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  #76   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 05-02-2012, 05:53 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

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Originally Posted by rocknthehawk View Post
Is this not standard? I know we picked up our Chairman's feedback from pit admin after awards were over. (At GSR). It is hugely helpful, pointing out our strengths, and the one thing we didn't touch on. We won EI and will push harder for RCA next year
We got feedback at our district event, but did not get feedback at the regional (Michigan State Champs) or CMP. We asked about feedback at the regional event but were told that the winning teams did not get feedback, because they won.

There's always room for improvement, even if you win.

Julia
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Unread 05-02-2012, 05:56 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

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Originally Posted by JuliaGreen View Post
We got feedback at our district event, but did not get feedback at the regional (Michigan State Champs) or CMP. We asked about feedback at the regional event but were told that the winning teams did not get feedback, because they won.

There's always room for improvement, even if you win.

Julia
I know that we did get to receive ours last year when we won at Midwest. Weird.
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Unread 05-02-2012, 06:15 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

I hope next year more field testing occurs before week 1 regionals. Our home regional of the Granite State Regional is week 1 and we were burned by balls stuck under the bridges and missed a lot of balances week 1 because we couldn't get the bridge down. Week 2 the panel was flipped and when we competed week 5 we had zero issues with balls under bridges. I thought the issue would have been fixed after our scrimmage that FIRST hosted but alas it was not. Not the end of the world but I don't know why they weren't steeper to begin with.

2. I agree with what people have said about the practice field at CMP. Even though I didn't attend this year it has been an issue in the past. 2011 especially with teams either testing auto, minibot, or scoring which was ineffective with a variety of testing on a field. I think it should be organized as follows: 2 full fields for wireless testing only. 2-4 large carpeted areas with several hoops and a lot of bridges. Maybe they could put these in two of the corners/along the back walls so it is out of the way. This would maximize practice as teams who want to run their robot to get more driver practice go to the field, teams who want to tune auto/their shooter and test balancing go to the carpeted areas.

3. Q&A needs to be much faster.

4. A little more clarification on bumpers rules and we are golden. "Exterior vertices" and the bumper numbers were vague to some teams.

5. Real time penalties is great, but having the emcee announce them after the match would be nice. I'm sure many team who didn't fully comprehend the rules didn't know they were committing them. It is nice that the match cycle is faster and specified unarguable rules are in place for silly items but if a team doesn't know they are committing something how will they get better?

As for the ball consistency this year, I know it sucks to have an inconsistency among balls, but when a company is mass producing a foam play ball they will vary and there is nothing we can do about it. Unless we want to pay double because they have to be tested. While annoying we took this into consideration with our robot so brand new or used, it still suck in from the key.

Overall, great season!
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Unread 05-02-2012, 06:29 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

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Originally Posted by BrendanB View Post
As for the ball consistency this year, I know it sucks to have an inconsistency among balls, but when a company is mass producing a foam play ball they will vary and there is nothing we can do about it. Unless we want to pay double because they have to be tested. While annoying we took this into consideration with our robot so brand new or used, it still suck in from the key.
Our loader mechanism admittedly had some issues here and there with the new balls (something we just decided we had to deal with) compared to those that were used, but my problem (and also one raised by a couple others) is the fact that the balls they used in the Championships vs. at least the two regionals we attended were completely different. They weren't just new, they were a different batch entirely.
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Unread 05-02-2012, 06:40 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

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Originally Posted by Solidstate89 View Post
Our loader mechanism admittedly had some issues here and there with the new balls (something we just decided we had to deal with) compared to those that were used, but my problem (and also one raised by a couple others) is the fact that the balls they used in the Championships vs. at least the two regionals we attended were completely different. They weren't just new, they were a different batch entirely.
Either you could have played with used regional balls (believe me in week 5 they didn't have too much life left in them) or new balls? I think the choice is pretty clear with the championship event playing 150 matches on 4 fields.

Having worked in retail, manufacturers don't make a product constantly (unless it is an extremely popular item such as food or major electronics) manufacturers make items in batches of xxxx (say 2000 cases) so distributors can sell them to stores/retail chains to sell over time before a new batch is made. Right now we are placing an order for camping coolers for the summer and won't be able to get them again until next year. Something similar happened in 2009 when FIRST ordered the last of the manufacturers batch to cover what they needed but another batch wasn't going to be made for a while. FIRST probably had to make several large purchases over time which was divided up among regional fields, Andymark, and the KOP.

I agree with everyone that it would have been nice to have the exact same ball but it just isn't possible with how economics work.

/endbunnytrail
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Unread 05-02-2012, 06:44 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

Make sure people can see the field regardless of where they are in the stands.
On Galileo, this meant pushing the field away from the stands by about 10-15 feet. When people in front stood up, the field was covered. When they sat down, only the co-op bridge and beyond could be seen.

Open up the upper levels and have more seating available throughout the ENTIRE competition.

Allow more entrances to the Edward Jones Dome. Put them on opposite ends of the building.


Please explain intent in the rule books, especially on chains of rules. Just like you don't like us lawyering your rules, we don't like reading your minds only to find that we got it wrong.
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Unread 05-02-2012, 06:45 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

Alli, my sister mentioned (this year being her official freshman year) that the negative things she experienced was:

1) Teams not showing the values of FIRST during the competition.
2) Communication issues on the fields.

My own negatives are:

1) Not getting feedback from the Chairmans judges.
2) Teams rushing inside pretty much taking myself and my grandparents out while rushing for seating. I was not happy about people pretty much running us over.
3) The seating of Einstein and the opening Ceremonies.
4) Cannot see Einstein on either left or right in the stands
5) Could not see any of the matches from the Pits.
6) The smoking area. (Im sorry, I am allergic to smoke)
7) Teams not being Gracious to each other and to other people.


These are all minor things, I loved the closing ceremonies and the Finale!

I LOVE FIRST WITH ALL MY <3
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Unread 05-02-2012, 07:21 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

I agree with:

The Einstein seating hassle. That was kind of ridiculous. If they had opened up the upper levels beforehand, as they should've been able to easily predict their necessity, perhaps all that walking up and down and around the dome wouldn't have happened for our team.

The FMS problems. I don't think I need to add much else to that.

Also, one thing that our veteran members really missed was the Glossary in the rules. The manual in general was smaller this year, and while being succinct is great, the lack of definitions really brought up too much ambiguity.

I asked Bill Miller and some GDC members at FRC Live! during Champs, and Bill's justification was that they made the rules shorter so that teams who don't read them actually would. I did not agree with that method. Don't get me wrong, I approve of shorter rules as long as they are clear and specific. But the reason they provided did not bode well for me. Teams should read the rules, 5 pages or 500 pages, and those who don't should take what comes to them because of it.

One of the GDC members also stated that the glossary was removed in fear of creating a rule within the definition. I don't agree with that answer either. I believe the usefulness of the glossary outweighs that issue. I believe the usefulness of the glossary outweighs a lot of things. In short, we'd really like the glossary back.
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Unread 05-02-2012, 07:48 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

Kill the speeches on Einstein. After we won our division I sent the webcast link to a bunch of people and along with the field issues the sheer number of speeches made it remarkably uninteresting. If you want to make it consumable to a larger audience it has to be interesting. I recommend a separate awards ceremony and far fewer speeches.

Last edited by lemiant : 05-02-2012 at 09:19 PM.
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Unread 05-02-2012, 08:15 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

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Originally Posted by LeelandS View Post

I, personally, would like to see FIRST stray away from games where game piece deterioration isn't such a huge factor, but I know what pretty much impossible. But I can wish.

Those are pretty much my gripes. Nothing too extreme. Just some logistical stuff.
Funny thing about that suggestion. Team 3081 roboeagles seemed to be one of the few who considered that variable which is why we went with a catapult design.
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Unread 05-02-2012, 09:16 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

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Originally Posted by IndySam View Post
The Coop award made no sense at all. I bet there was nobody at most regionals that could even explain how it was determined.
It's the "At Least You Found Your Way to the Field. Here's a Medal" Award.
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Unread 05-02-2012, 09:18 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

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Originally Posted by lemiant View Post
Kill the speeches on Einstein. After we won our division I sent the webcast link to a bunch of people and along with the field issues the sheer number of speeches made it remarkably uninteresting. If you want to make it consumable to a larger audience tit has to be interesting. I recommend a separate awards ceremony and far fewer speeches.
That's a common complaint every year -- and I couldn't agree more. I have no idea how a group of geniuses intent on making STEM exciting for the masses so consistently make the final championship games so painfully boring!

(That is to say, the matches themselves are generally great, but the speeches are so numerous and so long that the overall Einstein spectator experience is downright tedious.)
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Unread 05-02-2012, 09:23 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

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Originally Posted by Camren View Post
Funny thing about that suggestion. Team 3081 roboeagles seemed to be one of the few who considered that variable which is why we went with a catapult design.
Actually, from what I gathered at regionals/champs, quite a few teams considered the variable. It's just that very few teams actually built to account for it.

I know I was skeptical during week 1 about the ball deterioration being a huge factor, I was proven dead wrong during shooter testing. We then spent the rest of the season, right up until the championship, trying to build a ball compression tester that would account for that. We never got it to work.
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Unread 05-02-2012, 09:29 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

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Originally Posted by Camren View Post
Funny thing about that suggestion. Team 3081 roboeagles seemed to be one of the few who considered that variable which is why we went with a catapult design.
Couldn't agree with you more. In our early testing we discovered the variability would be a huge problem. That's why we went with our fling-a-pult and it was never a problem for us.
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Unread 05-02-2012, 09:52 PM
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Re: 2012 Lessons Learned:The Negative

The field sketches need to be more similar to the field with parts of the field that robots react off of, or at least include some optional sketches that are closer to the actual field. So many teams couldn't lower the bridge at the start of the season and had a shooter designed for the backboard in the sketches and then missed shots that went too hard off of the backboard on the actual field.
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