Offseason Robot Survey

I made a survey to gather information about what our team should do for our off-season demo robot. Check it out :slight_smile: (Only a few questions)


I finished. Looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with.

Completed. Keep us posted on what you end up doing!

Finished. Please publicize the results when you are finished! I would love to see them.

Completed. Interesting questions, I too would like to see the results when you guys are done.

Finished, those were pretty interesting questions. If you could post the results that would be great!

Finished. Please post the results when you are done with the survey.

finished! hope it turns out well

Done. I would also like to see the results

Results are in.

  1. What impresses people about robots?

Their functionalities and the fact that they are built by high school students

the look of it

Speed, maneuverability

Other than their sheer size and look, people are impressed when a robot can accomplish the task that it was built for with minimal delay or error

Having them do things that they thought only people could accomplish.

Omni directional movement

The fact that a group of high school students are building them in only 6 weeks

skill, accuracy, prestige


the elegance of a simple construction but having a very fast machine

Every thing, as long as it works. For some reason, failure has a tendency to make the impossible seem trivial to outside observers.

Bright Lights, cool interactive actions with people.

Doing difficult tasks

Our Robots? The fact that high-schoolers built them. Robots in General? The fact that they do something complicated. People don’t care about a small 2-wheeled affair that senses walls. Think bomb-disposal…

The fact that the robot moves and can accomplish tasks

People see something that looks remotely like something out of a scifi movie, and to them, it’s like magic. (But it’s even cooler when they learn that they too can control that “magic”)


the ability to do things that people seem to be amazing

What impresses people in FIRST and what impresses the general public are two different things. People within first like clean, sophisticated solutions to a game challenge, and new ideas concerning manipulators and drivetrains. However, what would be most impressive in a demonstration robot for the general public is something that is a little more flashy. Shooting baskets works from this year in some scenarios, but basically a robot that does something obvious and unique that the general public can look at and go “Oh, that’s cool.”

Their ability to interact with people

I see peoples faces light up by the fact that when they push a button or move a joystick, some piece of metal moves and reacts.

The visual style of a robot. Even if it’s not the most functional design. In simpler words, you can sacrifice form over function for a demo bot. Tailor your demo to your audience, ie, focus on the robot for students and focus on the educational benefits for parents.

I’ve found that with younger kids that just a moving robot is impressive, whereas teenagers need to see it do something impressive. i.e. they were impressed with our shooting, but not out balencing.

Being able to do human like work

That kids make them

Size (big or small), functionality, and “smartness”.

When there is something they are familiar with being done by the robot autonomously that they can interact with.

Some sort of manipulator ability is fun for some people, while others are amazed by speed and maneuverability, because everyone is accustomed to the automobile and Ackermann steering. Involving the audience (i.e. T-shirt cannon) also makes people feel connected. 254 has mastered this with their demo bot Shockwave. Generally though, people want to leave saying “Wow.” Find some way to make it pop, whatever that is.

The fact that HIGH SCHOOLERS are the ones who build them.


the fact that highschool students built it in 6 weeks plus the movement of it

How accurate they are compared to humans.

Autonomous, interactions with people, unexpected actions

in my opinion its features (what can it do) like fly or something i guess wow factor


What they can do with the simple way they are built

Interaction or achieving a familiar/useful task

they sux

A lot of people don’t understand them and don’t even know how they’d begin making a robot. There’s also the whole scifi thing where movies and tv hype them up.

Having them do things that are practical and that make life easier. Or seeing them do crazy things that may not be useful but provide entertainment/intrigue.

There many different ability’s and adaptations. Also the robots appearance is key to impressing (something our team is still working on.)

Being able to go on bridges.

High school students building robots

theings thaT KOol

That high school students can devote that much time to build them.

It can do things faster, more accurate, more tasks than what humans can do

CNC work, powder coat, ability to strafe, and ability to do something people can relate to (go fast, kick, shoot, etc.)

Doing things humans can do (And better)

Automation (fast or large movements are always impressive) and aesthetics (by this I mean a generally professional appearance. Because this is a practice robot, you should expect to powdercoat/anodize and infuse a really solid identity in its whole build).


Doing things that humans cannot


  1. What is the coolest to see?

Speed 33.3% 17
Power 25.5% 13
Artificial Intelligence 37.3% 19
Movement over difficult terrain 33.3% 17
Arms 37.3% 19
Shooters 62.7% 32

  1. How do you encourage high school kids to join robotics teams?

Demos, videos, the success of my team

fliers, club fair, community outreach, person to person

By showing them the opportunities it will give them, and to show them how much fun it is.

In general, I tell them about the team and about what we do, and show them some of our promo material. If they are truly interested in joining, they will say so

We are present at our school’s Freshman orientation and try to participate in pep rallies for the school.

Show them how fun robotics is

offer extra credit for students to come see the regionals, and try and get them to see how much fun it is

Through demonstration, and enhancing their abilities to get recruited by prestigious colleges

demo old robots and allow them to drive

still deciding we don’t have a set plan for next season yet

Make it seem more accessible, many would-be team members are often intimidated by the complexity and unknown aspects of robotics and fear they lack the intellect to do anything. Often people look at a robot as one thing instead of as many parts. Emphasize the fact that anybody can a productive part of the team

Displays around the school.


demo the robot, entice them with scholarships, let them play with power tools, have HALO parties.

Well I go to a small private school so we do demos around the school during our international festival at the beginning of the year and then we have a mini competition in November. We give students a task, anyone can participate and if you win you get a gift card (this year we had teams make balsa wood planes and see who could get theirs to go the farthest distance. We have students and teachers talk to kids about robotics and show them what robotics is about. I’ll go up to students in the halls personally and tell them about robotics and tell them what they can do to help.

Essentially the same as number 1, by showing them something they thought impossible before and then telling them how they can achieve the “impossible”. That, and the coolness factor of robots.

show them it’s fun!

demo demo demo. Thats how our team get others into robotics

You can market the college scholarships and opportunities it can make available, or simply just use the draw that they get to play with robots. For a lot of kids, that’s all it takes.

Simply talking to them

Show them what robotics is about. The rest sells itself

Be open about what you do. Show the robot and share your experiences on the team. If you have the budget, do a mock season, where you design and build a small robot from scratch with the new students who are interested in joining the team. It is a good way to teach people how to build robots. It also allows people to decide weather or not they actually want to join if they know what the actual season will be like.

We have annual assemblies at our school, and are always trying to recruit whenever someone seems interested at a demo. The best way to do it is to stick the robot is peoples faces, and back it up with the fact that there is a potential to go traveling with the team.

By making it “cool” and fun, while still helping them with their future.

fun, good for their future

Hosting robotics tournaments (VEX and FLL), strong community presence, showing them that it’s not just about the robot but animation, CAD, website, marketing and engineering.

Of course, they are our source of students but we also encourage elementary schoolers

Make it sound fun, and DEFINITELY compare it to other sports in regards to the teamwork and camaraderie that goes into building a robot, and how it is just like any other competitive sport. You don’t necessarily have to use the “Changing the Community” side of FIRST right away in recruiting, that will come

Show up at sporting events and other major events in the school and show them the cool stuff we do.

We have school demonstrations and pep rallies for our team, plus we bring it to our local fundraisers

We do multiple Demonstrations as well as having students talk to their fellow classmates in person.

The coolness factor of robots and doing things to show impressive things

have them drive the robot

Offer cookies

Tell them how much fun it is and how much they’ll learn


torture them

We hold events in the community and run a LEGO robotics camp for middle school students to generate interest. We also have some demos. Just talking to them about what you do and how they can get involved is important. They should know that they don’t need to be geniuses to be on the team–there’s something for everyone.

Promote it to be an activity for anyone, regardless of social standing. Also be sure to convey the many positives attributes of being on a team (making friends, learning new things and post secondary education opportunities).

We show them how much they will learn and accomplish if they join the club. We also try to emphasize that anyone can do what we do.

Beat them into submission.

give then a free croi

Show them that they actually get to build things and be a part of a productive team.

Peer pressure and tell them to join the “cool” people. Tell them it’s fun

Demo the bot. That should bring out anyone interested.

Activity fairs and posters

There is no better way than to introduce a student by involving him/her. Allow them to either look at or drive a robot, and you can nearly guarantee that they will have fun.

$$$ + Candy

By introducing the benefits of being on a robotics team (scholarships etc.)


  1. What is the most important part of showing people what FIRST is about?

Showing the Competition 68.1% 32
Showing the build season 40.4% 19
Showing real life examples 53.2% 25
Showing technical aspects 42.6% 20

There were a few troll answers. Please ignore these. :stuck_out_tongue:

So far, we have decided to build a robot that can go through an obstacle course, pick up a ball, and bring it back. We will be using some cool stuff like mecanum wheels . We have a small team set up to go around to events and present what FIRST is. Some videos, some demos and possibly some examples of things we’ve made.

Thank you all for answering this survey, it helped a lot and was pretty cool to see the responses that you gave.


I’m a bit currious why artificial intelligence has more votes than speed and power (q2). It seems like whenever people watch one of our matches and I explain autonamous, the general reply is “so?”. I don’t think too many people outside FIRST understand the difficulty of programming AI. It was definitely an interesting survey, though. Good luck with the bot.

How about have it turn about face and shoot it back? ::safety:: Sounds do able, and it’d look pretty cool :slight_smile: It’d add the crowd interaction because you could, under low power of course, have it shoot the ball and be caught by someone watching. (Or a team mate if safety and crowd interaction is not possible)

We shot balls into the crowd at one of our Demonstrations and it was a big hit. Definitely do this if possible.