The thing I’m thinking would be most advantageous for my team would be to create a new belly pan system that allows us to keep our primary electronics consistent while being able to swap out frames as we develop the competition robot. Electronics are already the most expensive component of our robots, and having the ability to quickly move it from frame to frame (via captive nuts, for instance) would significantly reduce both the expense and problems with consistency and reliability that we’ve struggled with for years.
What are your good ideas to improve your team’s experience now that the bag is gone?
Have a good place to put popcorn. Lots of popcorn.
I hope we do this as well, so that I don’t have to unbolt a side panel to reattach the Ethernet cable
Driver practice. That’s something we’ve never really had sufficient time for unfortunately
We are going to still use a bag for transport to and from events. Michigan weather is very unpredictable and both of our regular season events it rained. Having the bag was a blessing.
Actual electrical panels, practice, practice, and more practice
Hopefully we build a strong drive train that can have removable manipulators and frames to adapt to the style of play as the season progresses.
More time to develop better auto routines and a LOT more driver practice.
Ask me again in 6 months, after our new captains (to be chosen soon!) have a chance to figure out how the team is going to be run
Oh and also driver practice. We need that
Improving things instead of duplicating work.
We spent a lot of time building a second robot, then taking it apart for spares for Iowa, then putting it back together for driver practice, then taking it apart again for spares for Seven Rivers, then putting it back together again for driver practice. We won’t be able convert 100% of that time into improvement time, but we’ll get some of it.
We are planning to run the team very similar to how we ran this year in build season with the goal to have a fully engineered and assembled robot in 6 (preferably 5) weeks. The only difference now will be that we have time for programmers and drivers to practice once the bot is done.
Due to our design methodology, 2702 already has the capability to drastically change our robot between events (full intake in 2016, entire shooter in 2017, and two complete intake systems in 2018). We still plan on building two robots, as robots do degrade over time, and after so much practice, they begin to do so rather rapidly. No bag in between events will allow us to make wayy more changes. Nobag is gonna be interesting…
We’ll build 1 robot and always have access to it. It’s going to be fantastic. It’s going to help a lot of teams raise their floor. Even a few more hours of access before an event can make all the difference in the world.
We spent hundreds of man hours recreating our drive train, transferring mechanisms and electronics between each of our district events. It’s all wasted duplicate effort, time and money and it bothered me this season more than ever. Every time I brought it up I was reassured “at least this is the last year.” Amen to that.
Actually getting practice time for once
We’re holding to our existing schedule as much as possible for the time being. I predict that a lot of teams are going to change up their routines big-time with disastrous results. We’re going with our tried and true “practice robot done after 5 weeks, competition robot done after 6.” We’ll let other teams try weird risky changes and adopt them in 2021 when the dust settles.
In the mean time, we won’t have to split robot time between drive and programming next year. Better code, better driving.
This is the big thing for us.
I am worried that the meta will heavily shift in the direction of “keep building to keep up with the meta”. I hope design convergence doesn’t drastically increase.
I worry about that too, especially because mid-season work and continuous iterations tends to be a weak point for us. We usually come out ahead of the curve in a week 1 or 2, and fall behind in weeks 5 or 6. Design convergence will happen, but teams will have to chose between using a mature version of their older designs, or a less developed version of a newer one. Hopefully it adds to the challenge rather than detracting from it.
We will more than likely still build a full practice robot before the comp bot. We just learn things while building the practice bot that makes the comp bot a little better, more reliable and serviceable.
We put a lot of hours on our practice bot and it’s pretty worn out by the end of the year, I wouldn’t want that wear and tear on the comp bot.
It will be great to be able to upgrade the comp bot without the limit of unbag time.
I think it’s great that teams will get more driver practice and that will lift the floor for a lot of teams. Unfortunately many teams will not use their build time well a will see zero improvement. In fact it may make some teams procrastinate even more.
I just hope that by the time district champs come around there aren’t a lot of bots breaking because of too much use.
Several good ideas mentioned above. Something just occurred to me. With teams having more practice drive time - in some instances going from zero to some larger number of hours - the premium on access to realistic field elements will rise. We’ve had sloppy build of practice elements come back and bite us in the past.
Building a full, partial or even fragmentary field is not cheap. I wonder if this will be felt more by the lower resource teams that this change purports to help? And being out here in farm country, it would seem to be yet another way in which rural teams will be at a disadvantage. We just don’t have enough teams hereabouts to go together and build a realistic practice facility.
Hmmm. More twists and possibilities…