Michigan Team Forum Notes

I was forwarded an email from a person who attended the Michigan team forum. These are the notes he took at that event:

There’s a LOT of interesting information provided here…

From FIRST rep.
2003 Season
- Ramp too expensive and not portable for show & tell events
- Need to improve robot inspection. Not consistent
- Referees decision were not consistent from regional to regional
2004 Season
- More information ahead of time to prepare and train students for competition, i.e. kit information, motor info.
- Kick-off - Jan 10, 2004
- Regional competition starts March 4, 2004 for 5 weeks (skip Easter weekend)
- In addition to current regional, (3) more will be added - Detroit, Colorado and S. Carolina
- Championship either 4/15-17 or 4/22-24
- FIRST currently taking and reviewing bids from three sites for Championship (contract will be for three years). Site decision will be made in July and announced early
- Disney Sport (not EPCOT)
- Atlanta
- Houston
- Innovation FIRST upgrading Robot Controller
- Upgrade to EDUBot
- Rookie kit will include air compressor & battery charger. Veteran kits will not have these items, but team can purchase.
- Pneumatic is given more freedom for number of valve and cylinders size
- Battery - can use any from past years. Battery charger - can use any with less than 6 amps charging

Comments from other teams
- Autonomous good element to game but dangerous. Field not designed to contain autonomous robot. Robot going out of field at different regional.
- Current controller and sensor not designed for autonomous mode due to processing speed.
- Not enough safety precaution with autonomous mode. A student was hurt during debugging of autonomous mode.
- Need debug field for autonomous mode. Practice field is not enough time for a proper job. Teams were using make shift debug area that were not safe.
- Game need to be design more for top mechanism design. Last two years robot have been designed with box and strong powertrain.
- 2002 year - pushing match
- This year - test of kinetic force
- Past games were more designed for innovative top end design with hooks, lifts, etc.
- Team updates need to be more frequent early in the season to answer questions faster.
- Scoring - modify or eliminate winner get portion of loser score. Once you score a point via ball or tubs, make it so points can not be taken away easily.
- Make list of kit items available early, so if teams do not need certain items, they can choose not to receive items for credit. May be difficult to implement logistically.
- Need to revise team seeding match system. Current system was not randomized.
- Set up supplier (such as MSC or McMaster) to supply kit from catalog. This way, team will only order required item and not have wasted items around.

*Originally posted by T. Hoffman *
- Upgrade to EDUBot

I’ve got sources inside of FIRST and they tell me they want to make EDUBot a stepping stone between FLL and FIRST since many people in FLL don’t have interest or see the relationship to FIRST. I got to see some things in the next kid and let me tell you, this will be more like a mini-kit of parts than an erecter set. Also, get this, from what I saw, there is serious consideration of having a control pad (like a game system) to control the EDUBot. FIRST also wants EDUBot to be used more in schools (like BBIQ) and possibly become really big to have FIRST off-season competitions.

FIRST loves the EDUBot.

Thanks for the info…


new controller, good

no compressor/battery charger, bad

my team doesn’t like to kill old robots, and we can’t really get away with ripping the compressor off, cause then we can’t have them all working if we need for demonstrations and such. i hope the compressors are cheap…

also, is kickoff like, a week later than it normally is, or is that just me?

*Originally posted by Ian W. *
**also, is kickoff like, a week later than it normally is, or is that just me? **
Yes, it is a week later. Traditionally, it should be on the third.

as the calendar changes each year, New Years Day falls on a Thursday in 2004 - too close to the first weekend. When Jan 1st falls on the first weekend in Jan, the kickoff is moved to the second weekend.

the main reasons are:

  • most remote kickoff sites (especially Universities) would not be open the days before a Jan 3rd kickoff to accept delivery of the kits. (which arrive on the Thur and/or Friday before the kickoff). This makes a Jan 3rd kickoff very difficult if not impossible.

  • many people are still on family vacations or travelling on Jan 1st and 2nd, so FIRST tries to take that into account - plus Jan 2 travel conflicts for those kickoffs in Manchester, and some remotes, who hold Friday workshops would make those difficult.

With them looking for new sites for the championships. They need to find a place and make a difference, becaue i know it was hard to arrnage things with them changing it to houston anf i they are changing it again its gonna be hard again. I think they should just bring ti back to florida. :slight_smile: closer for me so i can drive and saving money

At the Schaumburg Forum, FIRST representatives said that once a Championship package is chosen, then it will be for a 3 year deal.

Also, they did say something about making it a priority that the Championships must be closer to Ryan from team 710.

Disclaimer: one of the above sentences is true, while the other is not. You figure it out. :slight_smile:

Andy B.

darn you :smiley: I am getting on my knees and making sacrifices to God so we can be at disney sport

DISCLAIMER: The above statement is not sac-religous, i go to a private school

FIRST also wants EDUBot to be used more in schools (like BBIQ) and possibly become really big to have FIRST off-season competitions.

I have actually seen a kit that whoops the butt off of this years edubot kit. Its an edubot kit on steriods. By the looks of it has everything from miniture sla batteries to real roller chain. The only thing lacking is electronics. And to think I found it while searching a battlebots website. Heh I getting very close to buying there pnuematics kit since it is such a nice small size.:cool:http://www.gearseds.com/

*Originally posted by T. Hoffman *
**- In addition to current regional, (3) more will be added - Detroit, Colorado and S. Carolina

are these the only regionals that will be added for sure?