Gauging Interest for a Unique Winter Robot Design Challenge

I am thinking of running a design challenge starting near the end of December. It will be open to all; students, mentors, and other community members. Think of this as something similar to a CADathon, but you (can) also discuss potential software implementations. Instead of a single game with an auton, teleop, and endgame, there would be three categories. These would all be more like skills challenges (if this were to take place in real life, it would just be one robot trying to perform the task). As such, there will be less emphasis on strategy and tradeoffs, and more on performance. This is the time to make the elite bot you always wanted to but never could!

As of right now the three categories would be shooting, placing, and hanging. I am really trying to break the traditional mold of FIRST games and force participants to think outside the box in terms of mechanism design and implementation. Do not expect a 27’ by 54’ carpeted field, or a field at all :stuck_out_tongue:

I am thinking that the deliverables will be renders of each subsystem, the entire robot, and the robot performing the different tasks. As well, a PDF summarizing the functions of your robot. At this time I am thinking that I want all submissions to be done on Chief, but I know people like using Discord (which I don’t use very much but am open to learning).

In terms of scoring, I will be judging all these submissions (yes, subjective). I will split things up into best overall and best student-only in each category. Additionally, I am open to having the community vote to see who they think the winner in each category should be as a side. Submission window about a week long. I would be posting to Chief the results. If the margins are very close between teams, I may do something similar to a tier list where I group together submissions of similar quality.

If you are interested, please comment below! If this gains traction, I will send out more information in the coming weeks leading to, along with some hints! As well, if you have experience in running something like this any feedback on how I could run things on my end would be greatly appreciated.

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This sounds pretty cool. I would definitely like to hear more.

The biggest obstacle I see is your proposed timeframe. Late December is a busy time for many people, and a lot of school teams will be on holiday break. And then FRC kickoff is in early January, which, let’s face it, is the primary focus of the entire program.

I doubt our team would choose to peel off a subgroup to work on a challenge that isn’t directly related to fielding our 2022 FRC competition 'bot during that time period. I think you might have better participation if you scheduled this earlier in preseason, or in the off-season.


Thanks for the reply. Makes sense, honestly the idea came to me yesterday so I figured I’d put it out there. In that regards I’m all for maybe holding off on the ideas I had and releasing another single challenge as a test run. I also intended for this to be for people like me who aren’t with a team and have time to kill before kickoff.

if you scheduled it in say september October it would be a good rookie exercise at this point everyone is pretty busy

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Would this just be a weekend thing or …?
(Kickoff day comes quickly after the end of Dec)


Thanks for your reply, I think at this point it is best for me to hold off until after the season. Everyone here has helped me realize this could be much bigger than I originally planned!

My original idea was to have it run over the course of a week in the event that people wanted to submit to multiple categories or just generally accommodate people’s schedules better. Didn’t realize how fast kickoff would be coming in the new year and would rather run this after the season, perhaps in the summer. I’m currently brainstorming ways of how I can help the community during the season (ie. sharing my analysis/opinions on this year’s game with the community, tossing out ideas for potential mechanisms, etc.) and then pivot to this design challenge afterwards. Thanks for the interest!

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