pic: Stronghold AMAA Live with Frank 6/21 8:30PM EST!

FRC Fans! Join FIRST Robotics Competition Director Frank Merrick on FUN Spotlight for a Live AMAA about the 2016 game FIRST Stronghold on Tuesday at 8:30PM EST!

Live: Twitch
Archived: www.youtube.com/c/firstupdatesnow

What questions do you have for Frank about the 2016 game and what is to come?

Ohh this is going to be fun. :wink:


Wait a minute, the field in the background of that picture looks like it was from 2011, and Frank, in the foreground, is holding a goat plushie… so either Frank has been photoshopped into this image, or Frank must have predicted the “Totes ma Goats” meme 4 years in advance! Alternatively… Time Travel!


If you have questions about the future of FRC, I think Frank would be a very good person to ask.

Frank is wearing a 20 Years of FRC shirt, so that lines up with 2011. It’s worth considering that just the goat is photo-shopped in rather than Frank. All of the possibilities you raised are still just as reasonable.


What lessons were learned in 2016 that will be applied to future games?

Thank you! Your question has been submitted! :-p

Another themed game next year by chance with a teaser from Disney??

If you have any other questions for Frank please post here or continue to email [email protected]. We would like to be able to compile these tomorrow morning.

There will be a couple official FRC announcements from Frank so make sure you tune in to hear all about out them.

Also we will be having another t-Shirt give away live on the show. We will have some sort of trivia so get your FRC knowledge caps on.

Reminder the show will be live starting at 8:30pm EST at www.twitch.tv/firstupdatesnow
Archived at: www.youtube.com/c/firstupdatesnow

Expect this to be a shorter show of 30-45 minutes.

Right thread this time… I submit to you two categories for questions. In honor of Frank’s MST3K fandom I have categorized them as “Science Facts” and “You should really just relax”:

Science Facts:

  • Can you encourage someone from the GDC to do a talk about the process they go through for designing the games? Something similar to Rob Daviau’s talk about “legacy game design” (https://vimeo.com/82383614) would be cool.
  • My FRC career began in 2004 and it seems like autonomous mode has not changed significantly all that much from then. Are we likely to see more complex autonomous challenges in the future?
  • There are roadblocks to teams adopting more advanced vision and location processing systems for FRC, such as unclear documentation for networking, rules around secondary batteries, cost limitations, programming headaches, and no reliable field positioning. Is this an area that is actively being discussed for improvement in FRC and if so then what might we expect to see in the future?
  • Have there been any discussions about enabling FRC drive teams with wearable technology aside from Dave Lavery hinting about the Microsoft HoloLens?
  • One of the the big reveals this season was the data collected by FMS. Are there plans to expand the scope of that data collection and make more of it available to teams? Something similar to the telemetry that Formula 1 collects on their drivers/cars during a race (https://streamable.com/n6az)?
  • There was a lengthy community discussion recently about removing a particular constraint for FRC teams, along with many suggestions for helping to improve the sustainability of FRC teams. Are any of these ideas being discussed within the FRC HQ and how seriously are they being debated?

You should really just relax:

  • Do you think you are being unfair against lizard people with your dislike of pineapple on pizza? As we all know, it is a staple food in the diet of lizard people everywhere.
  • Joel or Mike? And yes, we will judge you for your answer.
  • How many ad-hoc dodge ball tournaments were started at FRC HQ this season due to the choice of game piece?
  • What was the most outlandish defense considered for the game this year?
  • Joystick or gamepad? (I have money riding on this one so don’t let me down.)
  • Godzilla or Mechagodzilla?
  • What did you have for breakfast this morning?
  • What was your favorite Dean Kamen moment from this past season and why was it him roasting the DoD guy?
  • Are things really as dope as Will.i.am says they are?
  • iPhone or Android?
  • What was the last thing you ate that you really enjoyed?

How many defense securing pins did FRC go through this season? Do you have other similar fun* facts about materials used during the season?

*I have a weird definition of fun, so what?

Speaking of defense pins I have like 20 I accidentally stole from worlds. Frank do you want them back? :rolleyes:

Failure rates for defense securing pins are likely multi-modal, due to the variety of components used. At six events I attended, I saw pegboard hooks, zinc-plated machine screws (12-24 and 1/4-20), round pins, and socket head cap screws used for this purpose.

Strong drive trains overpowered them all, but some pins are tougher than others. I believe they popped out more frequently than they snapped.

Our team had communication issues that only presented while connected to the FMS this season (and in previous years as well). This is a weakness that we would like to correct on our end, but this is challenging without access to an FMS. Are there plans to create some sort of a “FMS Simulator” to help teams to diagnose these kind of issues?

As someone on an event planning committee for a district this year, I doubt Frank has that information, or if he does it’s likely not very accurate. Securing pins were not really something the field crew kept track of, and many events used various securing solutions that they came up with on the fly, and, consequently, would also not be tracked.

Just as a side note, even if he doesn’t know doesn’t mean that Frank won’t have fun with the question. While we can’t make all questions to Frank comedic (whether it’s intended to be or not), it’s okay to have some like this.

Here are my real questions
Where do you see FRC in 6 years? # of Districts, Champs, # of teams, ect.

Is there going to be a trailer for this years game like last year?

Are there going to be new world championships division names this year?

Have you picked out a radio for next year yet?

It would be good to hear if Frank can share any insights on the number of divisions at each of the 1/2CMPs…

Two questions:

  1. Winning Chairman’s and Engineering Inspiration affect district rankings. Why not make the marketing-related awards separate from the robot competition with different rankings for both? This way, the best robots would win the competition and be ranked high in robot performance, while the Chairman’s teams could be ranked high in marketing/outreach/etc, but if their robot wasn’t the best, they wouldn’t take the top spot from a better robot just because they won Chairman’s. Both are important.

  2. Why was cheering noise level decided as the best way to have the audience vote on defense selection over using an app on a phone or something like a ResponseCard?