FRC Kickoff

Hey fellow team members out there, as you all know kickoff is right around the corner. And I was wondering…
1.What do you think the challenge is this year.
and 2. What do your teams do to start the kickoff off.


  1. I try not to start guessing until after the school semester is over. Its not very good for my grades. :stuck_out_tongue:
  2. After our delegates return from the local kickoff, we host a whole-team brainstorming session in the theater at our school with all team members and many parents working together to come up with potential robot concepts and strategies. After this is over, many members will go to our lab at NASA and start work on constructing field elements and designing/prototyping robot ideas.
  1. Search the forum for “game hint”. “Game” may work also.
  2. Go to the local kickoff, then read the rules and start figuring out how the game will be played using materials on hand and an open area. Proceed to strategy and the build season.
  1. The game this year is a water game. Dave just won’t admit it.*
  2. To start the kickoff, we normally eat donuts and while our computer guys complain about technical difficulties getting the webcast working. All while yawning and wishing we didn’t have to get up so early on a Saturday.*

*(Answer quality may reflect original question quality.)

The way my old team (2342) did it was we would all watch the webcast except for 2 of our team members–who would go to kick-off in Manchester. Once they got back one person would upload all the photos onto CD or our website. We would then start our three-day brainstorming process based on that of MOE. I can highly recommend it. Both years we were able to have our robot design by Monday night. If you want the Power Point presentation that we based it on, you should go to Team Phoenix’s website and contact them.

Hope that helps!

  1. I stopped trying to guess years ago even though I sometimes finding myself trying to guess at the hints.
  2. We take a short break after NASA signs off and then we start to brainstorm. Take a lunch break where we brainstorm, then we brainstorm some more. Then we break into small groups to brainstorm and then we get back into the big group to talk about the brainstorming we did in little groups. We repeat these steps for several days while building parts of the field to help us brainstorm. Then we play the game with students robot substitutes and we brainstorm some more. We do this until we have convinced ourselves what it will take to play the game, what the drive system should be and what the robot will need to do and how. We then brainstorm about what other teams might do and what strategy will be needed. Then every once in a while we will fall back to brainstorming while we design, build and practice.

1 - I already know the game. I got it though countless hours and study of the ancient FIRST texts and prophesies.
2 - I go to the RIT game reveal with whatever team will let me assimulate myself in them.

1> This year, the challange was Lunacy :yikes: (Now next years challange will be a different story :stuck_out_tongue: )
2> Being here in New Hampshire, we send a few team members to Manchester to get the KOP, and to take pictures / measurements of the gamefield (looking for the little things that’ll be the gotcha’s of the game). The rest of the team meets for the NASA webcast and starts the brainstorming sessions. Hopefully by Monday or Tuesday we have a strategy on how we will attack the problem at hand.

Our teams has a few members go to the kickoff while the rest of us gather at our coaches house. We usually begin at 9 and discuss the upcoming year and how the time line of build season SHOULD go, even though it never does. One of the coaches has a power point of weeks and what we should be doing along with other information on what will happen during the year as we have a ton of new students show up on kickoff. All during this 1-2 students are occasionally tuning in on the webcast to see if anything interesting is going on. And once the kickoff starts to go into full swing, the entire team watches it. After seeing the field and the kickoff begins to wind down. We come up with a list of questions to ask the folks whom are at the field so we can get a better idea what characteristics of the field and elements might be challenging. Then we read through the rules as a team and discuss them to make sure everyone is on the same page, all while watching the animation several times over.


  1. My guesses have already been made in all of the threads that have popped up that over-analyze everything that’s been in Bill’s Blog. I’m guessing that FIRST is “going green” this year, and the theme will be recycling.
  2. Our entire team goes to a local kickoff (in Novi, MI). After leaving the school at 6am, spending an hour waiting for the broadcast to start, and watching the broadcast (cutting off the circulation in my friend’s arm in the process out of excitement for the game release), we send a few students to go grab the KoP. The rest of us go to lunch. Some of the rookies and vets who aren’t as excited just sit around and goof off, but the rest of us (dedicated) students and mentors huddle around computers and begin reading the rules/early brainstorming. We normally then go home and let everyone relax and sleep on it (unless they’re like me, and stay up until 1am reading the rules cover-to-cover and brainstorming on my own), and have a team brainstorming session the next day. However, I believe that we’re going to be doing the brainstorming session on the 9th this year, soooo…that’s still up in the air.
    The sub-groups begin working on Monday. The build team begins prototyping ideas from the brainstorming session, and often the design team will help with that until ideas are generated. Controls begins playing with the fancy new electronics and learn as much about them as they can. Strategy continues brainstorming and analyzes the results of prototyping to determine what the robot needs to do - once they make a decision, they hand it off to the design team to begin the CAD process.

I need to stop talking so much :confused:

  1. I don’t know.
  2. This is what I do… Go to Kickoff, bring paper or a computer. Write down every random idea that comes to your head during the presentation, key details they mention, etc. Have a game manual downloaded to your computer you can immediately decrypt, read the game specific stuff on the way back, then start brainstorming. My team then all goes through as a group and reads every word of the manual. It’s really boring. Then brainstorming about robot concepts, what will be important in the game, every single method of scoring and every single method of preventing every single method of scoring.

I hope you dont send 2 members of your current team to NH and wait for them! lol


  1. I will let you know on January 9th, 2009.
  2. we come back to the school, go through the rules, and have a little brainstorming session at our school.

Crap, we named THIS year’s robot “Recyclable”. Now we’re going to have to be creative!

  1. Hovercraft game.
    With autonomous only.
  2. We watch the cast, then go back to the robolair and plot.

Game manual? Not a bad idea…when does it get released? (Not the password, the actual manual)

The first three sections are available now. Section 4 should be coming soon, with the encrypted sections coming out a couple of days before Kickoff. Password released at Kickoff, with the non-encrypted versions later that day.

  1. I hazarding a guess that its going to be a game. I’M NOT SURE, but that’s what I think. :rolleyes:

  2. When we get home from Kickoff, we watch the game video some 1, 2, 4, 9, 10, 33 times. We then ask question to each other to help understand the game more. After a we watch a few times, we go into a larger space and we set up the game and we play the game, where students are actually the robots so they get a hands-on experience and interpretation of what the best method of scoring is. Then begins build-season.

Last year, we went to the Georgia Institute of Technology for the local kick-off. From there, we pick up our stuff, read the rules in the car on iphones, and make a bee line back to the school.

This year, the county school board is taking a greater interest in robotics. Along with doubling their current donations, they would like the teams in the area to get together and host a local kick-off. We will still have roughly 3 representatives present at GA Tech to pick up the parts.

  • Sunny

Yeah, that would take awhile. (about 24 hours :yikes: ) I think we will just use CD to get some pictures.

Does anyone know which NASA Channel the Kickoff will be on?

I am trying to get the information to our school media center so that we can watch the kickoff in HD instead of from the webcast.

There appear to be 4 channels:

Public, Education, Media & Space Operations Mission Directorate

Based on the descriptions, I would guess the broadcast would be on either the Public or Education channels, but I have not been able to find a schedule for January yet .

  1. I still like the billiards game:

  2. We host a miniature kickoff in a big conference center at our sponsor’s place of business and try to get some local teams to join us. We watch the presentation on NASA TV and usually demo some of our old robots for our sponsors. After that, it’s a week of (polite) arguing about different ideas for hours on end.

  1. Not even worth guessing without hint.
  2. The small section of our team willing to get up early will go to the local kickoff. On monday, we all start yelling ideas and rough concepts for 10 minutes, then watch the video several times for anyone who hasn’t seen it, then go back to blurting out ideas.