IRI Feedback Thread

DISCLAIMER: I am in no way associated with IRI but I know people on delphi are so this thread may be of help to them.

So with a little bit of time passed between the competition and now I figured a feedback thread may be in order. These are just off the top of my head:


  • The rule changes, though removing the can wars did take away the only direct competition between the sides, they actually made me enjoy this game for the first time this season.

  • Lawrence North Highschool may very well be my favorite venue in all of FIRST, if there ever comes a time where a school for FRC is made Lawrence North should be the template

  • The volunteers at IRI are the only ones at any competition I have been to where they all feel like they are their for the teams and the good of FIRST, as well as not having a single bad interaction with event staff for only the third time in my FRC history (The other 2 being my previous IRIs)

  • The food cost (with the exception of 1 type which I will highlight later) was the best in FIRST and other offseasons should take a page out of the IRI book about that.

  • Teams all seemed to be in great moods, the best I have seen this season.


  • The team dinner could have used a little more food, 2 pieces of chicken were not enough for some members of my team, myself included. And the lemonade was warm for my first glass though the second was much better.

  • The drinks were a little expensive when compared to the cost of food.

That is really it for the negatives, and they are so minor that I had to complain about free food and $2 Powerade which is still cheaper then at South Florida. I think IRI is the standard all offseasons should strive for, not just in terms of competitiveness but also in terms of how it is run, the atmosphere and the people involved.

So what is some of the feedback from other attendees, or from people who watched at home on the stream, not only could this thread help IRI but I am also interested in if everyone else enjoyed it as much as I did.

Positives: It’s IRI. 'nuff said.

Negatives: The flow should have went out the back end. It would have made everybody’s lives easier.

Positive - The web cast was excellent.

Negative - Killed my productivity on Saturday.

The best of the best came to play. I think I saw more IRI upgrades than ever before, and the rule changes let the game really advance to the level I think many teams expected it to be earlier on.
I love the relaxed IRI atmosphere. No one is rushing you on and off the field, no one is yelling “robot” throughout the pits. It’s the epitome of what a FIRS experience should be.
On that note, the music was at an appropriate level, whereas at most FRC events its a little too loud.
Commentary was knowledgeable, and the matches were intense.

The lower concessions stand and the corn selling stand end way too early on Saturday. When I finally have a little time to breath and eat on Saturday because my team either got eliminated or wasn’t picked, two of the concessions close. The upstairs one is still open, thank goodness, but I miss out on more delicious Indiana corn!

Positives: Livestream quality was excellent. Commentary and interviews made the viewing experience like a well produced TV sports event, GA/MC work was the best of the season, volunteers made everything run like clockwork, and the competing teams showed us how RR was meant to be played – and at last could be played, after the PC fixed some flaws in the game rules.

Negatives: none that I could see, from out here in viewer-land.

Negatives: We fell pretty short of winning.

Positives: We won just by being there. It was awesome and humbling to be around many of the best teams in the world. Also it was pretty cool when Chris Fultz(I think it was him) put out a cheese cake on a table along with a pile of forks, and I got to eat a bite alongside Billfred. :smiley:

Pros: The live stream was excellent.

Cons: Lack of robot awards(?)

Regarding the webcast, why was it blurry near the edges (beginning near the staging zones)? The resolution and playback was very nice, however. And IRI LIVE is something I wish every event had.

Thanks for starting this thread and please feel free to add comments to this or send them to me as a PM. We push for continuous improvement and it is beneficial to know what teams like and where we can do better.

I will try to comment on some of the comments -

Dinner - we try to balance having enough food for everyone with not wasting a lot of extra food (and money). Since we invite anyone who is at the event to stay, we have to set some limits. And, at the end, there was a basket of chicken left on the table for anyone to get “seconds”.

Drinks - i will share the comment with the concession crew.

Concessions closing - I will share the comment with the concession crew.

Webcast field view - we had to use a standard video camera for the full field view to be compatible with the video resolution of the field side camera and IRI Live camera. The original plan was a GoPro and we could not get them all to the same resolution in a reliable manner. For 2016, we will have more time to work on the full field camera options to get cleaner edges.

Awards - several years ago we stopped doing robot awards. We found most teams were ready to go as soon as matches ended on Saturday, and didn’t want to stay around for another hour of an awards ceremony. Also, by not having any pit judged awards, no students have to spend two days in the pits waiting for judges to come by - they can all be out enjoying the event.

What we do with Rah Cha Cha Ruckus is have the awards done by the teams instead of judges. You can give out the robot awards between matches. There is such excellent engineering on display it deserves to be rewarded.

Positive - Excellent Stream

Negative - Stream only had one quality setting causing it to cut out for me at times.

As a student attending IRI, I was glad there were no awards. Especially since only eight students on our team could attend (due to the timing in the summer and the distance from Idaho), we would not have appreciated having to keep anybody in the pits for two days waiting for a five-minute discussion. And since so many teams at IRI had amazing robots, it could have been a travesty to only recognize a few. At least in my opinion, awards belong at official events (or even the more local off-season events) where the best robots stand out better, and teams are more likely to have the bandwidth to devote students and time to competing for them.

This was my second year attending this event. In general, all was great. Our team puts on an off-season event too, so I appreciate the effort that goes into organizing everything.

My only negative was the heat. In the stands and the pits, it was almost unbearable. There were a couple areas in the building you could retreat to for some cooling off, but it took you away from being able to watch the competition. I know it was hot outside and I’m sure it was pushing the AC units but it was hot on arrival in the mornings which meant it only got hotter as the day went on.

I’m not even going to bother listing all of the positives (there are so many), but instead I have two negatives. My first negative may only be a driver thing (I wasn’t in the stands at all) but it was HOT on the field. I had to wipe sweat and de-fog my safety glasses every couple minutes. My second negative is the flow of getting on and off the field. Really inefficient at using time wisely. Other than those two things, IRI was a ton of fun!

I agree with all of the positives and the event was a lot of fun overall, but my team did have some negative experiences on the field. A number of times when we were trying to set up we either had to wait for our partners to place their robots and then move out of the way or (on the blue side) wait for the previous match’s robots to get off the field and take their robots away. This itself was not a problem, but it meant that by the time we were able to start actually setting up our robot the field crew gave us very little time (twice only about ten seconds) before they told us we had to get off the field immediately. Then, as we returned to the driver station, we twice had the match started very quickly while we were still touching the controls to set up our dashboard and select which autonomous routine to run (If there was a warning or countdown, we didn’t hear it). So we were frustrated that we often were not set up where we wanted to be, couldn’t run autonomous, and/or had to start teleop by finishing setting values on the dashboard before we started driving.

Chris, while your reasons make a lot of sense, I do want to add an option we tried out at Blitz this year as a thought. We actually had students work with Judge Advisors as judges. It allowed students to get a view inside the sausage factory as it were. Most seemed to find it useful from the feedback I heard. Perhaps couple this with scheduled time slots for pit interviews and you could avoid the “having to stand around forever” issue.

I had the pleasure of watching the webcast. These are my thoughts regarding that sector…
-Great webcast quality
-Excellent robots
-Fantastic rule changes

-Really slow field reset. A lot of time in-between matches.
-A lot of interviews. Like a lot. Seems a bit overdone
-Camera effects on stream were a bit strange, like blurred corner edges. Better focus on the center, but it’s nice to see what’s happening at the HP stations.

Livestream and videos of individual matches were available relatively quickly for those who couldn’t watch during the event

the interview with the 1923 person (it was the only one I actually watched since I could skip ahead to the next game)

Video quality at the edges (as mentioned)

Recycle Rush is still kinda boring, even with robots this good at such a cool event :stuck_out_tongue:

First off, 1923 had a fantastic time at IRI. To have been invited was an incredible honor, and watching our students work hard on robot changes to be able to ‘play with the best’ before the event was awesome. I wish we could have had more time to shake out the new claw before arriving, but we dialed it in eventually; and watching my students become “an IRI team” over the course of the weekend was well worth the trip.

I’ve done my share of work running events, so I understand that there are things you can’t entirely change - heat in the gym for example; not much you can do beyond blasting the AC at full and hoping it helps! Overall we had a really good time, but I’ll make a few quick notes:

Team Dinner - Before our last match, our students looked in briefly to see if they wanted to stay, and couldn’t find vegetarian options (we have more vegetarians on the team than carnivores!), so we went out elsewhere. I wasn’t there, so maybe they just weren’t looking hard enough, but options for alternative eating habits/restrictions would be nice.

Ref Inconsistency - I’ll spare the details for a PM, but in one match we were setting up a double-tether (our ramp > partner’s ramp > partner robot) so that our robot could can-burgle… and had our HP ramp taken off the field by a referee over the numbering rules. This was something we’d done before, and had been done -to- us in other matches, with no issue. We asked if we could fix the problem quickly (with a sharpie, <30 seconds), and were denied. A few matches later, we watched the same ramp numbering issue be called on another team, and they were allowed to make the same fix we were proposing before the match started. It affected our match outcome, but more importantly it was pretty disheartening for my students to have been treated that way. In the future, consistent approaches when it comes to calls/situations like that would be better overall for team experience.

However, out of three days in that venue, five minutes of unpleasantness isn’t really the biggest deal. My students had a fabulous time meeting new friends from all over the place, and are certainly working hard to create a 2016 team & program that makes it out to Indiana again. Thank you, so much to the IRI PC for putting together another fantastic event.


Hey, thanks! :slight_smile: Thanks a bunch to IRI for inviting me on their show. It was an awesome format, and super fun to be a part of! Everyone I know that was watching back home enjoyed IRI Live a great deal.

As an ancient IRI veteran, I appreciate the consistency of experience from year to year. We always know what to expect. Thank you to all for providing another fun and consistent, highly-competitive experience.

The heat was more than tolerable for this humidity-adverse guy. It could have been much worse - we could have been competing in the MARC gym. :slight_smile: