Question for members of all teams

Posted by Karl at 2/19/2001 9:18 AM EST

Student on team #442, Knight Riders, from Lee High and NASA Marshall SpaceFlight Center.

I’m new this year to the FIRST robotics competition so I have some rookie questions to ask:
Are there any other teams besides us still resolving fundamental design and operation flaws in our robot 29 hours before shipping time? Is this a normal thing? If so, then WHY? Does everybody else’s robot “work” unlike ours? Have you all had time to “practice” using it? Is our team going to face unavoidable and humiliating failure at any competition we dare show our faces at?
I thank you for your time and consideration. Have a nice day.

Posted by Lora Knepper at 2/19/2001 9:37 AM EST

Other on team #73, Tigerbolt, from Rochester Institute of Technology / Edison Tech HS and Alstom and Fiber Technologies.

In Reply to: Question for members of all teams
Posted by Karl on 2/19/2001 9:18 AM EST:

Karl,

Don’t worry all too much. Even the most veteran teams have problems this late in the game. Last year, my old team sent the robot to the regional in 4 pieces…not intentional of course! And they’ve been around for a few years :o) Don’t worry too much, even if you’re still working out bugs at the regional - that’s what the practice day is for :o)

~lora
former driver ~ team 69

Posted by Brian Papile at 02/23/2001 8:52 PM EST

Student on team #69, HYPER, from Quincy Public Schools and The Gillette Company.

In Reply to: Re: Question for members of all teams
Posted by Lora Knepper on 2/19/2001 9:37 AM EST:

Hey Lora
to your last comment it wasnt great that we shipped it off in peices. Due to someone name Lora. But this year with everyone out to lunch except me the engineers asked the big guy if they could drive the robot. I said oh no this could be very bad! I was the only pitcrew person there. Picture me a small skinny 110 pounds boy trying to even lift a 130 pound wedge! But they did fine except for a few things. Mike drove like a kid learning to drive, forward stop forward stop. But dick did awesome he lined up and everything. So all we have to do in Connecticut is replace our timing belts on our wheels and or wheels in general and we are all set!

Brian

PS. Afer today I think Ill have more abnoctious (I was never the best speller) posts than you! J/K

Posted by Veronica at 2/19/2001 10:00 AM EST

Student on team #27, Team Rush, from Osmtech and Textron.

In Reply to: Question for members of all teams
Posted by Karl on 2/19/2001 9:18 AM EST:

: don’t sweat it, our team is known for working through the night before ship to get things done we have also showed up to cdi with a non working robot and scrambled to fix it the morning of. I remember the first thing i heard when i walked in to CDI last year was “Veronica, our robot can’t turn at all!!” i was like omg!! but our awesome team pulled together to get things up and running. As of yesterday at 2 we still had things to wire and tweek, we’ve been driving it as it is being built but were not totally finished. So don’t worry and i know there are a lot of teams already driving and practicing and no doubt they will have some advantage having the practice time in but don’t worry you guys will be able to pull it off!! well hope i put your mind to ease. best of luck!!!
V

I’m new this year to the FIRST robotics competition so I have some rookie questions to ask:
: Are there any other teams besides us still resolving fundamental design and operation flaws in our robot 29 hours before shipping time? Is this a normal thing? If so, then WHY? Does everybody else’s robot “work” unlike ours? Have you all had time to “practice” using it? Is our team going to face unavoidable and humiliating failure at any competition we dare show our faces at?
: I thank you for your time and consideration. Have a nice day.

Posted by Kevin Sevcik at 2/19/2001 10:31 AM EST

Other on team #57, Leopards, from BT Washington and the High School for Engineering Professions and Exxon, Kellog Brown & Root, Powell Electrical.

In Reply to: Question for members of all teams
Posted by Karl on 2/19/2001 9:18 AM EST:

I know I felt that way during my team’s rookie regional back in '98. We had a robot that constantly tipped back and forth, and a ball manipulator that wouldn’t manipulate balls properly. It was a roller system that was supposed to suck balls in/out of a goal similar to this year’s. We managed to survive, though, and improve the manipulator after regionals so it worked fairly well at nationals. So don’t worry about your robot not quite working at regionals. You’ve got time to fix it, and things get better as the years go by. Why, this year, my team is actually getting about 2 days of driving practice with the robot, and we’re only doing tons of last minute tweaking instead of redesigning… :^)

Posted by EddieMcD at 2/19/2001 11:05 AM EST

Student on team #121, Islanders, from Middletown High School and NUWC.

In Reply to: Question for members of all teams
Posted by Karl on 2/19/2001 9:18 AM EST:

It’s extremely common.

Back in 98, we had a problem with our manipulator. It had something to do with at standard height it was half the harmonics of the frequency. At full height with the manipulator, we created a dead-zone in the middle of our robot. And the antenna was there, so we stopped. We only found this out after the first day of competition. And, well, we “inhaled audibly”. Then came the nationals. We tweaked a bit here and there. Then, we got into the finals. And of course, all our destruction the previous year with Auqatread (veteran teams will remember this) came back to haunt us. The steel bar that held the chain together somehow snapped and our manipulator arm was lifeless. We took second.

The moral is: if your robot doesn’t work too well in the regionals, don’t worry. Just hope a steel rod doesn’t snap for no apparent reason. :wink:

Posted by Al Skierkiewicz at 2/19/2001 1:08 PM EST

Engineer on team #111, Wildstang, from Wheeling High & Rolling Meadows High and Motorola.

In Reply to: Question for members of all teams
Posted by Karl on 2/19/2001 9:18 AM EST:

That’s what regionals are for…working the kinks out. I doubt there is any team that will ship a robot tomorrow that will not have problems, has been fully tested, logged lot’s of driver hours and will be in Florida in exactly the configuration it is today.
Moral of the story, “Don’t worry about it!”. You will have plenty of teams willing to help you out at regionals and time to make corrections and repairs. To those teams that may not be attending a regional, please don’t wait, ask for help on Thursday in Florida. We want you to compete.
Al

Posted by Becky Allen at 2/19/2001 6:34 PM EST

Other on team #356, The Enigma, from North Little Rock High School and Pulaski Academy and UALR/BEI/Controlled Automation/Hendrix College.

In Reply to: Question for members of all teams
Posted by Karl on 2/19/2001 9:18 AM EST:

Don’t sweat it. No machine is perfect. There is always room for improvement. The building process isn’t over just because your robot is locked away. Your team will not be the only team working furiously in between matches to fix minor or possibly major problems. Just have fun. FIRST is one huge learning experience. If you think you have learned alot in the past six weeks, that’s wonderful. Just get ready to learn even more about yourself, teamwork and partnership at the competitions.
In the mean time, enjoy the extra sleep you will be getting it. You’ll need it for the commpetitions.
Good luck!
Becky