2015 Week Zero Lessons Learned

In the spirit of this thread, I’m curious what teams have learned from Week Zero events. I’ll try to post my thoughts later.

Random thoughts from watching the video feed on a projector, as we continued to build and test …

  1. Wow, that field is a mess!
  2. Noodles fly farther than I would have guessed
  3. Some matches, the unprocessed litter will be more points than stack points
  4. Mecanums may have some issues getting through the sea of litter
  5. 100 points will be a very good match
  6. Totes from the chute door (yes, chute door) create an obstacle if you can’t capture it effectively

Just got home in a snowstorm from the Suffield Shakedown.

Lessons learned:

  • Coopertition points will get you the seeding that you want. Stacks are easy to make on the step. Sets won’t happen.

  • Landfill congestion will conspire against you in gaining Coopertition points.

  • Placing a recycle container on a tote stack triples its value. Worth it.

  • In a 2:15 match, it is difficult to make more than one stack per Robot with a recycling container. The higher the stack, the more time it takes.

  • Robots build higher stacks by placing multiple totes on each other.

  • Alliances with a well coordinated game plan will succeed in increasing their Qualification Averages.

  • There are openings in the plexiglass between alliance teams to facilitate communication.

  • Human Player loading can be more efficient than gathering off of the field.

  • The noodles that we had seemed more dense than our KOP noodles and could easily make it all the way to the other driver station.

  • Noodles can be placed in recycle containers by the Human Players, but it is quicker if the containers are tipped towards the slot. Human Players were bending the noodles to more easily place them in the containers.

  • Noodles accounted for almost half of the match points.

  • Noodles get chewed up by mecanums with their lateral; shear forces.

  • Noodles really mess with Robot mobility.

  • Autonomous scoring is harder than you think. We saw none. Tote and Robot sets are the best most can hope for. The autonomous zone is a tight space and the scoring platforms mess with your positioning in the zone.

  • Center of Gravity plays a big role and makes the scoring activities quite exciting.

  • It’s a great game, but difficult for spectators to understand the scoring.

  • Ranking is where there will be drama. Did an alliance score above or below their Qualification Average? That will move them up or down as the competition progresses.

What I would change?
Too many totes on the field, but I guess that is part of the challenge.
I would remove a row of totes from the Landfill zone and the step and make them all upright.

Was there a reason the human player stations were installed backward?

Was the Litter used at this event not the same as the official litter that will be used during week 1? We have not been able to throw our litter more than 30 feet.

As a rookie, I got to learn so much from my first FRC season event, especially when it came to approaching/scouting other teams.

  1. The vast majority of robots (at least at our scrimmage) used mechanum wheels
  2. Said mechanum wheeled robots have more trouble getting over scoring platforms than I expected.
  3. There were more elevator lift designs than I expected, so teams using them will need to put in more effort in getting their robot noticed by scouts.
  4. Making tote stacks definitely took much longer than I thought
  5. We visited two practice fields today. The first one had a handful of teams utilizing brushes on the front of their robots to push litter, while I don’t recall any teams at the second event having those. I wonder if the Atlanta teams have been exchanging design ideas.
  6. Can anyone pick up the upside down totes?
  7. People at FRC events loveloveloveloveLOVE to dance the Cupid Shuffle.
  8. It’s very hard not to join the crowd of people doing the Cupid Shuffle.

All things considered, we really got to refine our our game strategies and practice for Chairman’s. (Thanks GeorgiaFIRST!) Also, shout-out to the rest of the teams attending either the Atlanta or Walton pre-ship scrimmages. You guys were super kind and awesome to talk to!

Feeling fairly confident for the upcoming regionals. Palmetto and Peachtree, here we come!

Why recycle when you can throw trash into your neighbor’s lawn?

Cause the neighbor is a worker for the city…

My dad works for the City of San Jose and our neighbors always seem to be leaving trash and trimmings on our side of the yard. :rolleyes:

Watching the Suffield Shakedown webcast:

  • Stacks are not easy to make, or make in quantity
  • Many stacks will be made without RCs on them, which might not be worth the effort
  • RCs are easy to knock over accidentally
  • Coopertition is HUGE
  • Coopertition is easily defeated by litter or someone breaking up the landfill for seemingly no reason / benefit
  • Autonomous is nearly dead, but this may be a side-effect of it being week zero

The whole field is a mess. We’ve been practicing over the past week in a wide open area, and I don’t think that helped our drivers at all for driving in a match. We should have just grabbed a bunch of random chairs and tables and threw them around our practice area.

The orientation of totes coming out of the chute was a big problem for us, slowing us down to 1 stack per match.

#6 We can…saw it work many times in testing

The field at Suffield was not right for half the time. After lunch they fixed it but the human player station is supposed to be flipped. We brought this up to the FTA there and they decided to just play with it flipped. Also the noodles at the shakedown were not official ones, the ones used were stiffer then the official ones received in the KOP.

I did not go to a week zero, but we went to Code Red and used their Half Field, Noticed that when totes fell from a great height, the zipties broke alot. Also, if a 6 tote stack falls, it could become dangerous if you are nearby…especially for a robot.

What do you mean it was flipped?

The chutes were on the “outside” of the field when they should have been on the “inside”, ie they were farther from the driver stations than they should be.

You wouldn’t happen to have a picture of what you mean?

Compare the stream with the field drawings.

So the Tote shoot was closer to the outer edge/wall than closer to the driver station, where it should be.