Learning Team Roles

Hey guys. It’s Kelvin here. I’m the co-captain of Lincoln Park’s first-ever robotics team. We are very passionate about making this team work but we are currently facing a problem. None of us have any prior experience with robotics, we became interested when our mentor presented the idea to us. We would like to know where we can learn what each subteam does. By that I mean, if I’m part of the build team where can I learn about the robot parts and how to bring it together. Any information will help. Thank you. ::rtm::

Team Handbooks:

Survival Guide by 2169: 2018 FRC Survival Guide (1).pdf - Google Drive

Do note, the programming section of this guide is outdated and reflects the 2018 season. Next season will use Visual Studio Code and GradleRIO for robot programming/building. (Search Chief Delphi for more information on both).

Survival Guide by 4468:

This guide has like, literally everything from scouting to programming to CAD to winning awards. Definitely worth your time.

Welcome to FRC!

I recommend you join the FRC Discord chat for quick help in the run up to and during the build season. There’s a lot of people on there that are more than happy to provide help on literally anything you might encounter.

Robot-wise, you can learn a lot by a) reading documentation and b) looking at other robots. In addition, many teams post build and design resources on their websites. Here’s a few links, in order of me thinking of them.

Programming documentation (currently outdated, but should be updated soon)

Team 1114’s resources

Team 254’s resources

Team 3847’s resources <-- A lot of stuff here
Spectrum 3847’s first $1000 to spend on shop tools

The Compass Alliance

A lot of these resources include information on the business side of FRC as well.
I highly recommend partnering with a local team to guide you a bit, as the internet and reading can only do so much.

One another thing: welcome to FIRST (and Chief Delphi)!

Good job on starting early during the summer! The more experience you have before the build season, the more likely you will be successful. Use the time before January to recruit members, fundraise, learn about building robots and making them move , and build team culture. My team just emerged from our rookie year, so here’s my advice from experience:

  1. The kit of parts won’t build your robot. My team thought everything we needed came in the KoP, and boy we were wrong.

  2. Fundraise aggressively. Money is IMPORTANT. You have registration, tools, robot parts, travel, etc. to pay. There is great advice on fundraising here on CD and in the resources nickbrickmaster and I have posted. In-kind sponsors are as valuable as money sponsors.

  3. Essential to fundraising is developing team brand and image-- check out Team 1538’s brand guidelines here:

  4. Start recruiting early, and involve people in the team creation process. My team was started by one dedicated student. The downside was no one else knew anything about FRC until kickoff day. We had a few team meetings before the season began, but all we did was learn labVIEW basics.

  5. Don’t be afraid of reaching out to local teams for assistance. A team that embodies the values of FIRST will be glad to help you.

  6. Read this slide deck from longtime FRC mentor Karthik on strategic design:

Hope these help!

On the resources, also check out http://team358.org/. All of it’s good, but their description of the control system is excellent.

As far as roles within the team, while you may follow someone else’s template, we’ve found that the best organization plan is the one that works for the people you have. In particular, don’t try to pigeonhole people - let them do the things they’re best at and interested in, even if those roles don’t make for a single title. The smaller the team, the more important flexibility is.

Hi Kelvin,

I would recommend reaching out to some local experienced mentors in your area. If you’d like, I would PM Chris Picone, and Alec Mataloni.

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