2015 Week Zero Lessons Learned

We had some 6 stacks topple at the AZ scrimmage yesterday…that was fun to watch. But painful to watch when the robot goes over with them.

I wasn’t much surprised by what I saw. I’m glad we made an ungainly universal arm and claw that can cap a stack of 5 with a tote or container, and can also flip over a container if needed, or just put it on the stack sideways. I think that will be a standout feature at one of our regionals.

Getting totes from the landfills is not easy, we’re going to need to get on the field early on Thursday and get some practice.

Not much going in in autonomous in most matches…which also didn’t surprise me.

Hopefully the litter thing will get figured out by week 2. I really don’t know what to do with litter.

Or programmers. We aren’t there yet, but we hope to have a significant number of programmed “muscle memory” routines in time for Bayou on week 4. Our head coach’s catch phrase for this season has been “Do the Thing!” Now that both the competition (Peabody) and practice (Atlas) 'bots are done, our programmers are working hard so that our robot can earn the nickname Zhu Li.

We used the FMS lite just fine in MN. This guide to running a week zero in 2015has helpful information on a few different options for setting it up.

I do agree that doing it without a schedule is the way to go- it is very difficult to create a schedule when teams want to spend the time improving mechanisms or testing out code in their pits. We just let them come and sign up for a slot in a match whenever they are ready.

2052 has an RC manipulator- the one time the drivers picked one up they turned too quickly and it fell off. That mechanism is currently being improved :wink:

In my experience, Week Zero events are boring to watch in general. This time last year, people were saying the exact same thing about Aerial Assist. Many teams don’t use week zero events to compete at their highest level- they are primarily there to iterate on their designs. I am going to reserve judgement for a few more weeks.

Good point. Its a problem when a “well played” match is more boring to watch than a “poorly played” one. From what I have seen so far, toppling stacks are the highlight of most matches. If history is any guide, teams will get better and the game will develop in positive ways as the season progresses.

Attending the Week 0 event held by 166 Chop Shop in Merrimack I’ve found that:

  • Teamwork is key
  • Throwing the noodles is going to be far more lucrative than initially thought, at least for the initial competitions. (and they’re a pain to around)
  • Loading/creating stacks from the human player zone is going to be difficult (unless specifically designed for it)
  • 2:15 is not nearly as much time as we’d like to have…

Going to be an interesting year, not my favorite but if we see more reveals like 148’s, Champs is going to be wildly entertaining…

The easiest points are the 40 cooperation points…Stacking smaller stacks will be an effective strategy.

If you built a robot with mecanums, and no independent suspension, you’ll be disappointed. Real wheels work better across the platforms.

Same for forklifts with arms out front. Auto-stackers are much quicker than driving and picking up. At least the arms are good for the containers.

I was really surprised by how well auto-stacking robots could just go to the human player window and drive away with a stack.

Very little noodle throwing at Lee’s Summit.

My observations found nearly exactly the opposite. I saw many teams with (apparently not real) mecanum wheels maneuvering around stacks and stray totes much better than the teams with “real” wheels trying to turn among them. This year will require a different set of driving skills. Drivers will need to be precise around stationary objects, where many past years involved predicting the motion of moving objects.

And with practice, 6 stacks also.

With noodle? I have seen six plus bin but can’t envision noodle too at that height in that time. I saw a robot that can do six and bin in a minute but no noodle attempt was made. perhaps it could be done but they were at a minute without noodle.
4 noodle and bin is doable… saw it today done in stages.

Anyone have links to week 0 footage?

Suffield Shakedown is archived on livestream: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/8708995/events/3809589

Good thing we are one of them.

HP for 1559, reporting what I found out as a HP.

  • Noodles actually fly pretty easily. Distance wasn’t the problem, accuracy was. It was easy for the noodle to go too far to the left/right and go OOB.
  • Fresher noodles were extremely easy to throw. I got a few right outside the other alliance’s HP Station. However, half shreded noodles are considerably more difficult to throw (though not impossible) and it will make a huge difference when the refs decide that a noodle should be replaced. If they replace them often - fantastic. If not - well, hope you didn’t want many points.
  • The more flannel on our drive team the better.
  • It’s possible to get a noodle thrown into a recycling container on the step, as a legend of a human player on a different team proved (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=134665.)
  • Bad weather means half the teams don’t attend. :frowning:
  • Knocking over a stack of six+RC+noodle is fun.
  • Unless you have a designated “plow” (which we did not see a single one of,) it is very difficult to actually push noodles without just shredding them.
  • Shredding noodles is fun.
  • Sorry Rolling Thunder.
  • We promise at least the first one wasn’t intentional.
  • Unless you’re designed for it, receiving totes from the HP station is not as easy as it sounds.
  • Limited view from the alliance station makes it extremely difficult to line up to the HP station w/o a camera.
  • It’s very difficult to see whether or not a noodle you threw has scored or not a lot of the time.
  • Putting noodles into RCs is very easy, but most people already knew that.
  • Noodles don’t get flimsy, they get torn.
  • Making a large stack can take a while.
  • The entire field is a lot more cramped/cluttered than I thought it would be, particularly the staging zones.
  • Throwing noodles over the drivers’ heads is a lot more difficult but a lot more hardcore.
  • One HP per an alliance is probably going to be close to useless, unless you have one throw noodles and the other two feed totes.
  • The last 20 seconds of the match comes a lot faster than you’d think.
  • LEDs are fun.
  • Illegal LEDs are not fun.

Thanks Rolling Thunder for hosting the Rochester Rally!

beyondinspection has complied some of our thoughts on Week zero, take a look and let us know what you think. If others have images they would like to share let us know and we’ll add that up on the site.

[EC] Suffield Shakedown Scrimmage](http://beyondinspection.org/post/111282399995/ec-suffield-shakedown-2015)