FIRST 101 (11/11/05)

Welcome back from our extended vacation, class. Though, all vacations must come to an end, and we must return to our lessons.

Questions and Answers

Back in the day the Question and Answer system was fairly simple. There was no new-fangled message board that you would have to call up and wait patiently for the solution to your problem. Back in the day, you used to pick up the phone for technical questions, call up Mr. Eric Rasmussen, and quite simply ask. Most of the time he’d give ya a call back or it would show up in a team update!

What was that? Team update?

Yes class, team updates WERE the question and answer system up until recently. Back then, the anticipation of the release of a team update was about as exciting as waiting for the release of “IT”.

Though the team updates were the source of alot of relevant information, they also became the source of high tech misdirection.

These are actual questions found on team updates pre-1998…

-May our robot blow bubbles?
-Our robot has legs…would it be considered illegal if…
-May we drill holes in the pneumatics accumulator to cut down on weight?

These questions though funny, were meant to make teams either laugh or think reallly hard. Which brings me to my next point…


There was a time before the invention of alliances in which people were very secretive about a robot. Back in the day, giving away any hint of what your robot could do, might have caused a major shift in how the game was played. There was no Chief Delphi for teams to openly discuss design ideas or game loopholes. In 1997, teams capping the goal was a major loophole that was never spoke of. Secrecy made that game what it is…

For those of you who may have been around for Torroid Terror…here is an essay question for homework…

Question: Conversation on the Chief Delphi Message board has led to a major revelation of game play in Torroid Terror. Teams have discovered that if you cap the top of the goal with 9 inner tubes…you can get a maximum score! Seeing this loophole found in the game, FIRST has decided to disallow the use of detachable capping mechanisms. How does this effect the game?

If you really think about that…it is an amazingly interesting result…

Can you say…Triple Play?

See you next week, class dismissed.

one word, 2002… well thats 3 words, or a number, or umm well

creative inventions for “go back devices” of 2002, made it possible to control all 3 scoring objects. come to mind as evolutions from those rules

Don’t forget:
-We can’t find the blueprints for the robot. Where can we get them?

I don’t know exactly what year that is from but still a good one to remember.

I want to say that was 2002 or 2003. I can’t quite remember which.

The favorite I’ve heard of (it apparently predates me by a year) was a NASA team asking in 1997:
Can our rotor downwash knock tubes off the goal?


I’m pretty sure it was 2000 (rookie year). I’ll dig my old updates and see if I can find it. :wink: