I’ve always been curious about this but never thought to ask about it directly. There don’t seem to be any existing threads or discussions about it.
My question is regarding separate teams that build identical robots (in collaboration). 254 and 1538 did it in 2009, 179 and 1251 in 2014, 48 and 3193 did it for a number of years up through 2014, and there are countless other examples.
I would like to know about the logistics of a process like this. Some of my questions:
How do two (or three, 1114/1503/1680 from 2006) teams approach each other about a project like this?
How do you account for the difference in leadership styles, team structure, season schedule, etc. between the two teams?
Do you have to be located in the same city or very close to each other? Do you build in the same location?
If not, how do you make sure that members of each team are equally represented in the design/decision process?
What collaboration tools do you use? Especially for CAD.
How do you ensure that you are designing within the manpower and financial limitations of BOTH teams?
How is prototyping done? Is that divided up (i.e one team prototypes a shooter, the other an intake) or done redundantly?
How is manufacturing handled? Do sponsors make parts for both teams? Do the teams divide the workload (e.g. one team does the milled parts the other team does the turned parts)?
Is the programming up to each team or is that collaborated on as well?
Does the collaboration end once the competition season starts (i.e. do the robots diverge from each other as iteration is done, this seemed to be the case with 48 and 3193 for instance)?
I understand that the answers to most of these questions will differ on a case-by-base basis, but I’m just looking for first or second-hand stories about these projects. If possible, reference the teams involved and post pictures of the finished project if you have them!
As a bonus, I would also be interested in hearing about teams that register more than one team number and build two (identical or otherwise) robots (e.g. 1241/1285 and I think 494 did/does that as well).