Lessons Learned the positive (2006)

What did FIRST do particularly well this year?

First thing that comes to my head: VIMS

The volunteer registration and confirmation system at the regional level appeared to work quite well this year. Emails were going out the to the right people, references were checked, and updates/changes dependable.

The game AIM HIGH is great. A lot of action, a lot less problems with rule changes and really challenged the teams with designing a shooter.

The Autonomous Bonus has waken many teams up with programming and strategy during this period.

  1. Made it worthwhile to use the CMU cam.

  2. Gave teams a good hint when using the softball pitching machine at kickoff

  3. Designed a reasonably exciting and challenging game for non-participants to understand and watch.


I think what FIRST did well was it has really shown us that it is getting the word out about FIRST to people that need to hear it, and should know about it. I can really see that FIRST is doing everything they can to really bring more important people and is trying to bring a better vision to those that see it. I think this year we can really see that FIRST is serious about bringing people in and shareing what we can do.

As for the Game, I agree that the auto-mode has risen in importance by 200%. It can be just the game, but this will lead to more and more 10-15 second challenges that will need to be completed to be the most powerful team.

Teamwork has never been so necessary in a game since the Co-Operation game. To make sure that one team is on one side, and to make sure that teams are blocking who they need to block. I think stragety was the most important key to victory this year rather than a robot that can shoot balls.

I will say that my team took autonomous mode much more seriously this year. FIRST definitely did the right thing by making the vision target an active target this year. The passive targets were just too difficult to get working with the camera last year.

FIRST has released the best FIRST game yet. No longer is it always PVC goals (possibly on wheels) for ball games! WHEE!

  1. The game was exciting to watch and to play, and it was challenging.

  2. Like everyone said, autonomous mode was much more important this year, and I hope it keeps becoming more so. (Anyone want to speculate if those multi-color cold cathodes they kept displaying during the finals were a hint???)

  3. I don’t know if this is just the usual case at championship, but the matches on Curie ran very smoothly and efficiently. The number of field resets and problems (at least that I saw) was very, very low compared to regionals as well.

Autonomous has finally been a massive success. In the past it’s always been a passive thing with a few teams doing something kind of cool in them, but nothing much happened here. This year ignoring it was the equivalent of willingly losing at least half your matches. The CMUCam is much improved over last year as well with the support and effectiveness of it.

This game was very exciting for non-FIRST people, and is possibly one of the easiest games ever to explain.

The addition of significant new rules (wedge rule, bumper rules, and height rule) along with a previously illegal scoring strategy (shooting) significantly leveled the playing field between veteran and rookie teams. I saw historically “strong” teams struggling this year while there were rookies at 4th seed after qualifiers.

And I cannot say it enough; this year’s Q&A system has been the most effective I have ever seen.

Agree! They are expanding their horizions and inventing more versitle and more inventive games!

And there were almost no resets in Archimedes either. I think there was two. All six robots went off into auto-mode when the MC was on the floor introduceing the teams.

First off, this game is definitely one of the top five. Lots of great play, lots of creative solutions, lots of fun.

But even if it were a lousy game, I have to thank the GDC for having a set of rules that required very few angry posts on CD. (Look at the YMTC forum. Only one all year–and that one was a gimme.)

The Q&A system was awesome. Searchable, easy-to-use, well-organized, and you could actually tell when new questions or answers were posted. A vast improvement over the 2004-2005 system.

The AndyMark battery plugs saved our butts on quite a few occasions. Suddenly, nobody has an excuse to grab a dead battery. Heavenly.

(I’ll think of more as I come across them.)


that sounds familiar to something that happened at VCU, and with the same MC too!

/me thinks it is a practical joke

If any other team has this problem, try our method; velcro. There is a small piece of velcro stuck to the battery, and two sided piece with a red and black side that can be stuck on it. We put red side up if it is charged, black if it is dead.

Human player had a fun job. I loved being human player. Definatley one of the coolest games ever.

I liked the open field. This made it easier to move robots on and off the field.
I also liked the teamwork/strategy involved because it made it more difficult for one robot to dominate a match.
I liked the mini bike motors, even though they were very heavy. It would be nice if they came without the cog pulley/spring though.
The KOP transmissions worked very well for us
The bumpers were great! An extra 10 pounds on the bottom of our robot allowed us to get up the ramp, not to mention saving our robot from damage.

Second that last comment on the bumpers. I really like the <R04> anti-wedge and <R35> bumper rules. Helps with traction and robustness, and also reduces tipping.

Another thing I liked was the alternating high-low team number (i.e., non-sequential) arrangement of pit locations. At the regionals where I volunteered this seemed to make it easier for less experienced teams to get help from veterans.

Being a Human Player is the greatest. I loved being HP last year. As you can see my team named me accordingly for loveing the job so much.

At nationals it seemed to me that communication was a lot better this year. Also, the pits were very accessible and easy to find.

The game was perfect in my opinion. Last year’s game really bored me and I never was interested in it, but this year’s game so so intense and everybody really had a chance. Also, I’m glad that programmers get a lot of payoff this year. A good autonomous program can mean the difference between winning and losing.

Autonomous mode was so important in winning. It was in most cases the difference between winning and losing.

I didn’t keep track in the finals matchs on Archimedes or Einstein, but every match that we won Autonomous, we won the match. The only match we lost in in seeding was the match we lost autonomous. I don’t remeber if we lost autonomous in the quarterfinals on Archimedes when we lost the match.

  • I liked how simple the game was. yet it gave way for incrdeible inventivness and creativity and never a dull match
    -I liked the game piece, like in 2003 when FIRST uses a household object I think it makes the game more interesting
    -It was so much easier to say to a bystander “our robot shoots balls” than " Our robot caps these large tetrahedral shapes with smaller ones in hopes of making a row"
  • The periods made for better strategy
  • this game required more teamwork
  • defense was just as important as offense this year, I dont think this was true last year