How long does your team plan?

My team has been working to setup our schedule for build season. I was wondering how long other teams spend Planning their robot before actually building anything?

And if you have time any particular reason you spend x amount of time designing?

Our team spent about 2-3 weeks analyzing the game and its rules, creating our strategy for the game, prototyping and then after we had a strategy and a great knowledge of all the build rules and game rules, we spent the remanding time actually building the robot.

Week 1-Game Analysis and Conceptual Design
Week 2-Robot Design
Week 3-Component Design/Begin Build
Week 4/5-Build
Week 6-Integrate & Test

Can’t speak for 1618 (yet), but last year 1293 spent the first Saturday learning the game and getting the hang of what we wanted the robot to be. Once we had it refined (which was late Week 1, IIRC), we had the two subteams (chassis and scoring) break off and get to work on their respective areas. (The higher-ups, both student and mentor, on each subteam kept the other end abreast of any changes, like when they needed to make sure we kept the front end clear for ball pickup.) Now, actual scoring components didn’t go on until Week 6, but that was due to unrelated issues–we were probably driving late week 3.

Week 1 - Learn the game, strategy, ideas, concepts
Week 2 - prototyping
Week 3 - working prototype. design is finalized
Week 4 - Build
Week 5 - Finish building
Week 6 - Testing/Final Programming

A team near us, the Beachbots (330), apparently spent 4 weeks planning in 2005 and produced this awesome robot. They also won championships that year.

Several members of my team went to a seminar of theirs on their development process, I highly recommend getting in touch with them and asking about it. Our team plans on using it this year.

we meet 4-5 hours 2 nights a week, and 8-9 hours sat.
First Sat. (Jan. 6): analyze game, plan robot.
Weekday meetings: build first prototype drive, start working on manipulators.
Sat. 2: finish drive.
Sat. 3-4: attach any manipulators and test.
Therest of the time: Test test test test test rebuild test test test.
Feb. 18: first time to test programing.:yikes:

all we do for the first 3-6 days is discuss the game… and the possibilities of “What we want to do better than everyone else”. Then we plan our entire robot around that.

I guess the planning is like the game rules. It changes, alot.

This past year we went to kickoff and took our KOP, sorted and inventoried and had a small little design meeting. Then on monday the entire team had a 2 hour strategy debate, followed by a 2 hour Design debate on Tuesday. Then we went to build our robot.

I don’t know the exact days, but we came back from kickoff to brainstorm, Monday and part of Tuesday was inventory, and we started building by the end of the first week.

1-2: analyze game many times in different scenarios. Plan strategy to win. Come up with requirements.
3-4: Develop preliminary design, lock it down, CAD it into final.
5-6: build and test

Last year:
1-2: normal
3-4: Prototype to determine design.
5-6 build like crazy to meet deadline.
Design built from prototypes made in weeks 1-4.

Before or at kickoff, we split the team into 3 or 4 design groups.
those groups work independantly, to maintain creativity.
then, we have what we call “Drop dead design day” on the first thursday after kickoff, and on that day we stay after school and discuss designs untill we decide.

Kickoff-Thursday after kickoff: Split in to sub-teams and come up with 4 robot designs.
Friday after kickoff-week 3 or 4: Build
Week 4.5-6: Test, break, repeat.

1745’s plan

jan 7th kick off team viewing party(somewhere)
jan 9th school resumes we figure out what were going to do
jan 9-12 teams are made(and edumacated), kit chassis built.
jan 14 sonic fund raiser so we can get the $500 needed to build the bot
jan 15 -end of build(no idea what that is) figure out the game, come up with a design, build it, code it, rebuild it, rethink it, recode it, forget it, hit it with a hammer, finish robot.

from then till about 2 weeks before lonestar fund raise 7k so we can go to lonestar

notes: some one find out all the dates on things,

best part about this plan is this is exactly(cut and paste) what I mass emailed to the team a week ago no changes(we still dont know the dates)

We usually do have a schedule but we do not follow it 100%. Last year many times we came in on days we were not to meet during the build season and our hours and everything were completely off what was pre-planned.


For the chassis, we plan for most of the off season. We design the chassis and trannys with autodesk a couple different ways and when the kickoff comes, we quickly pick the best one and start building within the first few days. For the appendage, we normally plan for a week or two after the kickoff and then start to build.

In theory, one to one and a half weeks would go into design of our robot.

Last year it ended up that it took until the end of week 3, because we had no idea whether our ball pickup/conveyor to shooter would work.

The only way you can take that long to design is if you do everything in CAD though. Otherwise you’re sunk when things don’t go together like you thought they would.

We spend roughly the first week discussing game strategy and robot designs, then begin construction at some point on the Saturday at the end of the first week.

However, only various components are finished as we go along. Our design keeps changing as we go, and sometimes we’re still designing things in week 5/6 because of test failures or rude awakenings (we came up with the mechanism for releasing balls Saturday before ship, and tested it President’s day, which is our ship day).

I’d like to keep such events from happening this year. Hopefully we can figure everything out earlier.

i think the longer u spend planning… the better your robot will be. For the FVC season… our team planned for like… a day… w/o working out all the strategies and stuff… so we turned out going through and building six designs… so… the more time spent planning… the more you kno wat you’re doing… and wat u’re actually aiming for in a robot.
NOT SAYING that teams who plan in a short amount of time aren’t awesome… of course they’re awesome… mayb it’s just our team… we need time to process. lol

So far all the posts have been about the robot. What about field elements. Our team makes a push after the first week to Build the key field elements. You can look at the pictures and description of the field and field elements but nothing compares to actually having them put together and setup. This allows a team to test prototypes and many times you can see strategies and methods more clearly.