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View Poll Results: Should the Technician role exist in 2019 and beyond?
Yes 176 81.48%
No 40 18.52%
Voters: 216. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 05-13-2018, 12:59 AM
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Looking back on the Technician

FIRST tried something new this season with the Technician drive team role. A few questions for everyone:
  1. What was the role of the Technician on your team?
  2. How did you select your Technician?
  3. Should the Technician role be a thing in 2019 and beyond?
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Last edited by Brian Maher : 05-13-2018 at 01:49 AM.
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Unread 05-13-2018, 01:10 AM
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Re: Looking back on the Technician

1. We used the technician more as person that can handle the robot cart (or Mini-pit as we call it on 4607).

2. The person that we selected was our 5th Drive Team member - a person that filled in when one of our DT members could not be there for various reasons (see Prom at champs). We did not utilize the role effectively as it was an afterthought. Our plan for next year is that this person will be trained in on the areas of programming/troubleshooting/battery expert. The reason that I want this is to allow for a person to just gather information from the match and then be the primary communicator between the Drive Team and the Pit Team. This may mean it is our programming mentor or a very experienced programming student.

3. I am not sure how FIRST expands the role. It would be nice to have real time access to the FMS on the robot cart/Mini-pit - but I am not sure how that would be possible.
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Unread 05-13-2018, 01:19 AM
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Re: Looking back on the Technician

Wasn’t a part of a team or drive team this year. But wish we had the technician role a long time ago. I really see zero down sides to it and only positives. Not that I would have changed any of my drive teams but knowing that there would be an additional knowledgeable student on the field would have made life a lot simpler. Plus if nothing else given a top ranking student the ability to be down at field level.
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Unread 05-13-2018, 01:41 AM
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Re: Looking back on the Technician

Overall, I like the role. The technician was beneficial in two ways:
  1. Our technician would probably have been Human Player if there was no technician role. Nothing against him, but there is nothing that actually qualifies him to be our human player - it just would have been to have a good troubleshooter on the field.
  2. We could allow more people to be on drive team this way. Since this was one of the easier years (at least physically) for the HPs, we could have a new student that wants to see if Drive Team is for them try it out.
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Unread 05-13-2018, 07:09 AM
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Re: Looking back on the Technician

Our technician was also our put lead. By being close to the action and involved with the drive team discussions as soon as the match ended, she was better able to create a plan to address issues with the robot. Minutes can count, and having the ability to text those needed in the pit even before the robot is taken off the field helps!
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Unread 05-13-2018, 07:30 AM
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Re: Looking back on the Technician

  1. Pretty light this year, as our drivers were also the programmers. Other years, we nerfed the second driver position to fill this, or could have used a big person to help with robot placement/removal.
  2. I wasn't part of this decision, other than to suggest that we skip having one at all.
  3. Yes. One improvement would be to clarify the location where the technicians are during the match. This year, our technician would have been an on-field scouts if we had known the layout early in the season. I understand that in some places, the technicians sat with the judges, and in others, they could not see the field as well as from the stands.
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Unread 05-13-2018, 08:44 AM
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Re: Looking back on the Technician

We used the technician as a programmer to watch for what happened (particularly in auto) so as to know what went wrong and what we need to fix right after the match.

In that sense, I really liked the technician role, and hope it comes back next year. I do want to see standardized seating for technicians at all events, though, so teams know what to expect (and I hope they put this seating on the ends of the judges' seats).
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Unread 05-13-2018, 10:18 AM
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Re: Looking back on the Technician

We rotated between two technicians. One was a pit crew member who could troubleshoot electrical issues. The other was our draft person.

From a draft standpoint it really helped having the person that was going to go down spend time on the field yet still have the freedom to spend time in the stands with the scout team.
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Unread 05-13-2018, 10:25 AM
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Re: Looking back on the Technician

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Hedgehog View Post
3. I am not sure how FIRST expands the role. It would be nice to have real time access to the FMS on the robot cart/Mini-pit - but I am not sure how that would be possible.
This is pretty vague - what exactly do you want access to? Field logs are about the only useful thing I can think of, and DS logs tend to be more detailed.
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Unread 05-13-2018, 02:37 PM
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Re: Looking back on the Technician

Ideally, drive team (behind the glass) is not your main technical students. Ideally, you have a well-versed technical student out on the field. The technician bridges this gap perfectly. For our team, it was a critical person to have on the field, running pre-match checks (don't think we ever went out with a broken robot) or in the worst cases fixing urgent issues. It was critical for reducing the responsibilities of drive team in a good way.

I think the technician role is 100% necessary the "no dead robots on the field" future we all want: simultaneously raising the competitiveness of FRC as a whole by allowing as much technical and non-technical talent to be on the field as possible.
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Unread 05-13-2018, 02:43 PM
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Re: Looking back on the Technician

Seconding the general consensus, it's great to have a dedicated crew member to specifically focus on the robot operational status. I would like to see a designated area with a better field view, I would often be stuck off to the side with the cart, which made watching auto et al sometimes difficult based on the field setup.
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Unread 05-13-2018, 03:02 PM
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Re: Looking back on the Technician

Our technician was the head programmer on our team. So as you can imagine most of his roles revolved around the drive station and autonomous period. Every match our driver and co-driver would bring the robot onto the field, our coach would align the robot, our human-player would put the cart off to the side, and our technician would set the driver station up and make sure everything was set correctly for autonomous. I think that technician should absolutely be brought back in 2019 and beyond because it allows for one more specially trained student to be on the field in the rare instance that something were to go wrong or if something needed to be dealt with.
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Unread 05-13-2018, 03:20 PM
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Re: Looking back on the Technician

I said this in the other Technician thread.

To give an FTAA's point of view. The Technician is extremely helpful to us when the position is filled by a student who is knowledgeable about the robot and the Driver Station. This is part of the reason the role was created, to assist in connecting the robot to the field.

I really hope FIRST continues to have the Technician role.
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Unread 05-13-2018, 06:15 PM
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Re: Looking back on the Technician

Our technician was a first-year member of our team that was really good with his hands. Also, because we are a small team everyone on the drive team (minus myself), was capable of fixing the robot in almost any situation.
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Unread 05-13-2018, 06:51 PM
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Re: Looking back on the Technician

I was the technician this year for our team (5190). I was one of the programmers on the team and I constantly monitored the auto during the matches. This allowed me to look at outtake speeds to make sure cubes didn't bounce, see how the robot followed paths on the carpet so I could make minor adjustments, etc. to ensure maximum efficiency. I also helped with lining up the robot (I helped make the paths, so I knew exactly where to line up the robot).

One thing I would like changed is where the technicians stand. At some of our events, technicians stood behind two rows of teams who were in queue. This made it hard to observe auto and other things that went wrong. For next year, I would suggest a better area for technicians to stand and observe robots.
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