New award idea, people's choice

With the popularity of reality shows where the viewers choose the winners, why not create a regional award for the crowd’s favorite robot? The voting could be by texting the team number to a special account, or by a kiosk at the event. The votes could be limited to one per person.

It would be a way to get the audience involved, create interest, and reward a team that makes a “crowd pleaser” even if that team does not win matches. If the votes is via texting, even those at home watching via web or NASA channel could vote.

Just a thought, what do you think?

That’s a great idea! So what path can we take to see it happen?

so a popularity competition?

See if you can get Frank on board. There has been serious discussion of “community awards” lately–about the only reason Animation is the only one right now is that they haven’t gotten a process down yet, or something like that.

Yes, is that a bad thing?

Seems to me that since this season is already near the end of build, and competition isn’t far away at all, the best way to do this would to have it be team organized and host it as an event with webcast at Championships. It would be cool to have an organizing committee that would create a panel of “FIRST celebrity” judges or some sort on huge online voting system. You could have categories like best release video, coolest design, most visible, etc. It would be really cool and create a deeper sense of culture in FIRST. I’d totally love to participate in an organizing committee if this ever came around to be an event!

It may just turn into a contest of who has the biggest team/could get the most random people to text that number instead of the actual crowd choosing their favorite robot. 95% of spectators are going to support a specific team, thus will vote for said team.

Good point. Very true.

That is a possibility, but what I was hoping, was that it would be the robot that you want to watch, even when your team is not on the field, the one that gets the oooohs and aaahhhhs, the one that makes people say “that is so cool!!!”. It may just be very pretty, it might have flashing lights, a great paint job, a unique approach (not another RI3D), or the fastest, the fanciest, the simplest, whatever it may be that makes it your favorite robot.

Popularity has always been a part of the FRC experience as long as I can recall. It effects many things, from the way the MC introduces teams, to the picking of alliances, and I would venture that it might figure in to the judging of awards for spirit etc. (it certainly has seemed that way at times). It effects how we on CD react to posts, especially of robot pictures and videos. I have been ambivalent about this, because I know it is in large part due to some teams having a history of performing well, and because it isn’t vicious in the way it could be in some high school sports etc. It does still negatively impact the experience for some teams, and some people take it more to heart than others.

Even so, I support the idea of a Peoples Choice award. There might be times when it will be given to the team that has the most fans in the stands, but other times it might be given to a robot that had unique features or performance that excited the crowd. I think that would be worth an award.

How about the best performance of the day? At the competition footage is taken of teams who had the best stunt? (Ex: Team initiates secret defensive mechanism which is a giant teddy bear.) Or something along those lines

I agree, sounds a lot like a ‘Community Award’ that Frank talked about on the FRC Blog back in October of 2013](

It would be cool if this could also be Chief Delphi fueled, like we had the whole networking and communication, nominations, etc all on CD. But of course, we’d have to organize ourselves before any of this could happen.