Soooooo I don’t think they’ve ever done it and I’m not sure why… but if anyone knows the team members of 1114 or 2056 (or any other ballin’ teams out there), could you pleeeeease encourage them to have release videos this year? I personally never get a chance to see the robots up close in action and I think it would be BEYOND cool if they made a little something. I feel like a lot of people agree on this, and it would totally mean the world to us in so many ways
I won’t speak for 1114 and 2056, but if I were in their position, I wouldn’t want to give away any competitive advantage I may have by coming into an event as an unknown commodity. With that said, seeing incredibly well produced videos by these amazing teams would be awesome.
"The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” ― Steven Furtick
I personally feel that it’s poor to judge a team by their release video - any robot could look great in a well-edited video (granted, this is 1114 and 2056 we are talking about in this instance, which would be amazing anyway). If you really want to get a good feel for their past robots, look at some of their old match footage on The Blue Alliance. That’ll also show how their robots and drive teams evolve as the season progresses.
But, that being said, I am always in love with 118’s reveal videos.
There’s a reason that some of the top teams in FRC don’t do release videos until after the season.
As noted, it gives everybody else a chance to try to figure out how to beat them starting from the date/time of the release video, rather than when they open the bag at their first event. While you’re trying to figure out what they’re doing and how to beat them, they’re iterating onto the robot what they’ve learned from previous events (if any) and other release videos and their own practice.
But there’s also another reason. Making a video takes time and people away from some things that they are going to be very busy doing. Like driver practice (under game-like conditions, at any rate). Like iterating the robot’s subsystems to be even better. Like watching everybody else’s release videos. Like fundraising (if necessary). Like finishing the CAD (which as I recall 1114 does release on occasion). Like schoolwork. Like sleep.
For 1114, there’s a third reason… but just referencing it brings up bad memories.
What I might suggest instead of a release video would be a series of “Tour” videos, discussing the robot at each stage of development and providing an up-close view. Of course, these videos would probably be released no earlier than AFTER the first event…and probably much later, like after Champs.
Schoolwork? Sleep? Never heard of that
Here’s a ‘Behind the Bumpers’ segment that Mike and I shot a couple years ago of 1114 and their robot in 2013. Does a pretty good job showing some of the cool features for those who never saw the robot up close. If you look on our FRC Top 25 channel there are some more from several great teams.
I’m guessing I shouldn’t ask?
Yeah, or even that would be pretty cool…
I’m sure competitive advantage is part of it. I think a bigger part of it though is that top teams already have a big enough target on their back without crating hype for themselves. For teams not in the very, very top tier of FRC, there’s utility in a release video in that it makes the world aware of your robot and that you are a potential contender. The top teams don’t have anything to prove.
But really the biggest reason is probably that a reveal video takes a solid amount of time and effort, and all those hours spent making a sweet video are hours not spent improving the robot, or doing schoolwork, or catching up on sleep or whatever.
(By the way, I have no idea what this “third reason” is; 1114 only made a video in 2009, and I don’t remember anything super out of the ordinary about how they were treated that year. Nobody copied them or whatever…)
900 is definitely not a top team but I can tell you that making videos takes time and effort. It also takes individuals dedicated to making them.
They could do a release video but they spend their time perfecting the robot design rather than making videos. Just look at the way 1114 controlled the bins so well that only comes with iteration.
Playing Devils advocate you could make a great release video in a day with a couple of people. With a team the size of 1114 I’m sure they have the resource and time to make a video.
Why is this an issue? Let teams do what they want to do.
Because 10 days before kickoff, everything is an issue on CD.
What size of team do you expect they have?
From what I recall they have a smaller team than what you would expect.
The time used to make the video could easily be used towards practice or iteration of their robot instead of something that doesn’t give anything back at least competitively to the team.
We are lucky that 1114 and other teams even post their engineering notebook and CAD of their robots to the public. It is something optional that they do I believe to help the community.
A few of the reasons we don’t, have already been mentioned but I’ll explain a bit more.
It’s not really the competitive advantage, is more time, resources and knowledge.
We spend all of our time practicing, programming, and reiterating or robot. There’s is no down time during this time of the season. We need to spend as much time as possible using our competition robot before it’s bagged. While on 772 we started making release videos and it always took hours to record footage.
We never finish our robot. I’ve never felt like we are done the robot anymore, it’s constant improvements, so it’s hard to record a finished robot when we’re never actually finished.
I’m sure most people think we have a huge team, but we really don’t. Last year we had a larger than normal team, 25 students signed up. And of that not everyone comes and works all the time. During this time most people are doing important work, like programming, driving, reiterating.
We don’t have anyone skilled in this area, or anyone showing interest in it. I know I asked about it when I first joined the team, and I was told no body on the team shows any interest in that type of thing. So we’re not going to force a student to spend hours and hours making a video that they don’t want to make.
I completely get it, I used to hope and hope for a video from 1114 and 2056, but now I understand why they/we don’t make one.
We try and help out and inspire as many teams and students as possible. Which is why we release all of our CAD, programming, tutorials, presentations and more. Tour videos would be a good idea, but we already kind of do this type of thing with our engineering note book, it’s just not made in video form. You can also look at our prototyping videos we recently uploaded to our YouTube channel to see what happens throughout the season on our team.
This is so true. I only felt like our robot last year was close to done at IRI, even then there was plenty of room for improvement. Each day of the build season is very precious, and it shows just how effectively 1114 uses their time when they come out of the gate so strong each year while many other top teams play catch-up throughout the competition timeframe.
However, I have to qualify this by saying the reveal videos are fun to be able to show off your creation in a cool way. I enjoyed staying up late to make them, but I imagine it’s tough when no one is interested.
I don’t know about you guys but I enjoy most release videos because of the snazzy music. Something about 118 dropping stacks and “Up Up and Away” in the background just gets me really pumped for the competition season.
Even if all of the effort of a release video was filming (it isn’t), losing a whole day of robot time at the end of build season to shoot a reveal video is huge. The only way my old team ever managed to do it is if we had someone film all the video during driver practice, and then worked on the editing after ship day, usually rushing the video along in an already busy season. If you have a media team that doesn’t have a robot task to do at the moment, it can work, but not for relatively small teams.