Madtown Robotics New Site

Hello CD,

I am currently an 8th grader and I really wanted to help out with FRC. So I asked a few teams and my brother about what I could do. They all said websiting is a great place to start. Madtown Robotics did not have an archived site and they really wanted a site that would store more info and help other teams out by offering resources.

So the site is and the forum is

They key features of this site are:

-Archives the Teams pics, robots and other media
-We will be loading 150+ solidworks tutorials for all teams to use. (others will be up soon)
-I will be uploading all of Rc’s Cad & the teams work and it will be available for downloading
-Also preprogrammed Cam/G-Code will be available
-Resource Page will have white papers and other valuable calculators
-All the game manuals and game animations are uploaded. When competition season hits, the video and the manuals will be up for downloading. (helping FIRST out a little bit)
-Link to the scholarships form there
-Along with the fact that we will have all the labview and c++ tutorials will be uploaded and organized for all teams

The site is not complete and I am working on it. I am trying to complete it in a couple of weeks. Advice and resource materials would help me and our entire team out. If there are any valuable items that could help other teams, please list it below.

Thank You CD

PS, our team now has the ability to machine out Parts for any team Contact Us.

FIRST off (get it?!?), welcome to CD! :slight_smile:

Now, I think if you would have ventured a bit further, you could have found a relative sub-forum to post this in: :wink:

About the site
It’s looking pretty good so far! A few things that I noticed at a quick glance:

  • The photo gallery. While having a “cool” factor, it’s a bit irritating and somewhat unintuitive. The tilt makes it hard to navigate, and I can’t figure out how to view the full-sized pictures, if there are any. Also, either launching the photos in a new pop-up tab/window or inserting the main site’s navigation header would help a lot. Once I close the photo gallery, it’s gone! :ahh:
  • Rephrase the FIRST sections a little bit if you plan on submitting your site for judging, as I believe
    it helps to have it written in your own words, though I’m not certain. Otherwise, there’s really nothing wrong with it.*]Last, but not least, a link to your forum somewhere in the main navigation section. Even though I read here that you have a forum setup, I had to search for that small button to the left to get there.
    I love your site, though. I know it’s a work-in-progress, so I can’t wait to see it with the final touches. :slight_smile:

The site looks great dude! I’m loving the media gallery. The photo gallery is pretty unique, I’ve never seen it before. Can’t wait until all of the CAD is loaded up. Your team, from what I’ve heard and experienced, is becoming a great resource for many teams in the area…and on the other coast. :wink:

The site looks great in Firefox, but has major formatting issues when viewed from within Google Chrome.

The tilt viewer is quite annoying, and I find it extremely hard to navigate on a laptop trackpad. Also, it would be nice to be able to zoom in more on pictures.

However, The overall website design is clean and simple, and for a work in progress, is looking good! It’ll definitely be a great resource once your numerous tutorials and resources are posted.

If I recall correctly, FIRST doesn’t particularly like people mirroring the Game Manual. It is a copyrighted (?) document and cannot be mirrored without their express permission (I believe some have asked in the past and been denied).

I also agree that the picture viewer is a bit bizarre. The photos look like they are decent res, but they remain fairly small on the screen, even when clicked on.

Yeah, they’re kinda bipolar in that sense… They want to support engineering progress with closed proprietary standards. It’s the same thing as Microsoft claiming they like to help people work together and stay connected, yet failing to support open standards and being adamantly opposed to Open Source. Just slap a CC License on the manual, and I’d be happy.

I belive that one of the reasons that they do this is because the manual changes during the season, and gets updated. If a team grabs a version and post it to their website, it will be frozen at that version. The last thing we would want is someone downloading a version of the manual from somewhere online and have it not be up to date. If this happens the results could be that a team builds an illegal or unsafe robot.

IMO linking to the manual from your site is probably enough, you don’t need to host the files.

Uploading the CAD files may be a good idea as long as you warn the teams they can’t just make parts right off the files and expect them to work for them.

As for G-Code, I don’t think this is a good idea. Any team with a CNC should know how to generate their own, and a team who owns one and doesn’t know how to run it then just downloads yours assuming they can just hit go might get into some serious trouble.

to view the gallery images larger right click anywhere not a picture and press go fullscreen.

Just uploaded some of the resources:

-Chris (1114) Calculators (with his permission, of course)
-JVN Calculator since I find it extremely Helpful
-AjK’s Motor Sheet
-A free CNC Feed and Speed Calc.

MORe is on iT’s way. It you would like to include some other resources, please feel free to email me, thank you (Credit is given to the creator btw).

hey rc… how hard did u have to hit ur lil bro to get him to do all this? lol

Josh you how that goes, pretty hard and bribing works too. lol :yikes:

Not as hard as he has to hit his robot to work:yikes:

Ohhhh burrrrrn… lmao


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, can’t stop laughing.:eek:

for the items you pulled from CD media, don’t upload the items and link to them. Instead, link to their page in CD media. That way, people will see the description, comments, and most importantly, any updates.

Also, I’d recommend you link to Dr. Joe’s Chain Path visualizer… Great stuff.

Site has major formatting issues in internet explorer 6.

Looks good in firefox!

Sorry Tom, but as a person who does website design I have to say, UPGRADE ALREADY! Some of us hate having to account for a browser that is no longer supported. Plus, it is not as secure as later browsers.

Let me say, the site looks nice. Just not in Chrome (and thus, I assume, Safari since they use the same rendering engine) Did you validate your CSS and HTML? I would suggest validating your HTML( and then your CSS ( Valid HTML and CSS should render properly in any (modern) browser.

Here-here! Especially with that ugly PNG-transparency bug in IE6, I really don’t think it’s worth it to try to accommodate an outdated browser. They’re already working on IE8, so the least you could do is upgrade to 7.
Same with FF. I designed mine for FF3. That’s just the way it goes.

Don’t get me wrong, if there are just a couple of issues, go for it. But don’t make your whole design work around older browsers.

It depends on your audience, like I said, I don’t like doing it, I have to for work. We encourage users to use ie 7 right now but their hardware might not run it so we have to support down to ie 5 or something like that. It is a nightmare!

Be careful designing for FF3, yes it is great but realize that a portion of us use Webkit based browsers and the VAST majority use IE based.

I figured I’d get a response or two like that.

I would love to upgrade, or use firefox/chrome. Unfortunately, I am at the mercy of a corporation with several hundred thousand employees, and they are all stuck in the boat I am. Firefox/chrome is not allowed, and the computers are locked down to prevent any changes. Not too much I can do about it.

I do not know the requirements for the competition. I hope none of the judges operate under the same restrictions we do here at Ford.