How to keep my team alive in Japan and how to design an effective robot

I am a team member of the Japanese team, FRC#8853 Yukikaze Technology.

With the kickoff of the 2022-2023 season coming up next January, we would like to start design exercises on the subject of past competition rules with the 12 new members who joined this year.
So I have a few questions for you all.

(1 How should we divide up the design process as a team?
(In the previous year, we had 3 conceptual designers, 2 of which were CAD designers, and we divided the work by mechanism for each role. (For example, Shooting and Climbing, and Intake.) However, this year we have more people in charge of design, and we believe we need to divide the work even more effectively.)

(2 What is the best roadmap for design practice for the three months from October to the kickoff in January?
(Almost all of the new members have no CAD experience, and I am worried that we have no prospect of what level of skill acquisition we can achieve as a team.)

(3 What should we keep in mind when working as a team, not only in design, but also with members of multiple ages?
(In our first year, we overcame this problem with 10 members who are now in their second year of high school.
But now we have 22 members ranging from first-year junior high school students to second-year high school students, and the current second-year high school student members, who will begin full-fledged exam studies in a few months, have greater responsibilities.
What should be our priority in order to pass on the team’s philosophy of developing science education in the community to the next generation and to continue to exist as a team in the coming year?)
Sorry for the roundabout question, but I would very much like to hear the advice of the US team members and professionals involved in the industry.

(Translated from Japanese to English at DeepL. There may be grammatical errors.)


Welcome to Chief Delphi! One resources that’s super useful is the Compass Alliance pathways. They give you a direction to start working on, which often can be the biggest struggle of a new team.


The best way to learn how to build a robot is to build a robot. Pick a game, design and build a robot for it.

If resources are minimal, build only part of a robot, or a smaller robot to perform a limited task.

  1. Many teams like to design and make mechanisms for past games and it’s great way of training people in CAD and build. So looking at a past game and designing a mechanism for it could be a good project doable in 2-3 months. If you guys meet enough then it’s possible to make a full robot.

  2. I would make sure younger students/new students are trained by older students to pass down information and knowledge. Since you mentioned second-year students have exams coming up, I would try to work on getting younger and newer students taught by the older students before they need to focus on exams.

I don’t really know enough to be able to answer number 1 but hope this helps.

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this is the way we’ve always done it:

the new design students get trained by an older student, by designing all of the basic subsystems that are expected of a designer in the team to know how to design by heart(in our case, a kit drivetrain(teaches gearboxes, teaches using chains), basic intake(teaches pistons/compression of game pieces, also teaches using belts), basic shooter, and a shifting gearbox. after that the students should reach a level of self-sufficiency that allows them to pick out most simple subsystems from previous years and design those as practice. as they design more systems they gain experience. if you can get them all through the first stage, while the older students are more focused on the exams the younger ones will need their help less

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Welcome to FIRST!

We’re a team based in Wisconsin and looks like we’ll be at the same event! We’d absolutely love to help in whatever ways we can, feel free to shoot me a DM.

  1. We divide our team into 3 project teams, so last year we had shooter, climber, and ball handling. All 3 groups had some kids of each discipline assigned to them and it helped us divide and concur well

  2. We do a lot of internal ‘bootcamps’ in fall, so a weekend day dedicated to CAD, or programming or whatever. Helps to give our students a big dedicated chunk of time to learn. Our mentors typically run these with assistance from our more senior students. Some of these are hosted within our local FIRST community, and some we attend online hosted by other teams

  3. Our philosophy is the kids who put in the time end up having more responsibilities, generally the more senior students but that’s not always the case. It’s usually clear from a mentor perspective at least which kids arise as the natural leaders of the team

Best of luck, and if you need anything else, please reach out :slight_smile:


Don’t forget programming!

It sounds like you’ve focused a lot of the mechanical design side of building a robot - that’s really important, but even if you a build the most elegant machine imaginable it won’t perform if you can’t control it.

Be sure to keep the official WPILib documentation handy; it has a lot of information (and is constantly growing!).


nasarap-rdc-v101-compressed.pdf (13.5 MB)


Hi. I used to be a co-founder and technical director of a new team from China 8810. Hopefully, I can offer you some advice.

  1. I would suggest that try to make sure that everyone is involved in and working. We used to use Solidworks as the CAD tool but it requires a high performance windows PC to CAD. So during the off-season we decided to use onshape instead so that everyone can involved in and contribute to the CAD of our robot. Even with only an iPad.

  2. I think team 1678 made a lot of videos on how to design a robot, how to CAD and etc. These videos are helpfully and I learned a lot from them. Here’s a link about one of them:
    You can find the rest videos on their YouTube page.

  3. We have some students from junior high to senior high either. My suggestion is still trying to make sure that everyone is contributing to some part of this team and everyone finds that they belong here.
    The philosophy depends on each team. I would suggest trying to spend more time on educating new team members rather than trying to build a powerful robot and win the Champion. It’s almost impossible for a new team to win a regional Champion.


Arigato from Team 4160 and our Hitachi (USA) Mentor.

It can be really tough. Especially for the Japanese Teams.

One thing I would suggest is to join the Open Alliance, it can help alot with getting and sharing ideas.

For your Team Mentor’s we also have a new series, and the first episode talks about what we do in the months before the game is launched to prepare for the season:

FRC is a lot of がんばる!

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Sorry for the late reply.
Thank you very much for all the information!
I’ll take these into consideration as we move forward!!


I would add that there are no bad ideas. That means everyone (even parents, teachers, and mentors) should participate in brainstorming to get to a good concept of the robot function and criteria before ever going forward with design. The world famous Beatty file card idea came from a parent as I remember. This step may involve prototyping, playing the game with team members playing the robots, and investigating the game elements. We start when the game presentation ends and goes everyday for up to a week if needed.


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