Last fall our students came up with the idea of producing a series of instructional videos. These would teach our incoming rookies the skills they would need to be productive robot builders. We never got past shooting footage for an intro before it became clear that we just didn’t have the time to do the job right while preparing for our two fall offseason competitions. So the project got shelved.
Now that competition season is over, we’re dusting off that idea once more. We’ve recently fielded questions about how we build our drivetrain, both at competitions and online. That’s true especially since the adoption of the laser cut gearbox we developed last summer, which won two engineering awards, by a couple of our friend teams. In the past, we’ve presented on our drive train development program at local FRC workshops and summits. While it’s nice to share with the handful of local teams who attend those events, the widespread viewing of our gripper prototyping video showed us that we can leverage Youtube videos to reach a much wider audience.
When we recruit new students, one of our favorite lines is, “Nobody who joins the team knows how to build a robot. We’ll teach you.” As an established team, we go to competitions and see younger teams, some of whom don’t have engineering mentors, struggling to learn lessons we have learned the hard way. We see our role in growing FRC as helping those struggling teams become better more quickly, so they remain inspired, and don’t fold. We see this video series, and the ones which will follow, as a tool which can help educate inexperienced students on our own team as well as other teams across FRC.
So, keep your eyeballs glued to the Triple Helix Youtube channel. We’ve mapped out a shooting schedule for the videos in the West Coast drivetrain series, and footage for the first three have already been shot. We expect to have the entire series posted within the next couple months. Then we’ll move on to another topic specifically aimed at getting rookie teams fielding a competitive bot in their first FRC season.