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Unread 12-17-2014, 07:38 PM
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Re: VEXpro Build Blitz 2015

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Originally Posted by Ilovepineapples View Post
I do not see this as a positive development. I won't go outright and say I dislike it but I feel this will narrow the designs we see even more than in Ri3D.

Now we'll see the same VEX designs repeated over and over by all teams using the same pre-fabricated parts. We'll have some nice looking robots and VEX will have a bigger pocketbook.
Big words from an anonymous account. If you want to attach a name to your post then I might actually consider your opinion.
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Unread 12-17-2014, 07:49 PM
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Re: VEXpro Build Blitz 2015

I'll miss the full robots, but I'm glad Vex is doing what it is doing. It is quite honestly a huge service for the entire FRC community - both struggling teams and the better-off teams who play with them.

While we all love to talk about how events like these kill creativity or hand teams a solution, they really aren't. What it is doing is killing the "creativity" of a team who only had the resources to test one idea and run with it regardless of effectiveness. Quite frankly I would rather these teams be able to play the game at all than "creatively" struggle to complete even the most basic tasks. Clearly those teams making the copies would too.

I don't think a lot of teams who are "well off" realize how huge of a burden prototyping can be on a young, understaffed team. Over the past half decade 2791 has been working more and more each year toward strong, varied prototyping in build season, and it's way harder than it looks. In the absence of well trained students, you essentially need a mentor per prototyping group to really keep everyone focused and ask the right questions needed for the students to push the prototype further. Until this year, perhaps last, we did not have the resources to prototype more than one mechanism at a time.

2791 has enjoyed some relative success in the past few seasons. I don't think it's unfair to say that we are a competitive team at the regional level. But we owe so much of that success to sharing design concepts, learning how other teams' prototypes worked, and some straight up copying of a prototype or two. Our 2014 shooter, 2013 shooter, 2012 hopper, these are all mechanisms that we were only able to pursue with exposure to others' prototypes and having the privilege of being able to choose what to prototype based on those ideas.

The only reason we were able to take our limited prototyping resources and apply them in such a focused way toward a proven good concept? We network with several teams throughout the build season to exchange this kind of information. This is not a benefit that every team has. What Vex Build Blitz and Ri3D do is give every team in FRC access to some viable concepts to start from. I think for hundreds of teams this resource is invaluable.
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Unread 12-17-2014, 08:09 PM
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Re: VEXpro Build Blitz 2015

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Originally Posted by Chris is me View Post
What it is doing is killing the "creativity" of a team who only had the resources to test one idea and run with it regardless of effectiveness.
Exactly this.
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Unread 12-17-2014, 08:18 PM
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Re: VEXpro Build Blitz 2015

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Originally Posted by Chris is me View Post
I'll miss the full robots, but I'm glad Vex is doing what it is doing.

*snip*
I agree wholeheartedly with everything posted in this thread. Because of Ri3D and BuildBlitz, I have seen teams become competitive, if they understand how to create those robots effectively.

I have a question. For 2014, would you rather have 6 different robots for teams to iterate upon (JVN, Copioli, BoomDone, Ri3D 1.0, 1114 2008, O-Ryon), or all those teams to attempt an 1114 2008 robot, which is a good design, but it would lead to less parity in robot design, and likely more boxes on wheels.

I'll ask you another question: In 2013/2014, If you are an "original" 9/10 robot up against three 8/10 robots in qualifications, would you rather be teamed up with 2 2/10 boxes on wheels, or 2 6/10 Ri3D clones?
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Unread 12-17-2014, 08:29 PM
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Re: VEXpro Build Blitz 2015

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Originally Posted by Gregor View Post
Big words from an anonymous account. If you want to attach a name to your post then I might actually consider your opinion.
I do not see how having an anonymous account detracts from his/her opinion. Maybe they are not on a team or don't like having their name on the internet.

Last edited by stufflikethat : 12-17-2014 at 09:04 PM.
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Unread 12-17-2014, 08:44 PM
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Re: VEXpro Build Blitz 2015

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Originally Posted by 3175student17 View Post
I'll ask you another question: In 2013/2014, If you are an "original" 9/10 robot up against three 8/10 robots in qualifications, would you rather be teamed up with 2 2/10 boxes on wheels, or 2 6/10 Ri3D clones?
In 2013: I would probably pick the Ri3D clones, unless I were going against an FCS or two, in which case I would slap on some pool noodles to a box to block their FCS shots.

In 2014: I would probably pick 1 of each, a box of wheels (assuming a working drivetrain) could inbound much quicker than the Ri3D, and then my "original" robot and Ri3D would get it down the rest of the field. 2014 was the year where a box on wheels (albeit with a goalie pole and as the fourth robot) made it to the Championship finals.

I would consider reading this article for more about boxes on wheels.
http://beyondinspection.org/post/972...-dozer-does-it

With the right strategy and preparation, you can win regionals with boxes on wheels. Don't be so quick to completely dismiss them.
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Unread 12-17-2014, 08:45 PM
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Re: VEXpro Build Blitz 2015

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Originally Posted by stufflikethat View Post
I do not see how having an anonymous account detracts from his/her opinion. Maybe they are not on a team or don't like having their name on the internet.

Instead of attacking the person you should consider their opinion. I think most people have the right intentions and just different opinions on how to do the most good for the community.
Everyone has a right to their opinions, but it is no secret that there is credibility in a name. Gregor (one of the most highly respected students in the FRC community) is in no way attacking the person. I wondered the same thing as he did. It is one thing to voice your opinions, but it is an entirely different thing to make negative and unsupported remarks behind the veil of anonymity. That isn't protecting yourself. That is being a coward. If you have an opinion just say it. Back your opinion. Hiding behind an anonymous account makes it look like you are ashamed to be seen saying what you're saying in public, in which case you should either not say it, or if it is something you feel needs to be addressed, private message the person.

Like I said, I respect the fact that everyone has an opinion, but I cannot respect someone who will publicly make negative and unsupported claims through an anonymous account. If you are going to speak anonymously, message the person anonymously and keep it private. If you're going to be public, be fully public.

Last edited by Andrew Lawrence : 12-17-2014 at 08:48 PM.
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Unread 12-18-2014, 01:37 AM
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Re: VEXpro Build Blitz 2015

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Originally Posted by Dale View Post
This idea of not building complete robots and focusing on educational materials is a really good development. I hope the other quick build teams take a similar approach. Having solutions just handed to students has always seemed to me to be depriving them of the valuable experience of prototyping and dreaming. It's all too easy to look at something that works and say "let's do that."
I would respectfully disagree.
Looking at a prototype video/pictures of another programs/Ri3D robot isnt necessarily easy to duplicate.
The game last year had a relatively easy task with no end game vs. other years. With all of the support resources available last year, there were still many teams who couldnt play the game effectively.
I think the resources provided by veteran FRC members and FRC suppliers creating fully functional robots was a step in the right direction.
The direction that Build Blitz is moving towards is still fine by me though. A happy medium for everyone.
Lets hope that it continues to translate to better overall robot performances on the field.
The thing that frustrates me the most from a competition perspective, isnt necessarily who I am up against, but instead, having partners that cannot effectively contribute during a match.
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Unread 12-18-2014, 02:08 AM
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Re: VEXpro Build Blitz 2015

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Originally Posted by waialua359 View Post
I would respectfully disagree.
Looking at a prototype video/pictures of another programs/Ri3D robot isnt necessarily easy to duplicate.
The game last year had a relatively easy task with no end game vs. other years. With all of the support resources available last year, there were still many teams who couldnt play the game effectively.
I think the resources provided by veteran FRC members and FRC suppliers creating fully functional robots was a step in the right direction.
The direction that Build Blitz is moving towards is still fine by me though. A happy medium for everyone.
Lets hope that it continues to translate to better overall robot performances on the field.
The thing that frustrates me the most from a competition perspective, isnt necessarily who I am up against, but instead, having partners that cannot effectively contribute during a match.
I think vexpro highlighting how you can build individual robot "appendages" using their pre-fab is good enough to solve this.

For instance. One of the bigger issues last year wasn't people copying the El Toro intake - but that they didnt know the correct composition and tuning. I imagine Vex would have shown how to build that with pretty much the exact components that they pre-fab and sell so that if a team wanted to just buy a "lego kit" intake they could have. This will increase competitiveness across the board.

I also see it as less restricting on creativity. If vex were to provide 15 different components, then teams would have to do their own cost-benefit analysis of components to get different combinations of robots - vs doing a cost-benefit on the robot from Ri3d they should copy.
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Unread 12-18-2014, 02:12 AM
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Re: VEXpro Build Blitz 2015

I think I'm more excited about the mention of some in-depth strategy discussion. On a related note, I'd suggest taking a good chunk of time to work through what the rules actually mean, especially the sections many teams don't read (human player rules this past season, for example).

I remember drive coaching at a week one event the past two years, and having to correct other drive teams way too much. For example, a lot of teams last year blindly chased the 0-assist 10-point goal when they could have done 10% better with low goals and just one assist, even before you take accuracy and time-to-cycle into account. Build Blitz last year did bring this up, but never really did anything with it since they were trying to build good solo robots. Since you won't be tied down to a single robot per group, you can explore a lot more options for how to play the game.
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Unread 12-18-2014, 07:59 AM
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Re: VEXpro Build Blitz 2015

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Originally Posted by Paul Richardson View Post
I think I'm more excited about the mention of some in-depth strategy discussion. On a related note, I'd suggest taking a good chunk of time to work through what the rules actually mean, especially the sections many teams don't read (human player rules this past season, for example).

I remember drive coaching at a week one event the past two years, and having to correct other drive teams way too much. For example, a lot of teams last year blindly chased the 0-assist 10-point goal when they could have done 10% better with low goals and just one assist, even before you take accuracy and time-to-cycle into account. Build Blitz last year did bring this up, but never really did anything with it since they were trying to build good solo robots. Since you won't be tied down to a single robot per group, you can explore a lot more options for how to play the game.
Exactly this.
Also, from what I can infer from the website and Mr. Kanagasabapathy's post, the intention is for the Build Blitz team to look at several different ways to tackle the game, as well as potential mechanisms that could be used in those strategies. As far as I'm concerned, this can only lead to proliferation of ideas and designs. Because there will be copies, but there will also be teams designed to beat these copies.
Most Ri3D teams have to determine a strategy early, and build to that design. With BB taking the entire week to strategize and prototype - like most FRC teams do - they'll be able to go much more in depth and breadth with strategy.

I'll be interested to see if there's a gamebreaking strategy uncovered by these fine folks, if they'll make it public or sit on it.
How different would 2010 have been if more teams had pursued a 469-style robot? Or how much money could teams have saved on burnt-out FTC motors in 2011?

Hopefully this exercise will raise the gameplay, and lead to much more refined play and playmaking at the highest levels of competition.
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Unread 12-18-2014, 10:26 AM
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Re: VEXpro Build Blitz 2015

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Originally Posted by Karthik View Post
We want to be careful with committing to any dates prior to kickoff; so much of what we develop is going to be game specific, we don't want to over commit prior to knowing the game. Once we wrap our heads around the game and decide what resources we're focusing on, we'll publish a detailed timeline of what to expect. Now in terms of generalities, we hope to be developing and releasing our Build Blitz resources across the the first week of the build season.
Thanks for the explanation. I will adjust our plan and schedule accordingly to account for including your resources in our decision making.

This has been a very enlightening thread for me and I very much appreciate the conversation. As I mentioned before, I am a big fan of the Ri3D work. I am very optimistic that this approach will be as meaningful to our process and have as positive an impact. Well done BuildBlitz team.
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Unread 12-18-2014, 10:34 AM
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Re: VEXpro Build Blitz 2015

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Originally Posted by Ilovepineapples View Post
Exactly. They are doing the same thing as last year but without the robot base. I fail to see how this addresses any of the concerns that the original nay-sayers of Ri3D/Build Blitz had.

I will of course save my final judgement for after Build Blitz this year. But currently, this is how I see it.
It helps address my concerns about polluting brainstorming sessions with the slightly delayed release schedule. We should have most of our initial game analysis and the beginnings of brainstorming done by the point where they start releasing material, and the students will hopefully remain open-minded during the brainstorming phase.
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Unread 12-18-2014, 12:28 PM
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Re: VEXpro Build Blitz 2015

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Originally Posted by Gregor View Post
Big words from an anonymous account. If you want to attach a name to your post then I might actually consider your opinion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Lawrence View Post
... it is an entirely different thing to make negative and unsupported remarks behind the veil of anonymity. That isn't protecting yourself. That is being a coward.
These are bizarrely vitriolic comments directed at someone that said, anonymously or otherwise, only that they dislike something.
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Unread 12-18-2014, 01:40 PM
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Re: VEXpro Build Blitz 2015

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Originally Posted by Madison View Post
These are bizarrely vitriolic comments directed at someone that said, anonymously or otherwise, only that they dislike something.
To be fair, Pineapples did make a number of unsubstantiated claims (some of which are easier to agree with/swallow than others):

1: "Lots of VEX copies"- only one way to find out about this. To be honest i didn't see this nearly as much as people claimed it happened last year, but more importantly, there isn't any reasoning behind the statement.

2: "Teams using lots of the same prefab components"- See 4, but thats a decent part of the justification for doing an event like this, and has been since the original Ri3D. It also remains to be seen exactly how many teams will follow the BB/Ri3D resources for this year-- last year I know a pretty large number of teams flat out ignored them, either out of ingnorance to their existence or choice.

3: "Lots of good looking robots"- Lord I hope so, but again, comes more down to taste and opinion than anything that can be backed up by fact or reason.

4: "VEX lines their pocketbooks"- Well, yeah. This is a bit of a cynical statement, but I'm pretty sure IFI wants their VEX robotics stuff to make money. They are after all a company. Releasing ways to build a bunch of cool stuff from their products is probably going to be a nice sales boost for VersaChassis products and will help convince skeptical teams and mentors of the system's usefulness. None of these things were said by Pineapples, but I can see some semblance of reasoning behind the statement.

The end result is a post that reads more like an accusation than just stating that they disagree with it. I also think there's a bit of built up resentment towards some other anonymous accounts that post more often, which may be coloring the reactions to this particular poster.

My personal opinions on this are somewhat neutral. I think there's a lot of potential to the idea and done right it could be an incredible resource for teams-- and with all the great minds behind it I'm pretty confident it will be-- but it also has the potential to just turn into a shameless plug for using as much VEX product as possible. I doubt the latter will happen, but then again the road to shameless capitalism is paved with good intentions. Regardless, I'm certainly excited to see what comes out of this new addition to mass mentoring.
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