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Unread 11-17-2017, 07:01 PM
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Robot in 3 Days: What Documentation Do You Prefer?

Hello all!

I'm sure many of you are preparing for the rapidly approaching build season, and so are we here at 'Snow Problem! As part of our preparations, we are looking to get some amount of feedback about what kind of content (white papers, videos, CAD files, code) you would prefer us to release-- our goal, as it has always been, is to provide resources and "mass mentorship" to the community, and to provide you the best possible resources, we are hoping to focus our content creation on those that teams find most useful.

For reference, last year's white papers can be found here on CD-Media, and our videos may be found on the Robot in 3 Days YouTube channel.

Particular questions we have:
  • Hype robot reveal or robot walkthrough?
  • Are white papers useful? Are there any papers you would like to see?
  • What do you find interesting/useful in daily recap videos?

We're looking forward to the 2018 FIRST Power Up season!
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Unread 11-17-2017, 07:10 PM
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Re: Robot in 3 Days: What Documentation Do You Prefer?

I personally find the robot walkthroughs and white papers integral to Ri3D's usefulness simply because of the exact details provided, especially those pertaining to controls and motor/gearbox mounting configurations. Flashing lights and hype music makes for a good reveal video, but it isn't really helpful in the context of build season.
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Unread 11-17-2017, 07:11 PM
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Re: Robot in 3 Days: What Documentation Do You Prefer?

I really liked the white papers you did last year. I think final walk through videos are also great and help show how the robot works..

The reveal videos are flashy but rarely tell the whole story about the design.
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Unread 11-17-2017, 07:20 PM
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Re: Robot in 3 Days: What Documentation Do You Prefer?

I think there's merit to both. The hype videos are crucial to get my design team's attitude shifted from "how in the heck are we going to do this" to "this is totally doable". The more thorough technical details help us actually design though.

If I had to make one request, it would be to show videos of the robot in action without cuts, from several angles and with a wide shot. We can learn the most from seeing how the robot actually interacts with a field and gamepieces in real time.
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Unread 11-17-2017, 07:23 PM
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Re: Robot in 3 Days: What Documentation Do You Prefer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by anishde View Post
I personally find the robot walkthroughs and white papers integral to Ri3D's usefulness simply because of the exact details provided
ditto

Quote:
Originally Posted by anishde View Post
Flashing lights and hype music ... isn't really helpful in the context of build season.
ditto

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenGregoryIV View Post
I really liked the white papers you did last year.
ditto

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenGregoryIV View Post
The reveal videos are flashy but rarely tell the whole story about the design.
ditto


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Unread 11-17-2017, 07:24 PM
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Re: Robot in 3 Days: What Documentation Do You Prefer?

Another thing that would be useful is to highlight the robot's flaws and where it messes up with actual game pieces. Then design teams can know what to avoid and what works and what doesn't.
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Unread 11-17-2017, 07:48 PM
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Re: Robot in 3 Days: What Documentation Do You Prefer?

I'm not necessarily your target audience, but I have always found prototyping videos of mechanisms more helpful than any other aspect of 3iRD (including video of the finished robot.) If you could include videos of all of your prototypes in action (the good, the bad, and the ugly) with what you changed between each trial, that would be amazing.
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Unread 11-17-2017, 07:49 PM
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Re: Robot in 3 Days: What Documentation Do You Prefer?

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Originally Posted by firecrafty View Post
Another thing that would be useful is to highlight the robot's flaws and where it messes up with actual game pieces. Then design teams can know what to avoid and what works and what doesn't.
On top of this and everything else said above, I would say going over the prototyping process, what worked, what didn't work, and why
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Unread 11-17-2017, 08:46 PM
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Re: Robot in 3 Days: What Documentation Do You Prefer?

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Originally Posted by firecrafty View Post
Another thing that would be useful is to highlight the robot's flaws and where it messes up with actual game pieces. Then design teams can know what to avoid and what works and what doesn't.
Absolutely.

If you have anyone who can do something along the lines of FRACAS, that would be awesome.
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Unread 11-17-2017, 10:53 PM
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Re: Robot in 3 Days: What Documentation Do You Prefer?

RI3D jumped the shark this past year for me...

Do some soul searching and ask yourselves what your goals for participating in RI3D are first. That's my number one suggestion.

I think it would be great to see the RI3D teams spend more than a few minutes actually thinking about the strategic importance of the machine they are building and the features it has (fuel shooters, I'm looking at you...).

For the love of jibbers crabst - please work on centralizing all of the RI3D content and streams... I know you are a bunch of disparate groups but if no one can easily find it all in one spot then it becomes more detrimental than helpful.
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Unread 11-17-2017, 11:13 PM
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Re: Robot in 3 Days: What Documentation Do You Prefer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by firecrafty View Post
Another thing that would be useful is to highlight the robot's flaws and where it messes up with actual game pieces. Then design teams can know what to avoid and what works and what doesn't.
+1 to this, I want to know what doesn't work! Although that might cause us to dismiss ideas out of hand, so on second thought that may be a tossup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marshall View Post
RI3D jumped the shark this past year for me...

Do some soul searching and ask yourselves what your goals for participating in RI3D are first. That's my number one suggestion.

I think it would be great to see the RI3D teams spend more than a few minutes actually thinking about the strategic importance of the machine they are building and the features it has (fuel shooters, I'm looking at you...).

For the love of jibbers crabst - please work on centralizing all of the RI3D content and streams... I know you are a bunch of disparate groups but if no one can easily find it all in one spot then it becomes more detrimental than helpful.
I personally liked all the RI3D regardless of what they did, and I don't really look to them for strategy. This year the collective failure (relative to the competitive reality) of ball shooting wasn't great, but honestly I don't think I would have done it anyway. RI3D consistently shows what the above-average team is capable of building in an entire build season anyway.

Wasn't there a single youtube channel with all the RI3D reveals and things last year?
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Unread 11-17-2017, 11:18 PM
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Re: Robot in 3 Days: What Documentation Do You Prefer?

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I think it would be great to see the RI3D teams spend more than a few minutes actually thinking about the strategic importance of the machine they are building and the features it has (fuel shooters, I'm looking at you...).
As someone who has been in and around the Ri3D machine for the last couple years: you're not wrong. I think it took most people more than those first eight or ten hours to realize a Really Good gear system would be more valuable than a big passive gear pocket and a fuel shooter. (Credit where it's due, WCP's MCC got this balance closer to right in their video released early Week 2.)

Quote:
For the love of jibbers crabst - please work on centralizing all of the RI3D content and streams... I know you are a bunch of disparate groups but if no one can easily find it all in one spot then it becomes more detrimental than helpful.
This is, admittedly, a thing I've noticed too. (And we didn't exactly help in 2016 when the Digit board code stayed on the Garnet Squadron GitHub.)

What would be the most useful thing for a live stream, assuming that the stream will be something to set and forget?
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Unread 11-17-2017, 11:48 PM
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For the love of jibbers crabst

I feel like you should know that I appreciate that crazy obscure reference.
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Unread 11-18-2017, 12:24 AM
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Re: Robot in 3 Days: What Documentation Do You Prefer?

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What would be the most useful thing for a live stream, assuming that the stream will be something to set and forget?
A view of a whiteboard and/or a kanban board showing strategic choices, design requirements, and tasks.
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Unread 11-18-2017, 12:35 AM
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Re: Robot in 3 Days: What Documentation Do You Prefer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by marshall View Post
RI3D jumped the shark this past year for me...

Do some soul searching and ask yourselves what your goals for participating in RI3D are first. That's my number one suggestion.

I think it would be great to see the RI3D teams spend more than a few minutes actually thinking about the strategic importance of the machine they are building and the features it has (fuel shooters, I'm looking at you...).

For the love of jibbers crabst - please work on centralizing all of the RI3D content and streams... I know you are a bunch of disparate groups but if no one can easily find it all in one spot then it becomes more detrimental than helpful.
So I've been involved/led an Ri3D team for 3 years now and I can say you never get enough time to strategize. It's really hard to set aside a large portion of your time for strategy when there's so much building to do. We've gotten to the point where we basically familiarize ourselves with the game and immediately begin prototyping mechanisms to perform each task. Then we take all our best prototypes and scramble to fit them all within the frame perimeter on the last day. Our approach leads to a robot that has effective/semieffective mechanisms for each element of the game, but not necessarily a robot that will be competitive from a strategic standpoint.

Our logic is that teams will have way more time to dig into strategy than we do, and that the best way we can benefit them is by getting as many prototypes on camera as possible. With that said, we could really do a better job on our daily update videos...

As for the centralization of Ri3D content, I think Dan and the original Ri3D team do their best to keep everything in one place. There is actually a registration process for Ri3D now (as there was last year) that helps to ensure that Ri3D teams are getting content to the Ri3D Channel on YouTube amongst other organizational things. The issue in my opinion is that Ri3D has blown up in recent years and there are more teams to follow. That inevitably makes it harder to keep things organized. I think it's great for FRC teams to have a lot of content to look through, but I worry that if Ri3D keeps growing that quality content will start to get lost in the noise. Hopefully we don't reach that point this year, but I like what you said in your first paragraph Marshall.

Ri3D's purpose is to provide mass mentorship to FRC teams, not so a bunch of college kids can keep building FIRST robots. I think the teams that have participated so far have done a good job, and hopefully that continues as more and more Ri3D teams form.
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