Re: The missing feature: A common thread
On our team, we do first focus on strategy and what a "difference maker" robot needs to be able to do, and from that we set "need to haves" and "nice to haves." As much as I like this system and I feel it's a good way to digest the game, I feel as if sometimes we limit ourselves by making something a "nice to have" because it is hard to implement. From my experience, whether or not our drives team has gotten time to practice with our robot makes a bigger difference than anything else. I joined the team in 2010, which was not a very successful year for us. I saw us finish late and struggle with one feature of our robot the entire season. Our drivers got practically no practice, and therefore we didn't really succeed at all. However, in 2011 we used known technology from previous years' robots and made a very successful bot that was SO CLOSE to winning two regionals. The key difference between these years? In 2011 we finished our bot very early (for us) and our drivers got a ton of practice, to a point where it was almost as if they operated autonomously. After seeing how these two years turned out, I hounded the team all year long that it was important to push hard and finish the bot early, because it is a LOT easier to identify problems and fix them at school, with all of the space and resources we needed (not to mention a lot more time). However, there still was an astonishing lack of urgency demonstrated from a good portion of the team. On our team of usually about 35 people, there always only seems to be a group of about 5-7 students who are carrying the team. I want to ask...how exactly do people on other teams get students motivated? Myself, a few other students, and the mentors on our team are constantly drilling urgency, but few ever seem to listen. I'm one of 14 seniors on my team this year, and most of our "key people" are seniors, and I'm thoroughly worried about the condition our team will be in next year. Any insight? How do the powerhouse teams get their students motivated to finish the bot so early?
Also, we seem to have a problem with the idea of a "concept lock," constantly changing our design way farther into the season that we should. How do the elites know when enough is enough in regards to designing?