1 week down, are you on schedule?

The end of the first week is a great time to take a few minutes to look at your progress and make adjustments, if needed. In some years past, we’ve made adjustments at about this point. We’ve redirected our prototyping effort if something just wasn’t working out. We’ve reorganized the team as needed to address issues. The important part is taking the time to examine how the season is going. If you just put your head down and work, you might find that the ship deadline arrives before a finished robot!

Is prototyping not returning the results you want? It might be a good time to take a different approach to the problem.

Have some of the students you planned on being on the team not shown up? Now would be a good time to shift your plans to work with the “active” members.

Are there any problems at all with the team? Now is the perfect time to address them, before they get compounded by week after week of build season.

For our team, this year has been going amazingly well - due in a very large part to our student leadership. We have 10 mechanical students, 4 electrical, and 6 programming… and only 4 mentors to work with them, which represents the worst ratio the team has had. Despite that, as mentors we’re spending less time organizing the team, less time leading discussions (now we mostly stand in the back and listen, occasionally asking them to think about something a little more), less time doing any design work, and less time getting our hands dirty. The students (especially the captains and sub-team captains) have really stepped up this year and taken the burden off our shoulders, and the results speak for themselves:

The chassis would be rolling right now, except a few of the sprockets are bad and need to be replaced. While unfortunate, it doesn’t really hold anything else up… and it’s not something the students could have foreseen. Heck, even having experience with this stuff, it wasn’t something any of the mentors saw until we actually put the chains on yesterday!

We have two practice bots running, and as of yesterday one had a fully functional prototype of our entire mechanism attached (it’s fortunate that we used a similar mechanism in a previous year!). At our next meeting, drivers will be able to pick up tubes drive around, lift them, and place them on the rack. Unfortunately, this prototype doesn’t go all the way to the top row, but given how fast it was constructed, I don’t see that as a problem!

We have a 1/4 scale version of our entire lifting mechanism, proving out the design (reaching to the top row!) and showing us exactly what we need to know in order to build the real thing.

We’ve identified where everything on the robot will be attached, including exactly what volume will be used for the electrical components. We’ve never had this good of information so early in the build season… In fact, this is about 2-3 weeks earlier than last year!

Please, share with the rest of the community how your team is doing this year - especially if there are any technical issues that are preventing you from staying on schedule! Also use this as a chance to recognize any individuals who have really stood out during this first week and made a real difference to the the team. Recognition for a job well done shouldn’t just come at the end of the season with the Dean’s List or the Woodie Flowers Award. It should come constantly throughout the season!

i think we are on schedule, this year our robot is a good deal more complex than in has been in prior years, but we are also already making parts and the CAD is getting along nicely. i would like to think we will have the robot done a week or two early.:slight_smile: :slight_smile:

i think we are on schedule, this year our robot is a good deal more complex than in has been in prior years, but we are also already making parts and the CAD is getting along nicely. i would like to think we will have the robot done a week or two early.:slight_smile: :slight_smile:

well our robots name this year is “Ahead of Schedule” and the minibots named “On time”. Ya, we already have our entire robot CADed and all the parts that we need will arive next week. :smiley: We’re “Ahead of Schedule!”

We are actually kind of ahead of schedule.

We’re way behind, but that might result in us building a simpler robot that still does the task. So maybe we’re doing ok. Although it would be nice if we’d paid more attention to the FIRST Choice thing, etc. We have a lot of new people on the team (students and mentors) and there’s a lot of info that the few of us with experience need to spread to the rest of the team…it takes time!

We’re on schedule…just maybe not the RIGHT schedule.

Seriously though, we’re way ahead of ourselves in past years, so that’s good. We already have a three “robots” for coding and testing things out, and a design for the chassis of the actual robot.

Our design has been prototyped, and we’ve decided on our chassis for this year. We also prototyped a claw which seems to work pretty well.

Yesterday I also got the autonomous tracking to the goal. (From 8ft away and at 1/3 speed took about 4 seconds to get into capping position) This will help to determine how fast the arm has to be, seeing as we have to do a half rotation to cap at that height. From my testing, I think any robot looking to do a double cap in autonomous will need about 15ftps speed and an arm that can do a half rotation in 1sec

btw my autonomous code for this year is open source and comes with a set of video tutorials, feel free to email me for more info ([email protected])

We’re somewhat on-schedule, despite losing two build days this week (meaning we only met three days for Week 1). There was an attitude issue with a few students that had to be sorted out, but I’m pretty sure that has been worked out. Even though we can’t afford to lose too many students, that story about one team that started with only one student is just a reminder that we would rather keep 4-6 students who are truly interested in sticking around to learn, regardless of petty issues, than to have 10+ who are on the brink of fighting.

As for the robot, we’ve got the basic KOP chassis setup with our 6WD drive, complete with a temporary electronics board (that new wireless bridge/AP is a huge pain in the 'bot). So Tuesday we will start testing out the drivetrain, getting the programming going, etc. This is the first year we’re attempting to build a practice robot. Setting up those IFI controllers was a nice blast-from-the-past.

Overall, I like where we are. Could we have used those extra two days? You betcha! But did they put us behind schedule? Not really.

461 is (mostly) on schedule. Our drivetrain is CADded up, the arm group has some prototypes made and CADded. programming is entirely new this year, but they are learning quickly. The head programmer (also a freshman) got line following working in 3-4 hours, and the team has been working on sub-routines to do things for the driver (i.e go to X height on the arm). So i think we’re on the official schedule, but 3 weeks behind where I’d want to be.

2252 is more on schedule than we have ever been in our past 4 years of being a team. So these are good things, but could be better. haha.

I take my Sundays of Build Season off to get all of my homework done, but I have, in Week 0 and Week 1 at least, been thinking of how the team is doing in handling the challenge. We have our core group of 12 students (they are there just as/more often than my five days/week) that have been doing their part to really push our build season along. We’re using the drive kit AndyMark donated to the teams in the KOP for testing. Hopefully it’ll give us an idea of sensor and camera usage. The team is finalizing collection/manipulation prototyping today, and after we choose that system, we’ll move into wheelbase and hanging. The hope is to finalize the design by Wednesday and send out the parts, then really hit the shop by the weekend.

With semester exams unfortunately looming, we have to push to get our action plan together for the actual build. Barring a surprise snowmageddon, we’ll have an extra two weeks we lost last year due to paralyzing conditions. Everyone’s thinking that if we can put together a New Jersey finalist in 12 days (we literally built the bot in 12 days), we can build a real force with more time.

Good luck to everyone, especially the snow-weary Midwest and Northeast teams. Although, I don’t think anyone would mind another year of 65 lbs. provisions!

2022 is ahead of schedule. On Friday night we worked with a Caterpillar Project Manager and laid out a refined project schedule. Based on this schedule we will be entirely done with build, programming, debugging, testing, and practice with 5 days remaining in the build season.

As for week 1 progress, we have several working minibot designs that climb the tower repeatably in <3 seconds. We have two separate claw prototypes, and a lifter mechanism. All parts have either arrived already, or will arrive Tuesday.



174 is where we want to be. Ideas are hammered out and well made prototypes confirm our ideas. We have back-up designs for grippers and the main gripper in testing that is proving to be a massive upgrade to the one we had in '07.

Everything is on track and we feel a really good vibe about how well it’s going.

Nope. About half a week behind, due to not meeting for all of week 1. Got 1 meeting in on Saturday, and hopefully we can get into our school monday (due to MLK day it is closed…)

“We are not on schedule until the robot is done”

Fixed that for you. :stuck_out_tongue:

A robot is never done.


Overall I think were on Schduel.

Where we stand.

-The chassis prototyping has been complete, and electronics have been strapped on to make a it have full driving capabilities. (a desc ion should be made within the next few days)

  • A lot of Great arm prototyping has been done, sevral designs have been made to some degree to another, and I see there being some testing in the near future.

  • The mini-bot crew has been fast at work getting everything together, and there protypeing (in VEX parts) has been quite well. I expect to see some expirmental programming taking place soon.

  • A scoring Grid, feeder Slot, and mini bot pole have all been build buy the Field Construction Crew and look great!

  • Minibot Deployment system has been prototyped with motor and looks great.

  • Programming has been fooling around with the FMS light to see if it will be compatible with non-classmates for pre-season events.

  • Programming has also been programming all of these contraptions.

Over all I’d say were on track. The fact that prgramming ran out of stuff to do mid-day tells me that our department has been on the ball and is a-head of schduel.

The only problem is we don’t have a strategy sorta! :ahh: This is a problem. The reason for this is that in our strategy meetings, a good amount of students want to build a completely "defensive robot, with minor offensive abilities "(FirstTunes Ep. 5). All the mentors, Alumni, and some students believe this is not a smart way to go (I included). We believe that any robot can play defense, and we need to think offensively at least until the robot it done. However since Student wise, we’re currently in the Minority for offense, we were able to work with the mentors to use a stalling tactic, and get a jack of all trades bot through everyone. By doing this, it basically allows us to build an offensive robot, without upsetting those in favor of Defense. Is it risky? Yes, but if it plays out right, it will be benifical to the team.

Overall the season has been going well, I and the other programmer have been getting along great so far, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.