paper: FRC862: Lightning Robotics Build Season Breakdown

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FRC862: Lightning Robotics Build Season Breakdown
by: C_Morgan

Gantt chart converted to calendar for breakdown of the major tasks and milestones of FRC862: Lightning Robotics.

After the 2009 season, the students and mentors of FRC862: Lightning Robotics used the summer and pre-season to develop a method for breaking down the major milestones of the build season. The result for the 2010 season was a Gantt Chart modified to fit a calendar format with key milestones and major build tasks for each of the subgroups.

Each year the students and mentors work to implement lessons learned and modify the Build Calendar to better reflect our capabilities and goals.

TEMPLATE-FRC862_YYYY_Schedule_RevA.xltx (287 KB)
FRC862_2010_Schedule_RevB.pdf (101 KB)
FRC862_2011_Schedule_RevB.pdf (116 KB)
FRC862_2012_Schedule_RevA.pdf (158 KB)
FRC862_2013_Schedule_RevB.pdf (169 KB)

Thanks for sharing your schedule. It’s good to compare task durations with other FRC teams.

Does 2013 revision 2 represent the actual activity dates or your 2013 pre-season plan? Did you miss any key milestones if this only represented your plan?

We finished our 2013 robot on time, but missed several interim milestones. In the end, it was not a significant impact, but we would have preferred more practice time before bag day.


Hello David,

Rev 2 was simply the plan for the build season. It does not take into account slipped milestones. That is the one area that we need to work better on documenting.

I can say for certain that we spent much more time on prototyping and concept selection for 2013 then planned. Our 2nd PRACTICE BOT was the most completed of the past few years.

I will offer that it really helps having a PRACTICE CHASSIS. It allowed our PROGRAMMING TEAM to really work to refine the control and optimize the gear shifting algorithm (1st multi-speed trans in team history).

In addition, we also spent significantly more time in the CAD environment to ensure component placement, fit, etc. We have a release process for drawings to the fabrication group, and the fabricators work very hard to build parts to spec (at least those that need it). While I think the process can be better, the important part is that the students learned the value of the design tools and process. The flip side is the diminished time to build and validate caused some challenges downstream.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of leaving your programming team some time with the hardware, as well as having the possibility of testing on an actual field mock-up to work out the mechanics. Our field elements and bumper stack-up were a bit short (collector deck needed to be adjusted downward), which resulted in the addition of a passive drop-down flap after our 1st qualification match during Week #1 of Kettering. Only then did we arrive at the results we had hoped for.

Like anything it remains a work in progress.