did it anyway and the FRC community benefited from it greatly.

Although my team is a veteran team, the new students often don't really have much to contribute and they stay quiet during design discussions. However, this year, they we referencing the RI3D videos and stating how things can be improved over what they saw.

At MSC, you saw many of the ideas presented during RI3D on really competitive robots. MSC is always really competitive, but the field was much, much deeper this year and I think RI3D had something to do with that.

I look forward to what RI3D and others come up with this year.

techhelpbb
12-04-2013, 02:40 PM
You and I have very different definitions of better. I like knowing that I can integrate an existing gearbox into our mechanism and have confidence that it will just work. It lets us spend more time designing and iterating our mechanisms instead of designing a gearbox to properly power it. This is only one example, but if we can use COTS parts, we probably will. Time is the most valuable resource during build season.

It's nice that the COTS parts allow a team to avoid, for example, buying the expensive tools to hob their own gears. In reality through COTS engineers stand on the shoulders of their peers to reach lofty goals faster.

COTS does have the downside of making people think they can't do better and that I do not agree with. There are often specific usage cases where better is possible. Still I don't personally think FIRST can achieve their goal without COTS. After all they provide the National Instruments control systems COTS. I can't see FIRST saying they'll provide no control system and expecting the result to fully comply with their engineering standards.

In the early days of Team 11 I bootstrapped their programming by basically writing all the code myself. There were no programming classes offered to the students. There was no time during build system to make it work otherwise. In 1998 I wrote part of the code. Had 1 computer donated to the school with no network. Today I do not write *any* of the code that runs a Team 11 robot and I often do not even look at the finished product. I trust the students and their student mentors to deliver and only involve myself in the rare moments I think a serious problem is developing and I can help. I can't say that providing my skills in programming COTS did not end up with the results we desired it just bought the time required (yes I view myself as a component of a process).

The only time I get concerned is when 'this is how we always did this' overrides good clean sense.
COTS ideas and products can make your team very comfortable and keep them from evolving but that's an internal issue.

BBray_T1296
12-04-2013, 03:56 PM
Here is the benefit I see from this: these guys go out and prototype things for everyone to see and view. It is completely open source. We can see what ideas they tried and what didn't work (like using a KOP wheel) why should everybody have to fail at the same idea and waste everyone's time, when these guys will go out and prove an even better design.

For veteran teams, we know that prototyping is critical. But for a young rookie team, they might not think of the prototyping phase as high of a priority. This resource does the prototyping for them, and everyone for that matter. I do not see it as unfair or cheating because it is out there for everyone to learn from.

I think some people are mad because they do not like that they had less of an absolute domination over rookie teams this year. They also might against the Ri3d because it was not a resource they had as a rookie, so why should anyone else get it. I am certainly not pointing a finger at anybody, but if these are the reasons for your objection, FIRST is not the organization for you.

Just my 2 cents. or 3.

Akash Rastogi
12-04-2013, 04:02 PM
I think some people are mad because they do not like that they had less of an absolute domination over rookie teams this year.

I don't think anyone is mad, or even close to that upset.

Tom Line
12-04-2013, 04:07 PM
Life was better without all the COTS stuff out there. This forced teams to actually design and think as well as budget for a robot. Now I feel like teams do certain things because they already know it works or have it on hand. The idea of bringing up each teams level of play is just putting it nicely. We all know who the great teams are and at the end of the day, they just want more capable robots to choose from in alliance selection in the second round. Robot in three days is awesome, they should keep it up, and can/ will release the robot whenever they feel like it.

I'm afraid I would have to strenuously disagree with this statement. Very few high school teams had the machining capability or knowledge to design effect components. If the objective of FIRST is to become widespread, then making it easier for teams to enter the sport is very desirable. Our rookie team in 1998, in the era of 'small parts' spent more time trying to create effective gearboxes to do what we needed that we did actually working on robot design. Back then, just getting a robot that drove well was a large accomplishment.

Tom Line
12-04-2013, 04:09 PM
I think some people are mad because they do not like that they had less of an absolute domination over rookie teams this year. They also might against the Ri3d because it was not a resource they had as a rookie, so why should anyone else get it. I am certainly not pointing a finger at anybody, but if these are the reasons for your objection, FIRST is not the organization for you.

I have not seen anything that supports that conclusion, in this thread or out of it.

techhelpbb
12-04-2013, 05:04 PM
Our rookie team in 1998, in the era of 'small parts' spent more time trying to create effective gearboxes to do what we needed that we did actually working on robot design. Back then, just getting a robot that drove well was a large accomplishment.

Hey I miss the days of removing the carpet with the wheels welded to the drill motor outputs :ahh: and the soon to be former RC car speed control meltdowns. Even the coupler we used in 1998 was something I drew in EasyCAD and we sent off to be made outside the team because there was no chance of doing work like that in the school shop. Even then it was painfully apparent that with a schedule this short there were just things we had no time to do.

I agree the goal here is to educate. Sometimes the education is priorities and compromise. Ultimately we all hope to be good enough to have the tools and the process to knock out everything within that deadline. FIRST can not get there all-at-once when the rest of the world only sees the robot as a whole and is funding toward that goal. So I suspect we all be forever in a state of yearly expansion of capability which, with commitment, is manageable.

Barry Bonzack
12-04-2013, 05:47 PM
So, every 12 hours for you is like a week for us. Some sort of live reminder of that fact would help keep everything in context. I suggest miketwalker ringing a cow bell every 12 hours and screaming "End of week 1!! Beginning of week 2!!!! WOOOHOO!!!11!one!" Or something.

Why do I imagine Mike Walker hovering over Dan and Andrew sleeping in their beds yelling "8 hours has gone by, you slept through the majority of week 2!"

Oblarg
12-04-2013, 05:57 PM
We all know who the great teams are and at the end of the day, they just want more capable robots to choose from in alliance selection in the second round.

...What? Am I reading this wrong, or is the implication that the only value you think people see in having easy, workable CotS solutions for teams with limited means is that it allows "great teams" to pick better robots for eliminations?

Because, if so, that's a pretty lousy/insulting thing to say. Do you think that teams that rely on workable CotS parts to field a functional robot can't be "great teams?" Or that those teams somehow ought not to be able to field a good robot? I hope not.

magnets
12-04-2013, 06:06 PM
Life was better without all the COTS stuff out there. This forced teams to actually design and think as well as budget for a robot..

This is not true. I feel as if you probably weren't too involved with FIRST back when teams ordered parts from the small parts catalog. Back then, you could have a team capable of designing an extremely successful robot, but unable to do so because they don't have the manufacturing capability. More veteran teams with good manufacturing abilities would be able to manufacture stuff from stock material, where rookies and smaller teams wouldn't be able to acquire that 26 tooth aluminum sprocket. (I think it was 71 who made their own nylon sprockets so they wouldn't waste the limited number of small parts sprockets on low power applications).

mlantry
12-04-2013, 06:12 PM
This discussion seems to be getting more and more negative when it is supposed to provide feedback to RI3D so why don't we try and keep it filled with feedback about RI3D not about people using COTS components.

Personally I very much enjoyed watching and learning things from robot in three days. I saw many teams with effective shooters and I think that they helped to make that happen. One thing that would be nice that was mentioned perviously would be more videos posted to youtube because i loved watching their videos but their weren't enough of them for my tastes.

techtiger1
12-04-2013, 07:11 PM
I didn't mean to take away anything from this thread I just heard the complaining/ saying release the robot later so people just don't go buy cots solutions then build the RI3D. So I decided to turn the tables and throw an unpopular opinion out there. Please give the RI3D crew the utmost credit for this project as it is one of the most useful things to happen in support of teams during the FIRST build season. I know most of the guys personally and was very thrilled to see this happen last year. :]

Pault
12-04-2013, 11:28 PM
I see a lot of people in this thread who are looking solely at the middle-high tiers of teams in FRC. But Ri3D isn't primarily about those teams. At least the way I see it, the main goal of Ri3D is to provide a resource for the lower tier, teams who normally would have little to nothing more than a drivetrain, to be more competitive. Honestly, going to a competition and seeing this robot that you made which can't even score point being crushed by these sophisticated robots is not very fun. But thanks to Ri3D, so many of the teams who normally would be in this situation are now be able to contribute significant amounts of points to their alliance, and the competition becomes an amazing experience for all the students. I honestly think that Ri3D nearly doubled the amount of inspiration that FRC produces because of this, and in the end isn't inspiration the goal that we all strive for?

Thank your, Ri3D, for all that you do. Just remember to keep the end goal of inspiration in mind with every decision that you make.

DampRobot
12-04-2013, 11:43 PM
My gripe doesn't only necessarily come from my team, though I used it as an example. How many non-wheeled frisbee shooters did you see last year? I only know of 1024 and 1503. Everyone else was using the wheeled launcher design. I don't know of a single Nerf-inspired frisbee "flicker" or rotating arm flinger. I know a handful of teams took the time to prototype other concepts and didn't like their results, but the bulk of teams went immediately into the wheeled shooter concept demonstrated by RI3D.

Don't take my comments to mean I don't like RI3D, but I think delaying the release some could lead to more variety across FRC. The right-after-kickoff nature of the project leads to a tremendous amount of influence over FRC teams, perhaps an unhealthy amount so. I recognize the potential to allow it to help raise the bar of many mid-level teams, but I also don't want it to be used as a crutch.

We prototyped those 4 types of shooter this year (skeet shooter, nerf style flicker, circular shooter and linear shooter) despite having seen Ri3D. We ended up going with a linear shooter not because it was what Ri3D did, but because it was easiest to get working well.

I don't think Ri3D squelches creativity. I think it helps frame the conversation. Knowing from Ri3D that 3 cycles or more per match is very possible definitely changed the strategy conversation. If anything, it made us less likely to build a Ri3D type bot. I'd argue that it provides direction and clarity after kickoff, something that all tiers of teams desperately want.

Oh, yeah, and I like how it eliminates some of the nasty surprises about the game piece that appear to only crop up after the final robot has been built. For example, it shed a lot of light into how consistently frisbees could be shot.

TedG
12-09-2013, 01:14 PM
Two things that I can think of would really add to the show this year.

First, it takes three days to build the robot, but MONTHS of planning go into it. I'd love to see an introductory feature on how you guys prepared for this year. What you learned from last year, where you'll build, who's on the team this year, what equipment and parts you've assembled in advance, etc.

Second, I don't remember if you had some sort of countdown timer last year. I think you did. What would be neat is if you correlated "Ri3D time" to "FRC time." You guys have 3 days, we have 6 weeks. So, every 12 hours for you is like a week for us. Some sort of live reminder of that fact would help keep everything in context. I suggest miketwalker ringing a cow bell every 12 hours and screaming "End of week 1!! Beginning of week 2!!!! WOOOHOO!!!11!one!" Or something.

Agree with all of it. Good idea on the countdown clock.
For us last year, a relatively experienced team with a small number of metors, RI3D helped us decide to change our direction after week 1. We were struggling with trying for the 30 pt climb and dumping the colored discs (like a lot of other teams).

We had ruled out shooting accurately early on during our brainstorming and thought climbing wouldn't be a problem. And so with released video from RI3D and discussions with other local teams, we decided to change our effort and direction to shooting and a 10 point climb, which worked better than what we were trying to do.

If we had more time and resources, we *may* have been able to stay that course witht the 30 pt climb but the clock was ticking!!

So thank you RI3D for helping us and other teams to focus our efforts in a more productive direction.

AllenGregoryIV
12-09-2013, 08:18 PM
I loved Robot in Three Days, it helped a huge number of teams be competitive.

I think the biggest thing it did was ground some teams. Many young teams can't really find any idea of what a robot should look like for any given game. They don't have anything to base their ideas around. Ri3D gave them that base. Many of the Ri3D inspired robots didn't look much like the original but you could sort of see where they started. It gave teams a place to start their improvements and modifications and that's what a lot of teams need.

It also provided simple solutions to some of the game challenges that helped teams that really couldn't find a workable solution on their own.

I don't think last season lacked in creativity in anyway, if anything there was far more robot diversity and creativity than in the previous three years. That was largely driven by the game but Ri3D just make it a bunch of clone robots running around the field.

I'll be watching Ri3D and we plan to share ideas/designs as much as ever.

philso
12-09-2013, 11:26 PM
Excluding those team that are extremely self motivated, I would suspect that many of the remaining teams typically were inspired to work harder, sooner and likely ended up with a better robot than if there was no Ri3D. Even if a particular team was going to use completely different concepts, say a 30 point climber with no drive base, they can see an example of a team that is ready to go compete.

Tom Bottiglieri
12-10-2013, 02:56 AM
More cute baby.

raptaconehs
12-10-2013, 01:49 PM
It would be pretty cool if you guys took suggestions from teams after 3 days and prototyped them. As some teams may not have the resources necessary to prototype a lot of the designs they think of.

Connerd
12-10-2013, 03:59 PM
Our team has been doing practice and preseason challenges to get ready for the 2014 season. One problem we've been running into during our design process is the fact that many, myself included, love to design and prototype by putting metal together. Our mentor reminds us that using time on activities such as drawing, CADing, and simple planning saves soooo much time.
Maybe, instead of telling us your whole design process, you could try to drive home the engineering method, of analysis, planning, prototyping, building, fixing, and such.
On the other hand, thanks for doing Ri3d last year. You made what was a big and daunting rookie year into something I'll remember for the rest of my life.

NYCBobby
12-12-2013, 02:24 PM
I hate to be a Kill Joy, but having mentored FIRST Robotics for 15 years, I am not a fan of the 3-day build. I feel it greatly stifles the creative thinking of our students. Once they see that 3 day build they want to basically build the same thing and I can't exactly blame them, after all, it's designed by a super smart, super experienced engineer and in all likelihood often will be better than what they might come up with. I think if you want to build something in three days go on Junk Yard Wars or build a funny stupid robot for the entertainment value. You think it will be inspiring but I think it can be demoralizing too. But hey, it's free country.

-BOB STARK, team 395, 2 Train Robotics

Akash Rastogi
12-12-2013, 02:42 PM
I hate to be a Kill Joy, but having mentored FIRST Robotics for 15 years, I am not a fan of the 3-day build. I feel it greatly stifles the creative thinking of our students. Once they see that 3 day build they want to basically build the same thing and I can't exactly blame them, after all, it's designed by a super smart, super experienced engineer and in all likelihood often will be better than what they might come up with. I think if you want to build something in three days go on Junk Yard Wars or build a funny stupid robot for the entertainment value. You think it will be inspiring but I think it can be demoralizing too. But hey, it's free country.

-BOB STARK, team 395, 2 Train Robotics

Pretty harsh words right here. I think you're being more critical of these resources than you are of your own team's processes. A properly organized team and build process can discuss all sources of information. If you feel that it is this negative to your process, talk to your kids about how everyone feels about it. Don't just take it out on the various groups and teams trying to do something good for the community. There's pretty much 0 possibility that your kids don't already see a ton of prototyping videos on Youtube from a variety of teams and groups, but it is up to YOU to help them determine what designs to pursue. This and Build Blitz from VEX will show teams what a baseline for a competitive robot will be. It has the potential to raise the bar at competitions.

Hallry
12-12-2013, 02:49 PM
Out of curiosity, was RI3D contacted at all by VEXpro about their 'Build Blitz' that they're planning on this year? I find it interesting that Build Blitz seems to be taking the idea and doing it themselves rather than working with RI3D.

geomapguy
12-12-2013, 03:13 PM
Out of curiosity, was RI3D contacted at all by VEXpro about their 'Build Blitz' that they're planning on this year? I find it interesting that Build Blitz seems to be taking the idea and doing it themselves rather than working with RI3D.

Same thing I thought......I would've thought that VexPro would have "sponsored" it except for the fact that Ri3D collaborated with 221 Robotics, IR3 Creative, and CTR Electronics.

Mike dennis
12-12-2013, 03:19 PM
Out of curiosity, was RI3D contacted at all by VEXpro about their 'Build Blitz' that they're planning on this year? I find it interesting that Build Blitz seems to be taking the idea and doing it themselves rather than working with RI3D.

My guess for this would be that RI3D will continue to use iR3 components, while Build Blitz will use VEXPRO components. I for one am extremely excited to possibly see three drastically different robots take three different approaches to the same game all within three days of kickoff.

JVN
12-12-2013, 03:20 PM
Out of curiosity, was RI3D contacted at all by VEXpro about their 'Build Blitz' that they're planning on this year? I find it interesting that Build Blitz seems to be taking the idea and doing it themselves rather than working with RI3D.


We at VEX Robotics are HUGE fans of Ri3D and the things they're doing. Their efforts last season greatly inspired us.

The Build Blitz is something we're doing as our own version, and is not tied in with the Ri3D build. We did not reach out to the Ri3D team.

Coach Norm
12-12-2013, 03:32 PM
We at VEX Robotics are HUGE fans of Ri3D and the things they're doing. Their efforts last season greatly inspired us.

I think many of us are huge fans of Ri3D. I also second Mike Dennis's post that it is very exciting to get to see 3 robots in such a short time.

I personally am very excited to get to see the behind the scenes peak all teams will be exposed to in this process. Talk about INSPIRING. It is so helpful for teams to be able to see the process going on and then watch the development over this time period.

Thanks to all involved and allowing us to be spectators in this process.

Ether
12-12-2013, 03:44 PM
Pretty harsh words right here. I think you're being more critical of these resources than you are of your own team's processes. A properly organized team and build process can discuss all sources of information. If you feel that it is this negative to your process, talk to your kids about how everyone feels about it. Don't just take it out on the various groups and teams trying to do something good for the community. There's pretty much 0 possibility that your kids don't already see a ton of prototyping videos on Youtube from a variety of teams and groups, but it is up to YOU to help them determine what designs to pursue. This and Build Blitz from VEX will show teams what a baseline for a competitive robot will be. It has the potential to raise the bar at competitions.

I think that is the best way to look at it.

geomapguy
12-12-2013, 05:34 PM
I think that is the best way to look at it.

Nice take on it Ether :)

pfreivald
12-14-2013, 11:17 AM
Akash is wise and full of knowy goodness.

I think Ri3D is a fantastic resource for those who need the inspiration, in a couple of different ways:

1. Rookies and young teams see what can be done, with limited resources and limited time. The phrase, "if they can do that in three days, we can do it in six weeks" was bandied around quite a bit last year (that I heard, anyway). It instills a, "yes, we can!" attitude in those intimidated by the challenge.

2. By upping the lowest-tier teams, it gives the middle-tier teams something to worry about. You see the designs and say, "okay, that's the baseline; those are the teams that can play but won't stand out. We need to do it better than that." You can emulate, iterate, or reject in favor of other designs.

3. The top-tier teams probably aren't directly affected much; they don't need the inspiration. They get it, they know how to design, they know how to not get stuck on ideas too early into the design process, they know that they're going to be competing with the 148s and 1114s and 217s and 2056s and 354s and and and out there, and they have a plan on how to continue to be one of the best teams in the world.

Furthermore, I think the most valuable lesson that Ri3D teaches those that need the lesson is that you don't have to do everything to make a competitive robot--and indeed, with limited resources you should focus on building the best robot you can, not the best robot possible.

I love it. I'm excited to see it again, and I'm excited to see VEX in on the game, too. I guess my only improvement would be to do it again week 2 with a different game strategy. (Yeah, I'm not asking for much, am I?)

Alpha Beta
12-14-2013, 11:31 AM
they know that they're going to be competing with the 148s and 1114s and 217s and 2056s and 354s and and and out there, and they have a plan on how to continue to be one of the best teams in the world.

I had to look up 354 (http://www.thebluealliance.com/team/354). G-House Pirates bringing it strong this year.

pfreivald
12-14-2013, 12:12 PM
I had to look up 354 (http://www.thebluealliance.com/team/354). G-House Pirates bringing it strong this year.

That was actually a typo, but they came to FLR once and were a great deal of fun. They had an enormous pirate flag rise out of their robot during the end game, just because.

Jibsy
12-14-2013, 08:29 PM
I have to say, I originally was leaning towards the negative opinion of Ri3D, thinking that it does create tunnel vision.
I went to calculus class, and by the end of it my opinion had changed. It actually had nothing to do with the class itself, just my mind wandering into robot-realm as it often does.

I thought over the series of events that lead me to learning so much from FIRST. The first of these events was getting addicted. My 'addiction' lead to countless hours spent looking up designs from top teams (I've always loved 254's style) and reading why they did what they did. I would then take those concepts and apply them to my own CAD designs.
The drive trains that I spat out often looked very similar to popular designs, and from someone else may have looked like I just stole designs. What really happened is I learned about different components of different drive trains and the reasoning behind them, and then applied that knowledge to combine components so that it is optimized for certain goals (weight, minimal resources, easy manufacturing, etc).

As has been mentioned a few times in this thread, there's no point in reinventing the wheel. A huge part of engineering is learning from the work others have already done, and using that to engineer it further.

The key to all of this working is having the right mindset, following the right process, and actually learning from other designs, not just copying them.


All of that really just leads up to this feedback for Ri3D:

More documentation on the brainstorming, the prototyping, and the rationale behind the decisions.
In other words, emphasis on the engineering.

pfreivald
12-14-2013, 09:56 PM
The key to all of this working is having the right mindset

Yup. If you want it to be bad for your team, it can be. If you want it to be good for your team, it can be.

MaxMax161
12-15-2013, 01:04 AM
What robot in three days provides is information. Information about possible designs, information about the game, ect. In my limited experience more information is always better and if at any point it's not I reevaluate how I'm using the information. I think the FIRST community benefits from sharing ideas more so than it would if we did not, this is just a case of sharing a lot of good ideas all at once.

In addition I think especially with FIVE 72 hour robots being built this year the variety will help with potential tunnel vision a lot. Personally I can't wait till more engineers realize this is a great excuse to play in a shop for 3 days straight and call it work. This is all great fun.

NYCBobby
12-15-2013, 12:04 PM
In retrospect, I suppose my words did seem harsh but my general feeling is that there are many places where students can go to get ideas once the game is announced, like visiting team's web sites and looking into previous games that had similar tasks. I just feel that presenting completed robots is going a bit too far. As videos start appearing on Youtube during the build period, they often appear a bit too late to radically alter your design approach. There was a year when we saw a video late into the build period from the Robonauts that so greatly influenced us that we drastically changed our robot design and the results were incredible. But we were struggling that year and somewhat desperate. Perhaps you can tell me what you think the value of the 3 day builds are? Don't get me wrong, they are a great help and I am in many ways grateful to see them. Teams benefit from them but are they a good thing for the students? This is my concern.

-BOB

Pretty harsh words right here. I think you're being more critical of these resources than you are of your own team's processes. A properly organized team and build process can discuss all sources of information. If you feel that it is this negative to your process, talk to your kids about how everyone feels about it. Don't just take it out on the various groups and teams trying to do something good for the community. There's pretty much 0 possibility that your kids don't already see a ton of prototyping videos on Youtube from a variety of teams and groups, but it is up to YOU to help them determine what designs to pursue. This and Build Blitz from VEX will show teams what a baseline for a competitive robot will be. It has the potential to raise the bar at competitions.

Akash Rastogi
12-15-2013, 12:11 PM
In retrospect, I suppose my words did seem harsh but my general feeling is that there are many places where students can go to get ideas once the game is announced, like visiting team's web sites and looking into previous games that had similar tasks. I just feel that presenting completed robots is going a bit too far. As videos start appearing on Youtube during the build period, they often appear a bit too late to radically alter your design approach. There was a year when we saw a video late into the build period from the Robonauts that so greatly influenced us that we drastically changed our robot design and the results were incredible. But we were struggling that year and somewhat desperate. Perhaps you can tell me what you think the value of the 3 day builds are? Don't get me wrong, they are a great help and I am in many ways grateful to see them. Teams benefit from them but are they a good thing for the students? This is my concern.

-BOB

Bob,

I can understand your frustration and concerns, but I think you ought to check out this thread - http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=123152

You have to realize, each year there will be teams who are struggling and are desperate; however, they aren't the only ones who stand to benefit from some outside mentor support. The discussion in that thread is pretty great, and has some posts with opinions from both sides of the spectrum.

I believe this can do more good than harm, but we'll just have to wait and see.

-Akash

Coach Norm
12-15-2013, 12:13 PM
My students and I thoroughly enjoyed the Ri3D last year. This year in FTC, a group did an FTC robot in a week. Students not only watched but also participated in the chat and design of the robot.

With 5 robots being done this year, I do not believe we have to worry about tunnel vision of a design. I think it is also good for teams to see how others go about brainstorming, designing and decision making that lead to a final design. Of course with the schedule reduced to just 72 hours, spectators and observers also miss out on the iteration/prototyping phase as well.

I know our team looks to many other teams for inspiration. I think that the sharing of ideas and designs within FIRST only makes all of us better. I know that I personally have benefited from such mentors as Andy Baker, Mark Coors, JVN, SRippetoe, Paul Copioli , Bertman, Jim Zondag and many others. These robot builds not only provide great robots but they also provide glimpses into these great mentors.

cadandcookies
12-15-2013, 12:14 PM
I have yet to hear from a student who was negatively affected by Ri3D. All of the claims that somehow Ri3D detract from creativity from students have yet to provide even a little bit of evidence beyond rhetoric that this phenomenon actually occurs.

If experimental evidence (in the upcoming year) reveals that many students were negatively affected by Ri3D, then it's a different story than the idle speculation going on right now. It seems dangerous and premature to blame Ri3D for stifling creativity when we only have one small data point from last year.