Drivers and Field Team

Posted by Susanne Krussell.

Coach on team #349, Robahamas, from International Academy and Ford Motor Co…

Posted on 1/16/2000 8:02 PM MST

Reading the comments about drivers prompted me to think back over the past 2 years that I’ve been involved with FIRST. You all are assuming that every team actually finishes their robot in time for kids to actually practice! Hasn’t happened to my team yet, but by golly,it will this year. Tryouts are a great idea, but knowing how the kids react and behave under pressure is important. Another factor is which kids are on the construction team, and of those, who really has their heart and soul (and hands)in the project? And hey, let’s not forget ‘hand-eye’ coordination! And seniors. It’s a tough call.

Posted by Fran .

Other on team #166, Team Merrimack, from Merrimack High School and Unitrode/R.S. Machines.

Posted on 1/17/2000 6:30 AM MST

In Reply to: Drivers and Field Team posted by Susanne Krussell on 1/16/2000 8:02 PM MST:

I agree that it’s tough when therobot getscompleted late but we have rigged last years robot to practice drivers and when we have a driveable base(no arm) we start practicing. So far every year has not been too much of a battle because 1 student stands out as being outstanding and everyone else wants that one to drive with the others being back up. If our robot has the arm controls separate then we swap students for that but when alliances were created so were the new scouting jobs and that satisfied the need of many to participate on a closer level. Some students prefer coaching just so they are down on the floor close to the action so we change our coaches witheach round.

Many years we have shipped a robot not knowing if it would work…last year we had 1 week to practice but only about 1 day with the arm…this year the new group of engineers say we will have more weeks because they will start building sooner…I hear they’re ready to start machining parts so maybe it will happen…the only down side was less student involvement ondecision making because it was determined that too much time was spent trying to get too many people to agree on something and building never happened til the 3rd week…but I have found that the students who really really want to be involved find a way to be there all the time(like Kate did when she was on our team)

Fran
team 166

: Reading the comments about drivers prompted me to think back over the past 2 years that I’ve been involved with FIRST. You all are assuming that every team actually finishes their robot in time for kids to actually practice! Hasn’t happened to my team yet, but by golly,it will this year. Tryouts are a great idea, but knowing how the kids react and behave under pressure is important. Another factor is which kids are on the construction team, and of those, who really has their heart and soul (and hands)in the project? And hey, let’s not forget ‘hand-eye’ coordination! And seniors. It’s a tough call.

Posted by Lora Knepper.

Student on team #69, HYPER (Helping Youth Pursue Engineering & Robotics), from Quincy Public Schools and The Gillette Company.

Posted on 1/17/2000 5:32 PM MST

In Reply to: Re: Drivers and Field Team posted by Fran on 1/17/2000 6:30 AM MST:

Im my past two years with FIRST, I have been lucky enough to drive our machine. We have also been blessed with the ability to get a solid week of practice on the finished machine (fighting our pit crew for time, of course) before shipping. We use the system of trials on a functioning mock-up of the drive train. Then prospective drivers are interviewed, much like getting a job in real life. Adding in various factors like personality, and coolness under pressure, everything is weighed and two drivers are chosen. One human player, and a backup for both positions are also picked. Our coaches have always been adults, though it seems most kids are content to simply watch the matches. Our scouting team usually is slim, consisting of myself and a coach, it’s hard to convince people to go and do it. But I think that all in all, no matter what kind of practice you get doesn’t matter too much in my mind. Once you get on the competiton field, all the time practicing alone on a home field suddenly seems much tamer…and it begins to come down to who can think on their feet and trust in their instincts.

Good luck,
Lora

Posted by Jesse Wilkinson.

Other on team #177, Bobcat Robotics, from South Windsor High School and UTC International Fuel Cells .

Posted on 1/27/2000 7:32 AM MST

In Reply to: Re: Drivers and Field Team posted by Lora Knepper on 1/17/2000 5:32 PM MST:

I was a driver all four years I was a student on my team, and one way we practiced was making one of our old robots capable of doing what the one that has been shiped is able to do. One thing to look for when picking drivers is definately the interaction between the two kids. You want them to be able to predict what the other is going to do. Having good drivers helps make the luck of winning a little more realistic in my opinion.
Good Luck to everyone
Jesse
Team 177
Bobcat Robotics

Posted by Tony K.

Student on team #292, PantherTech, from Western High School and DaimlerChrysler.

Posted on 1/17/2000 5:48 PM MST

In Reply to: Drivers and Field Team posted by Susanne Krussell on 1/16/2000 8:02 PM MST:

Last year we got only a few days of practice. Probably because we were snowed in for two weeks before we even began! But we will definitely make time this year.

Tony

: Reading the comments about drivers prompted me to think back over the past 2 years that I’ve been involved with FIRST. You all are assuming that every team actually finishes their robot in time for kids to actually practice! Hasn’t happened to my team yet, but by golly,it will this year. Tryouts are a great idea, but knowing how the kids react and behave under pressure is important. Another factor is which kids are on the construction team, and of those, who really has their heart and soul (and hands)in the project? And hey, let’s not forget ‘hand-eye’ coordination! And seniors. It’s a tough call.

Posted by Chris Orimoto.

Student on team #368 from McKinley High School and Nasa Ames.

Posted on 1/18/2000 2:18 AM MST

In Reply to: Drivers and Field Team posted by Susanne Krussell on 1/16/2000 8:02 PM MST:

Being from a first time team, I don’t exactly know what you guys are talking about, but I can only imagine what it would be like. And since we’re stationed here in Hawaii, we have to ship the robot out even earlier than most other teams. I doubt we’ll even have time to train drivers. Here’s an idea though, for those teams competing in the New England and Nasa Ames regionals (which happen to be the last two), maybe building a prototype, or some sort of simulator will help to determine a proficient driver. I think that may be what we’ll end up doing. Just a suggestion…

Posted by Lora Knepper.

Student on team #69, HYPER (Helping Youth Pursue Engineering & Robotics), from Quincy Public Schools and The Gillette Company.

Posted on 1/18/2000 1:49 PM MST

In Reply to: Re: Drivers and Field Team posted by Chris Orimoto on 1/18/2000 2:18 AM MST:

You guys may find it helpful to look at prospective drivers once you have a functioning drive train. This will allow you to run a few trials among interested students, and get in some practice during the building period. Good luck, and I hope to get the privilage of working with you in competiton!

Lora