Kickoff day

It’s similar on our team. We try to have every member engaged in the beginning when going over the game, rules, ideas, etc, but only a few remain engaged in the discussions for the whole day. Usually halfway through when game/idea discussions start to become more detailed, large parts of the team break off either to get started on prototypes, KOP inventory, making critical parts of the field needed for prototyping and other stuff along that nature. Usually the drivetrain is decided very quickly(Typically a 6WD Kit) and many students will begin working on getting that up and running. Programming team also starts getting new software and firmware set up. Lots of stuff happen on the first day that’s for sure.

While it would be cool for every student to be active in design or strategy discussions, not every student wants to do it. Typically it’s the more experienced members or students that naturally have a strategy mindset that are the most involved. Though this is typically only 4-5 students, it’s a pretty good number considering the core team consists of only about 18 students.

Traditionally, 610 has done a Saturday post-release + short afternoon casual talk in small groups, then we meet as an entire team after thinking our ideas over a night, then we have a large group discussion on Sunday. This year, we’ll be making small groups of 4-5 (we have a team of 49 I think), which each includes at least 2 experienced or senior members who have a firm grasp on strategy, and it’s their job to explain the concepts to new members, who sometimes come up with extremely innovative solutions.

Personally, I’m really against the idea of people not having input on the robot, even if they don’t want to, because if they’re dissatisfied with the end product, they may end up blaming themselves for not being more engaged at the beginning with the Strategic breakdown.

Personally we don’t go near robot design for day, and before that, we prototype many ideas first. For example, 2014 year, there was an idea of a catapult and a ‘pitching machine’ design. We first prototypes these designs, a few days after kickoff, then we designed the robot off of the successful prototypes. And we NEVER design anything on the day of kickoff or even a few days after, only game evaluation for that time.::rtm:: ::rtm::

Great Presentation!

On Slide 9, you say:
"Six students, each student is a robot with 25 units of functionality

Use functionality units to purchase robot functions (value being the
previously assigned difficulty)"

Can you elaborate on your simulation process or provide an example?


Here is our current draft of kickoff day events (we’re in the U.S. central time zone). We’re calling kickoff “Saturday 0”. We’re starting weeks on Sunday, so the next day is “Sunday 1”.

Kickoff Day 2016 Schedule (9 Jan 2016, all times CST)
0830 - 0900: Continental Breakfast (Pastry/Donuts, Fruit, Coffee, Milk, Juice)
0900 - 0930: Gathering/Welcome/Organization

  • Welcome, admin, & ground rules
  • Review Agenda
  • Collect e-mail addresses for “proceedings” mailing (esp. non-3946 members)
  • If time remains, review game teaser, hints, standards, and such revealed so far.

0930 - 1030: Kickoff Video
1030 - 1130 Set up phase (Main bullets are simultaneous; sub bullets are sequential)

  • Printing of Rules (~10 sets)
  • Group of mentors begins getting parts and constructing field elements
  • Main Group of students:
    [list] - First Impressions
  • Initial list of Robot Tasks (pick up game piece, score game piece, climb, etc)
  • Brainstorm game strategies (one group or a few large groups)

1130 – 1200 Tweak list of rules sub-groups and assign members to these groups – initial list follows:

  • Scoring: list/analyze all scoring, including penalties
  • Field : e.g. obstructions, key dimensions, possible game flows
  • Robot dimensions: e.g. Time varying? Relative to game pieces & field elements?
  • Robot details: bumpers & “new” controls/construction rules
  • Game Pieces & goals: how hard to pick up, throw, catch, score, whatever
  • Non-game piece/auto/end game scoring activities
  • Defense: defensive actions and limitations such as protective zones, time limits

1130 - 1230 CST: Lunch
1230 - 1400: Students break into groups, review assigned rules, prepare outbrief
1400 - 1500: Outbriefs from rule review groups (~5 minutes each group + questions)
1500 - 1600: Brainstorm additional strategies and top-level robot designs (one group or a few large groups)

We then plan to go home as a team. After a suitable break for dinner, key mentors and student leaders will meet to begin working on grand strategy (that is, tournament structure) and estimating the value of different functions based on scoring potential about 1800 or 1900 on Saturday 0.
On Monday 1, we shall accept additional robot concepts, then select a limited number of drive trains and robot concepts for further development. (Though anyone who really wants to promote a certain concept may volunteer at this point even if the team as a whole thinks it’s not viable.) Tuesday 1’s meeting shall be to do quick prototypes and for design groups to get together and develop their plans. At the Thursday 1 meeting, we will get down to one or two design concepts (by consensus, not vote). Preferably both of these concepts will have the same drive platform. Serious parts orders shall begin on Thursday 1 after the meeting. Saturday 1 shall be the first real “build” day, based on the two AM-14U2’s and other parts we have on hand or can get from local hardware stores.

Our plans as a team has varied for the past four years I’ve been on my team with being on our own in our school’s cafeteria and this year the media center. Last year a team on the other side of the KCMO border invited many others to have a breakfast and space to strategize in. This year we will be meeting in our media center like I said and following the broadcast we will be breaking into small groups to get an understanding of the rules but this year I have the honor of being able to pick up the KOP this year.