View Full Version : Lessons Learned the positive (2006)

Koko Ed
04-30-2006, 03:55 AM
What did FIRST do particularly well this year?

Rich Wong
04-30-2006, 08:44 AM
First thing that comes to my head: VIMS

The volunteer registration and confirmation system at the regional level appeared to work quite well this year. Emails were going out the to the right people, references were checked, and updates/changes dependable.

The game AIM HIGH is great. A lot of action, a lot less problems with rule changes and really challenged the teams with designing a shooter.

The Autonomous Bonus has waken many teams up with programming and strategy during this period.

04-30-2006, 09:00 AM
1. Made it worthwhile to use the CMU cam.

2. Gave teams a good hint when using the softball pitching machine at kickoff

3. Designed a reasonably exciting and challenging game for non-participants to understand and watch.


04-30-2006, 09:33 AM
I think what FIRST did well was it has really shown us that it is getting the word out about FIRST to people that need to hear it, and should know about it. I can really see that FIRST is doing everything they can to really bring more important people and is trying to bring a better vision to those that see it. I think this year we can really see that FIRST is serious about bringing people in and shareing what we can do.

As for the Game, I agree that the auto-mode has risen in importance by 200%. It can be just the game, but this will lead to more and more 10-15 second challenges that will need to be completed to be the most powerful team.

Teamwork has never been so necessary in a game since the Co-Operation game. To make sure that one team is on one side, and to make sure that teams are blocking who they need to block. I think stragety was the most important key to victory this year rather than a robot that can shoot balls.

04-30-2006, 09:37 AM
I will say that my team took autonomous mode much more seriously this year. FIRST definitely did the right thing by making the vision target an active target this year. The passive targets were just too difficult to get working with the camera last year.

Joe Matt
04-30-2006, 09:43 AM
FIRST has released the best FIRST game yet. No longer is it always PVC goals (possibly on wheels) for ball games! WHEE!

04-30-2006, 11:04 AM
1. The game was exciting to watch and to play, and it was challenging.

2. Like everyone said, autonomous mode was much more important this year, and I hope it keeps becoming more so. (Anyone want to speculate if those multi-color cold cathodes they kept displaying during the finals were a hint???)

3. I don't know if this is just the usual case at championship, but the matches on Curie ran very smoothly and efficiently. The number of field resets and problems (at least that I saw) was very, very low compared to regionals as well.

04-30-2006, 11:12 AM
Autonomous has finally been a massive success. In the past it's always been a passive thing with a few teams doing something kind of cool in them, but nothing much happened here. This year ignoring it was the equivalent of willingly losing at least half your matches. The CMUCam is much improved over last year as well with the support and effectiveness of it.

This game was very exciting for non-FIRST people, and is possibly one of the easiest games ever to explain.

The addition of significant new rules (wedge rule, bumper rules, and height rule) along with a previously illegal scoring strategy (shooting) significantly leveled the playing field between veteran and rookie teams. I saw historically "strong" teams struggling this year while there were rookies at 4th seed after qualifiers.

And I cannot say it enough; this year's Q&A system has been the most effective I have ever seen.

04-30-2006, 11:29 AM
FIRST has released the best FIRST game yet. No longer is it always PVC goals (possibly on wheels) for ball games! WHEE!

Agree! They are expanding their horizions and inventing more versitle and more inventive games!

And there were almost no resets in Archimedes either. I think there was two. All six robots went off into auto-mode when the MC was on the floor introduceing the teams.

04-30-2006, 11:33 AM
First off, this game is definitely one of the top five. Lots of great play, lots of creative solutions, lots of fun.

But even if it were a lousy game, I have to thank the GDC for having a set of rules that required very few angry posts on CD. (Look at the YMTC forum. Only one all year--and that one was a gimme.)

The Q&A system was awesome. Searchable, easy-to-use, well-organized, and you could actually tell when new questions or answers were posted. A vast improvement over the 2004-2005 system.

The AndyMark battery plugs saved our butts on quite a few occasions. Suddenly, nobody has an excuse to grab a dead battery. Heavenly.

(I'll think of more as I come across them.)

Joe Matt
04-30-2006, 11:37 AM
Agree! They are expanding their horizions and inventing more versitle and more inventive games!

And there were almost no resets in Archimedes either. I think there was two. All six robots went off into auto-mode when the MC was on the floor introduceing the teams.


that sounds familiar to something that happened at VCU, and with the same MC too!

/me thinks it is a practical joke

04-30-2006, 11:41 AM
The AndyMark battery plugs saved our butts on quite a few occasions. Suddenly, nobody has an excuse to grab a dead battery. Heavenly.

If any other team has this problem, try our method; velcro. There is a small piece of velcro stuck to the battery, and two sided piece with a red and black side that can be stuck on it. We put red side up if it is charged, black if it is dead.

04-30-2006, 12:37 PM
Human player had a fun job. I loved being human player. Definatley one of the coolest games ever.

Ken Leedle
04-30-2006, 12:53 PM
I liked the open field. This made it easier to move robots on and off the field.
I also liked the teamwork/strategy involved because it made it more difficult for one robot to dominate a match.
I liked the mini bike motors, even though they were very heavy. It would be nice if they came without the cog pulley/spring though.
The KOP transmissions worked very well for us
The bumpers were great! An extra 10 pounds on the bottom of our robot allowed us to get up the ramp, not to mention saving our robot from damage.

Richard Wallace
04-30-2006, 01:02 PM
Second that last comment on the bumpers. I really like the <R04> anti-wedge and <R35> bumper rules. Helps with traction and robustness, and also reduces tipping.

Another thing I liked was the alternating high-low team number (i.e., non-sequential) arrangement of pit locations. At the regionals where I volunteered this seemed to make it easier for less experienced teams to get help from veterans.

04-30-2006, 02:51 PM
Human player had a fun job. I loved being human player. Definatley one of the coolest games ever.

Being a Human Player is the greatest. I loved being HP last year. As you can see my team named me accordingly for loveing the job so much.

04-30-2006, 04:37 PM
At nationals it seemed to me that communication was a lot better this year. Also, the pits were very accessible and easy to find.

The game was perfect in my opinion. Last year's game really bored me and I never was interested in it, but this year's game so so intense and everybody really had a chance. Also, I'm glad that programmers get a lot of payoff this year. A good autonomous program can mean the difference between winning and losing.

Master Dictator
04-30-2006, 04:42 PM
Autonomous mode was so important in winning. It was in most cases the difference between winning and losing.

04-30-2006, 04:55 PM
I didn't keep track in the finals matchs on Archimedes or Einstein, but every match that we won Autonomous, we won the match. The only match we lost in in seeding was the match we lost autonomous. I don't remeber if we lost autonomous in the quarterfinals on Archimedes when we lost the match.

Aaron D.
04-30-2006, 04:58 PM
- I liked how simple the game was. yet it gave way for incrdeible inventivness and creativity and never a dull match
-I liked the game piece, like in 2003 when FIRST uses a household object I think it makes the game more interesting
-It was so much easier to say to a bystander "our robot shoots balls" than " Our robot caps these large tetrahedral shapes with smaller ones in hopes of making a row"
- The periods made for better strategy
- this game required more teamwork
- defense was just as important as offense this year, I dont think this was true last year

Koko Ed
04-30-2006, 06:53 PM
This was one of my favorite FIRST games.
The strategy elements were amazing. Best use of autonomous ever!

The championship was well organized for the most part and ran pretty smoothly. Atlanta does a top notch job hosting the event!

04-30-2006, 08:09 PM
I enjoyed this game much more than last years. FIRST made autonomous a must: a great idea, it made the game much more competitive. The bumpers also worked very well (my team didn't have bumpers, we said that we would use everyone elses :) ). I also liked the flag idea, it was much easier to tell which team was red and which was blue, making our scouts jobs a breeze. I was amazed at the fact that even though this game was much more competitive, this game was also easier to understand to the spectators, it had a much more human feeling to it.

04-30-2006, 09:50 PM
From the perspective of a rookie:

This year has been absolutely amazing. FIRST did a great job putting on the regional and championship events. I can not imagine a better experience, especially coming from a team that had absolutely no prior experience with FIRST.

I loved the game this year. It was a sufficiently simple to be understood and complex enough to warrant a lot of strategizing. Having the autonomous mode be so important was a really great element of the game, and allowed my team to be extremely successful at the Championship, successful beyond our wildest dreams at the beginning of the season.

The whole season and experience was amazing for my team this year, and has made me decide to be involved in FIRST for the rest of my life. Nothing could ever be better than this amazing rookie season, and thanks to FIRST for making it so.

Freddy Schurr
05-04-2006, 08:45 AM
Bumpers and flags need to come back next year. This two items helped make the game more enjoyable.

Regionals were perfect this year and the Championship was awesome.

05-04-2006, 10:08 AM
As was stated during the pre-build anticipation back in December....this year's game was:

a) Great because it relied more heavily on the autonomous period; continue to push use of autonomous control in the future!
b) Great because there were many ways to score (hi goal shooter, low goal dumper, defensive blocking, bumpers; and BEST OF ALL, the added 'third-dimension' of the game with the up-ramp!
c) Great because alliance selection became all that more critical and scouting really came into play this year; lots of advances int he methods and tools that teams are using for scouting databases.
d) Great because it was a quickly-intuitive game to the guests and newbies watching the events.
e) Great because there were not many copy-cat designs at the championship (200+ different designs all doing the same thing....)..wow!
f) Great because FIRST gave us better tools to do the design (AutoDesk s/w and Easy-C s/w).
g) Great because the pits 9design, advertising, safety, etc) and the non-robot portions of the events (e.g. FIRST conference) are getting even stronger overall.

Looking forward to our 3rd year!

Ken Streeter
05-04-2006, 04:41 PM
Most of these have been stated by others, but some of these were just such great aspects of this year that they need to be mentioned again in case anybody from FIRST is reading...

* Autonomous really mattered this year, giving the autonomous winner a big advantage. Yet, the match wasn't a "given" for the autonomous winner, so teams that didn't get autonomous to work still had a (slim) chance.

* Autonomous featured a defensive element as well as an offensive one.

* The game was easy to explain to spectators -- both little kids and grandparents could quickly understand the game.

* Colorful poof balls!

* Bumpers were encouraged by a weight / volume advantage. In past years, it wasn't sufficiently advantageous to use bumpers.

Mark Pierce
05-05-2006, 12:14 PM
Again this year, many people have highlighted items that would be on my list.

The game was very good, lots of challenge for programmers, controls people, fun to watch, etc.

Improvements to the kit of parts were welcome, as were a very complete set of rules at the start.

Amazingly, very little if any backsliding was done on what made 2005 so great. 2005 Positive (http://http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?p=377310#post377310)

Our local regional had a new website, which wasn't perfect, but so much better than none!

The Q&A system seemed to be better, as did much of the team communication. Documents were updated simultaneously with the updates.

05-05-2006, 08:40 PM
As a rookie who doesnt touch the robot (chairmans and scouting all the way!!) I would say that
*Defense was key...if you couldnt hold your ground you didnt stand a chance
*The hall of fame went very smoothly, and got a lot of traffic
*It was easy to navigate the pits (Making showing around the ambassadors of FIRST sooooo much easier)
*We really got the message of FIRST out there this year
*Team work was absolutly essential in everything that went on in the competition (half of my head was my team colors (red) and the other half was green for 503 and 1403) and everybody was so incredibly helpful about everything

Overall, awesome first year of FRC for me!