School is over, I don’t have access to the robots or the “tech” shop. The only things on my mind is football, video games, lifting and SAT Prep (Im going to a SAT Prep class, its not really on my mind, just forced in there). having 9 hours a week doing SAT Prep does really drive your mind set into it, and having 4 hours of football practice everyday also drives football into your mind, I even play Madden on my spare time… How would I keep robots on my mind? I don’t even have programming in my mind, its too much work on a vacation. I am getting 0% progress on my autonomous robot idea, in fact, I might be digressing.
I have nothing to work on robotics wise, programming seems like a chore, will I ever get time to work on robots? SAT Prep and AP classes and football practices and games will fill up my schedule well into winter, my only time I get freed up is around robot season.
Hmm programming is pretty difficult in the off-season. The best thing I would do is look back at the coding you did and see what you could have made easier. Also, look into different coding regements like Java, ect. Since I am on mechanical, I have no clue what I would do if I was a programmer. Although on a mechanical subteam, I have drafted different chassis designs, started designing a battery cart, and looked into different drive trains. It’s all about staying within your area and improving the best of your ability. Try to set aside some time as well with just robotics. I can understand your situation because I also play football and am bogged down with work.
So In order to keep my mind on robotics, but not completely, I came up with an interesting solution.
My summer project is getting an internet radio show (podcast) about robotics going. Yes it keeps me in touch with robotics, but most of my time is learning and working with audio editing, and internet hosting! So this way I get robotics, but in a whole new way.
I’ve been looking for projects that are somewhat related to robotics, but that I can do on my own (see my recent thread). I’m basically trying to get my feet wet with some of the electrical type projects that we don’t necessarily get to do here in FIRST. Since you’re a programmer, I’d maybe suggest playing around with languages that would allow you to automate tasks on your computer. For instance, I know that PHP can be used for such tasks. You’d be able to practice your skills, plus you could end up with a couple of useful little apps on your desktop to make your life easier. Or, you could play with Arduinos like I’ll likely be doing later this summer, and get experience with electrical systems and programming, and that could get you anything from a neat little robotic toy to a useful electrical gizmo depending on what you decide to do
Why do you want robots on your mind? Improving skills and whatever is nice, I guess - but if your team isn’t meeting (and you can’t organize meetings, demos, etc), you don’t enjoy doing what you do on the robotics team (programming), and you have other stuff to do, why do you particularly want to think about robotics?
I’m not saying thinking about robotics is bad - but it doesn’t sound like you enjoy anything you do with robotics. You don’t like to program. You’re spending a lot of time on football (20 hours a week, before lifting, which you seem to enjoy, since even in your spare time you’re playing Madden). Why do you want to keep your mind on robotics, when it sounds like the last thing you want to do?
It’s interesting to see all of these avid CD posters telling you to take robotics off your mind.
If you do want to do something robotics related, I would say try to get together with a few members from the team and try something. If you guys don’t get much done, then at least you’ll have spent some time doing “team building” activities.
I love programming, just the reason why I joined robotics and the AP Comp Sci class, I had a mini game project going on, but all the other stuff just takes up my time, most of the time I can program is in the morning and the evening. Not a morning guy, so that leaves the evening, but I guess I have to make time for my programming.
I am a big nerd when it comes to programming. I do a lot of freelance coding work and run a small web design business. I suggest that you do what I like doing during my down time and that is to just stop thinking about it. If you are really into robotics, you spend COUNTLESS hours in the shop during the season and by the end you are drained of ideas. Just take a break and do some new things over the summer! Before you know it, you will be staying in the shop 'till midnight (sometimes later and you will eat nothing but pizza and pop again!).
Well think of it this way, I love football and lifting, those aren’t exactly walk in the park. There are things that you enjoy but is hard work, programming is one of those, just drains your brain after a while