[BB] Bill's Blog 11-22-11

Source: http://frcdirector.blogspot.com/2011/11/over-river-and-through-woods.html

Over the River and Through the Woods

Good Afternoon Teams,

I’ll be headed to Pennsylvania tomorrow, so this week’s blog is a day early.

NASA has posted the list of teams receiving 2012 participation grants.

A lot of important deadlines are coming up.

** Dec 1st - Initial, 2nd and Unrestricted Regional Event registration, 1st & 2nd Qualifying Event registration, and Championship Registration closes.** We have 2260 registered FRC teams as of this morning and spaces at some events is getting tight. If you know of a team that plans to join us this coming season, encourage them to register soon.

**Dec 2nd – Initial Regional and 1st & 2nd Qualifying Event registration payment due.
Dec 2nd – Kickoff Registration closes. ** (Manchester workshop registration remains open until 12/16.)  I’m surprised that 224 teams have not yet indicated in TIMS how they want to receive their kit of parts.  Kickoffs are filling up.  Register soon.
**Dec 2nd – Request for Bag & Tag Exemption due.** (Remember , Bag & Tag means you transport your robot to the event yourself.)  [Details can be found in the Robot Transportation section of the 2012 Administrative Manual](http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/competition-manual-and-related-documents)

**Dec 3rd – Surrogate kit pickup paperwork due. **Details are located on the bottom of the 2012 Local Kickoff Information page.

** Dec 8th – Safety Animation submission due.** Contest Announcement is located on the Safety Page

And as if the 2nd of December isn’t busy enough already, I’ve been asked to moderate deliver opening remarks and moderate a panel at the Future of Robotics Summit sponsored by the Mass Technology Leadership Council.

Two things to think about over the long holiday weekend:

Teams will not be restricted to using the Classmate as their Driver Station as long as certain criteria are met and all relevant rules are followed.  More details to follow in the 2012 Game Manual when it is released.

Software for 2012 is currently under development.  Teams may [purchase the new cRIO-FRCII now](http://frcdirector.blogspot.com/2011/08/ill-be-off-site-tomorrow.html) and get it physically installed and wired into a test platform, but you won’t be able to program it until after kickoff. 

I hope you have a safe and happy weekend.

46 days until Kickoff
See you then!

Hey maybe Bill will be in Philly tomorrow.

Hate to be that guy, but…

Water game.

I’m thinking there will be some tricky navigation this year. We know it’s a heavy field already, Curiosity will be on its way to Mars and its rocky surface, and we haven’t seen climbing elements since, oh, 2006’s ramps? 2004’s center platform? (Okay, we had the bumps in 2010’s Breakaway but many teams didn’t go over them).

Even if I’ve guessed right this tells us nothing about the game pieces, but it would be awesome to see some designs for robots clambering over obstacles.

2007’s robot-mounted ramps.

I don’t know what events you went to in 2010, but I sure saw robots go flying over those bumps–more than went through the tunnels. (Arizona and several webcasts)

Come on guys, complete the sentence: …to grandma’s house we go!

There will be a home zone full of cookies and embroidery!

Human players will have to control the robot via kinect while having their cheeks pinched!

Teams will not be restricted to using the Classmate as their Driver Station as long as certain criteria are met and all relevant rules are followed. More details to follow in the 2012 Game Manual when it is released.

It’s statements like this that tend to grind my gears. What would be the harm in releasing the requirements for a driver station computer? I’m sure lots of teams would gladly purchase a netbook or the like on Black Friday for a bargain price rather than have to wait until after Jan 7th and pay MSRP + 40%.
We were told to buy pool noodles back in July or August, when they were readily accessible to teams and even on clearance; I was hoping this trend of releasing pertinent information without revealing too much would continue.

I’m with Taylor.

I can’t see any single team gaining a huge advantage by knowing what the specs on allowable PC’s are. Black Friday aside, it’d be nice to have 6-7 weeks to wait for a good deal to pop up on an appropriate computer vs. scrambling to buy one the day of kick off or week one of Build. (depends on when you set up the control system initially, I guess)

I am not sure what the requirements will ultimately be, but I will say that as of now, the Kinect SDK only functions properly on Windows 7. So that is likely to be one of them (at least if you want to use the Kinect).

Please note the update below, delete the surrogate letter due date. The actual due date is Jan 3rd:

This is the only thing that comes to mind for me:

Like you said, a hard to navigate playing field, sorta like being on mars/moon, with a bunch of bumps and craters in the ground. Robots use the new Andymark 8" pneumatic wheels to traverse the field.

No idea about game pieces, and the space theme is already taken by Lunacy, so this is probably not the case.

Good thinking though! :smiley:

Well, we just ordered our cRIO FRCII.

NI said it would ship “on or before Jan. 19th”!!

Yikes! I’m glad I didn’t wait any longer. Worst case, we’re looking at getting the thing the 3rd or 4th week of build!

  • Mr. Van
    Coach, Robodox