Fireworks at MMP

Disney has facilitated drone shows, but they are actually (at least the first one) done by Intel.

On the original thread topic…as cool as drone shows are. I wonder have if you’ve researched the technology behind music-synchronized firework shows… it’s pretty awesome. The show we have now is somewhat synchronized, but I’ve seen some really high-precision stuff that blows the mind. I’ve never seen drone shows live/online that come close.

The ONTCMP finale woke me up from my traditional mid-finals speech nap, and I wasn’t even mad… The pure magnitude of if really impressed me. The lights, the sounds conveyed that this is important stuff, and for first time since I won my first FLL competition I saw what I had seen in the recap videos, in the documentaries.

A finale doesn’t need to be fireworks or an analogue thereof, it just needs to be bold.


Oh, great, now we have to find somebody who works at Intel.


Paging @RyanN ask someone at work how we can get some drones

I’m in the wrong division of Intel, but I can always try and see.

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Do they? I didn’t think that GPS location was precise enough for that. I’ve always assumed that either they had a set of beacons on the ground and positioned the drones in relation to them, or that one drone in the formation was the “master” and all the other drones positioned themselves relative to it.

I googled around a bit and didn’t find anything giving details about how drones in formation shows determine their position… which makes me even more curious. So I’ll ask the collective brains of Chief Delphi. If you find something, please post the link here!

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FIRST Global had an indoor drone show.


I found some references that pointed to them using GPS for their outdoor shows which surprises me also, I figured the had some sort of array of fixed cameras to provide position feedback. For their indoor shows they use the “Intel Indoor positioning system” which appears to be based on a ToF radio system..

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2nd-year team grants that are given out to teams with less that (insert amount) of already existing grant and sponsorship money. 2-year is where teams really struggle with money in my experience of seeing other teams in my district.

These grants could be smaller in order to encourage self-funding. Another thing that would be great is a “general cost layout” sheet with all of the true costs to run a team issued to rookie teams along with a message of “get local sponsors.” Too many times I have seen teams rely on the grant money too much and struggle. A gradual withdrawal from the grants over a couple years along with the message of “be sustainable” would be better than the current system.

That doesn’t solve the problem, that just pushes it back another year.


True story.

Cutting veteran registration fees wouldn’t do a lot either; if that’s a $30k fireworks show (I have no idea if it is or isn’t, but that seems a safe number based off this and this and this), and we have 3,382 veteran teams, that’s just under $9 per veteran team.

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I was wondering what the approximate cost was. Pretty good value for $9, I think it was a great way to wrap up MMP.
I do think FIRST spends too much on MMP, but the Convention Center just isn’t a place to hold a season-finishing show, I think.

The spectacle of FRC is both inspirational and helps convey the magnitude of the competition to those less involved in my opinion. This year in Houston was my first time at the Championship since Atlanta in 2007, our team didn’t do well but we went to MMP and it was the favorite part of the event for most of our team. I and another alum who hasn’t been to Champs in a dozen years were both discussing how impressed we were by how far the Einstein production has come, even if it still has shortcomings with the pace of action and venue change (camera work too but I’ve given up at this point). Katie summarized my thoughts pretty well in another thread:

I also don’t see fireworks going away, they’ve been a staple of the FIRST Championship for a long time. And as much as I would like to see FIRST move out of a venue like MMP for the future, the smooth transition from Finals to the new game theme reveal to the fireworks display was awesome. We already have limited Championship venue choices with the convention center requirements but if future Einstein venues can have a retractable roof option or someway to do an indoor fireworks show I think it really helps to enhance the finale event.

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While I’m sure MMP costs plenty, I just want to question how much you’d actually save by cutting the fireworks, since they do syncronized shows after every Friday home game, and have pyrotechnics rigged for every home run. In the grand scheme of FIRST, my guess is it’s probably peanuts.

Sadly the Georgia Dome has since been demolished, however it has been replaced with another very nice but somewhat unsuitable for champs venue.

What is a negligible amount of money for the MLB team is not necessarily what is a negligible amount of money for a non-profit organization. Also, consider the MLB team attracts paying customers with its fireworks show, helping to offset the cost. There is no extra income for FIRST that is associated with the SCMP pyrotechnics.

I agree with Karthik, spectacle sells. Making STEM cool again is the backbone of FIRST. But I’m also a big fan of FIRST being a good steward of its money, and I’d much rather see it being spent on improved lighting, audio that doesn’t cut out or blow eardrums, professional training for the on-camera personalities, and advertising/broadcast contracts for the hundreds of thousands at home, rather than a cool fireworks show that the few thousand on-site get to experience.

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I agree that the spectacle of the finals is great and we should not get rid of that. This year was the 4th year in a row for me to be at finals and every year has been special. This year, after quals, I was honestly not that inspired. I had a lot of fun watching our team perform and seeing the elite teams, but it really felt like just another tournament. Divisional Elims did not really have the excitement for me this year as they did last year. But it was clear that the level of play was high and it started to feel a bit more like Championships, but I was still not inspired. I missed the round robin this year as I was busy driving the trailer around Houston looking for a place to park after loading out our teams.

But MMP was different. The size of the crowd and the enormity of the competition is always impressive. The views are never great, but despite the lack of ability to really see the action, I still started to feel like this was the pinnacle of the season. By the end of the night, I really had the sense that this was why we do this every year and I felt energized to be a part of such an epic sport.

I like the fireworks and I think they did a good job of choreographing them with the music. It certainly adds to the spectacle of the event. However, I believe that a drone show could and would be even better. For one thing, it is an impressive display of technology (the “T” in FIRST). It is something that the students who have spent a season programming their robots can relate to in a way that most crowds cannot. It is also something that highlights what is possible for the future (rather than something that was developed 2000 years ago). I just think that a well executed drone show would really put a bigger exclamation point on the evening than the fireworks did.


After watching the latest Spiderman movie, all I can say is - drone show.

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