QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!!

Posted by Andy Grady at 1/28/2001 9:17 AM EST

Other on team #126, Gael Force, from Clinton High School and Nypro Inc…

Hi all,
Time once again for the question of the week on this Super Bowl Sunday, enjoy!

Question 1/28/01: Now that we are 3 weeks into build time and have thought a little more about the game, how do you feel about it?

Question 1/28/01.2: Giants or Ravens?

I say go Ravens! =)

Posted by Patrick Dingle at 1/28/2001 9:42 AM EST

Other on team #639, Red B^2, from Ithaca High School and Cornell University.

In Reply to: QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!!
Posted by Andy Grady on 1/28/2001 9:17 AM EST:

My first year in FIRST was the '99 season, and I still think that (w/ the puck) was the greatest game I’ve experienced in my 3 years. However, I like this game as well. I like moveable goals a lot. It should also be interesting to see how the four-teams-work-together idea works out. This I won’t know if I like it or not until the competitions.

Patrick

: Hi all,
: Time once again for the question of the week on this Super Bowl Sunday, enjoy!

: Question 1/28/01: Now that we are 3 weeks into build time and have thought a little more about the game, how do you feel about it?

: Question 1/28/01.2: Giants or Ravens?

: I say go Ravens! =)

Posted by Andy Baker at 1/28/2001 9:48 AM EST

Engineer on team #45, TechnoKats, from Kokomo High School and Delphi Automotive Systems.

In Reply to: QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!!
Posted by Andy Grady on 1/28/2001 9:17 AM EST:

Wow, I’ve never had the chance to be the first person to answer one of Andy’s Q.O.T.W.!

I still like the game, but I also liked it in the beginning. This game is still competitive, but not just on the field. We’ll see a competition of marketing and salesmanship also, even moreso than the last two years… we’re getting ready.

I initially thought that the game was easy, but the more we look at it, the more elusive the “right” answer is. Maybe the right answer is… flexibility? We’ll see.

As for the football game today… go Giants. Although I think that Siragusa and Woodson are great, Modell and Ray Lewis should be exiled to idiot island.

Andy B.

Posted by Andy Baker at 1/28/2001 9:52 AM EST

Engineer on team #45, TechnoKats, from Kokomo High School and Delphi Automotive Systems.

In Reply to: I like it.
Posted by Andy Baker on 1/28/2001 9:48 AM EST:

OK, Patrick beat me for being first to reply.

It’s kinda hard to to type when my one-year-old is also wanting to hunt and peck on the keyboard… with her foot!

Andy B.

Posted by Robby at 1/28/2001 12:17 PM EST

Other on team #108, The SigmaC@Ts, from AIFL and Motorola.

In Reply to: I like it.
Posted by Andy Baker on 1/28/2001 9:48 AM EST:

Hmmm… I would most definitely agree with the… errr… cant think of word, going with phrase “Forward Thrusting” of Marketing and salesmanship… Wait. Marketing. Marketing ploys. Crazy marketing ploys. Crazy marketing ploys that get a whole world talking. Crazy free marketing ploys that get the world talking about something other than sports for a week and involves a product that will revolutionize the world but all talk is killed by the inventor saying “gee, its really not that neato” exactly a week later. Not a bad idea for bot marketing… Wonder what it would do for a product…

Oh, and go commercials. I just sit on my PC typin away until a commercial hits, then I have my sibs call me in. Ahh, the best part of the game. 100% Genetically Sober.

Apologies 2 comin soon, specially about the score keeper. Dang, if og could only figger out variables in FLASH 5…

-Robby O
oshortwan@hotmail.com
FIRSTanimators uhh… YahooGroups moderator?? HUH?!?
Team 108 Animation Mentor

Posted by Jessica Boucher at 1/28/2001 10:37 AM EST

Student on team #237, Sie-H2O-Bots, from Watertown High School and Eastern Awning Systems & The Siemon Company.

In Reply to: QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!!
Posted by Andy Grady on 1/28/2001 9:17 AM EST:

About the game…I like aspects of it, even though I still find it hard to explain to people. I like the moveable goals as well, and I like the bridge idea.

Things might be easier to explain without the stop button thing, and all the different multipliers, but lately Ive been explaining it in this order: point values, multipliers, alliance. That seems to work best.

And about cheering, I still think people will be going nuts. The thing I worry about is teams taking more credit than they really are due. If a match goes well, I see all four teams will be scrambling to show others that it was their robot that “won” the match. As was said, a lot of this game is marketing, and you know there is almost always one person in a group on a project that tries to take the majority of the credit. I hope this doesnt happen, but if it does, we’re going to have a lot of info-gleaning to do (or a third-party opinion).

On that note, I also feel that in the Qualifying matches, we’re going to be following the “All together, yet all alone” mindset. Yes, we’re working together, but all teams are really alone in long-term strategy until the finals. So really, the best-case scenario for teams in this mindset is to find a way to score consistently well, but enough to just push their own team up, and not the rest.

And if that didnt make any sense or is totally wrong, I apologize, Im rambling, I just woke up.


BTW, two comments to Baker…is “idiot island” referring to Survivor?

Second, let your one-year old type as much as she wants. Theres this old Polaroid of me on my dad’s lap in front of a Commodore, banging away at the keys. My dad even created a program later that would show lights and sounds depending on what keys I pressed. :wink:

-Jessica B, #237

Posted by Matt Leese at 1/28/2001 4:26 PM EST

Other on team #73, Tigerbolt, from Edison Technical HS and Alstom & Rochester Institute of Technology.

In Reply to: QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!!
Posted by Andy Grady on 1/28/2001 9:17 AM EST:

As to whether or not I like the game, I’m not totally sure. I know I like the challenge of engineering a robot to compete. After time of thinking about it I realized that it’s just like any other engineering problem. Although one thing I do like about this years game is that it allows much more specialization with the robots. This is something that was much harder in other years because there were much fewer teams on an alliance and a specialized skill wouldn’t be as used. As for the Superbowl, Ravens all the way. Then again, knowing where I’m from originally should’ve given that one away. :slight_smile:

Matt

Posted by colleen - T190 at 1/28/2001 5:13 PM EST

Engineer on team #190, Gompei, from Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science and WPI.

In Reply to: QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!!
Posted by Andy Grady on 1/28/2001 9:17 AM EST:

Ehh I still don’t know–

I think FIRST was doing well with the “there are no losers” because we all learn and still retaining the competition mode that attracts many kids to do it… if you have to get them there somehow before you can even think about teaching them something…

and I think FIRST missed the boat this year, especially discussing this with people on other FIRST teams. With the hype of IT and Battlebots going on, if FIRST still had a competition they could jump right on the wave and publicity that Dean and Battlebot folks have created. However, sure… now we’re REALLY differentiated from Battlebots… but we can’t even think of gaining any of their viewership cause there’s not much to watch…

I think the people IN FIRST who actually partook in the building process will find some enjoyment in watching it… however… I think for the average person who would just be walking by or flipping through on the tube… there wouldn’t be much reason to stay. The game’s hard to understand… no easy to score… or understand…

It’s like walking into a football stadium and told that the score didn’t matter… cause no one was going to win or lose and you would all receive the same score at the end…

What’s the point of watching??

Posted by Brian at 1/28/2001 5:56 PM EST

Student on team #56, Robbe Xtreme, from Bound Brook High School and Ethicon Inc…

In Reply to: QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!!
Posted by Andy Grady on 1/28/2001 9:17 AM EST:

The game has grown on me and GIANTS all the way!

Brian Team 56

Posted by nick237 at 1/28/2001 8:23 PM EST

Engineer on team #237, sie h2o bots, from Watertown high school ct and sieman co.

In Reply to: QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!!
Posted by Andy Grady on 1/28/2001 9:17 AM EST:

Into our third week now and I have convinced my self that my first feelings about the validity of this years game was right… Stinks.
I do not believe there will be the same hype as there was in the last 9 years of games. The Regionals will be the most boring, possibly there will be more to do in the Hartford regional parking lot than in front of the stage. At least at the nationals one can go to Epcot when the third game convinces every one that the last three games will be just like the next 7 to be played.
I do not speak for all the members of our team as many of the rookies that joined this year based upon what they saw last year have them floating on air but I believe they like many others will be very disapointed when the games start.
It seems to me that each team will build a robot that will have a speciality and that this spesiality will be repeated over and over for each game. As the elliment of alliance against alliance has been removed then appathy must set in. as there will be no battles between teams then strategy will fall by the way side.
A senerio might be a robot that is able to put the big ball on top of a goal and then lift it up on to the ramp, and they are able to do it in under 30 seconds. sounds like a winner to me but for 10 games they do it over and over very well… Now next year they advertise their games and scores to potential sponsors and what do they have… 10 games doing the same thing in 30 seconds, If I was a sponsor im sure my $ 50.000 donation would be well spent by any team asking me for a donation.I dont think so
This years game plan will spell the demise of many teams for next year " mark my words ". Of course this might be the grand plan??? FIRST is getting too big too fast.
There is nothing wrong with competition. In fact a good competition is what makes improvement. If competition is “evil” then why is “IT” still a secret, why doesent Dean just tell the world now if its so great and let the world improve “IT”.
You can be sure that Dean has hundreds of patents protecting “IT”, why if he is against competition.
“IT” may save the world and may be very important but what about “IF” for without “IF” there can never be an “IT”.
Bring back the competition so we can build a robot that is designed around “WHAT IF”.
Sorry Andy but you did ask…
nick237

: Hi all,
: Time once again for the question of the week on this Super Bowl Sunday, enjoy!

: Question 1/28/01: Now that we are 3 weeks into build time and have thought a little more about the game, how do you feel about it?

: Question 1/28/01.2: Giants or Ravens?

: I say go Ravens! =)

Posted by Anton Abaya at 1/29/2001 11:15 PM EST

Coach on team #419, Rambots, from UMass Boston / BC High and NONE AT THE MOMENT! :(.

In Reply to: Re: QUESTION OF THE WEEK ( hate it )!!!
Posted by nick237 on 1/28/2001 8:23 PM EST:

: Into our third week now and I have convinced my self that my first feelings about the validity of this years game was right… Stinks.
: I do not believe there will be the same hype as there was in the last 9 years of games. The Regionals will be the most boring, possibly there will be more to do in the Hartford regional parking lot than in front of the stage. At least at the nationals one can go to Epcot when the third game convinces every one that the last three games will be just like the next 7 to be played.
: I do not speak for all the members of our team as many of the rookies that joined this year based upon what they saw last year have them floating on air but I believe they like many others will be very disapointed when the games start.
: It seems to me that each team will build a robot that will have a speciality and that this spesiality will be repeated over and over for each game. As the elliment of alliance against alliance has been removed then appathy must set in. as there will be no battles between teams then strategy will fall by the way side.
: A senerio might be a robot that is able to put the big ball on top of a goal and then lift it up on to the ramp, and they are able to do it in under 30 seconds. sounds like a winner to me but for 10 games they do it over and over very well… Now next year they advertise their games and scores to potential sponsors and what do they have… 10 games doing the same thing in 30 seconds, If I was a sponsor im sure my $ 50.000 donation would be well spent by any team asking me for a donation.I dont think so
: This years game plan will spell the demise of many teams for next year " mark my words ". Of course this might be the grand plan??? FIRST is getting too big too fast.
: There is nothing wrong with competition. In fact a good competition is what makes improvement. If competition is “evil” then why is “IT” still a secret, why doesent Dean just tell the world now if its so great and let the world improve “IT”.
: You can be sure that Dean has hundreds of patents protecting “IT”, why if he is against competition.
: “IT” may save the world and may be very important but what about “IF” for without “IF” there can never be an “IT”.
: Bring back the competition so we can build a robot that is designed around “WHAT IF”.
: Sorry Andy but you did ask…
: nick237

:
: : Hi all,
: : Time once again for the question of the week on this Super Bowl Sunday, enjoy!

: : Question 1/28/01: Now that we are 3 weeks into build time and have thought a little more about the game, how do you feel about it?

: : Question 1/28/01.2: Giants or Ravens?

: : I say go Ravens! =)

u have a good point about everything you said in here. i say IT must be released!

-anton

Posted by Andy Grady at 1/28/2001 9:14 PM EST

Other on team #126, Gael Force, from Clinton High School and Nypro Inc…

In Reply to: QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!!
Posted by Andy Grady on 1/28/2001 9:17 AM EST:

Hi all,
Now that we are well into the season, I have had the chance to sit back and look at all the aspects of this years game. What I have come to is this, it isn’t really that bad! Obviously I feel that the lack of head to head competition is going to take some excitement from the game, but it doesn’t mean that the excitement is gonna be non-existant. I don’t think that the competition is gonna comprise of the same round over and over again. Instead I see a situation that is far from it. Just think of the numbers, there are roughly 20 tasks in all that can be performed on the field, there is over 300 different types of robots that can be seen, functionally. There are thousands of combinations of robots that you can see on the field. There are even more scenarios that can be run on the field. So this means that the game will be fresh just about every match, and it will stay interesting, especially during the qualification rounds. Now the only place where you may see the same type of plays over and over again would be in elimination matches, in which case I can still find it interesting…because the game no longer becomes one of who can adapt to a situation better, but instead it becomes a match of wits and guts. What alliance is gonna have the raw marbles to go for a high risk play that will get them lots of points…now thats what I call excitement! Sure it may not match the excitement of an awsome defensive play or something, but it will be fun to watch. Plus you gotta love the way this game makes ya think. Strategy is gonna be important this year, which is good. (finally we may actually see some strategy teams!) In closing, give it a chance, im sure it will turn out just fine.
Good Luck,
Andy Grady

Posted by Joe Ross at 1/28/2001 9:59 PM EST

Engineer on team #330, Beach Bot, from Hope Chapel Academy and NASA/JPL , J&F Machine, and Raytheon.

In Reply to: QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!!
Posted by Andy Grady on 1/28/2001 9:17 AM EST:

RAVENS!!! (ok I’m a little late)

The way that I look at it, there are 3 different types of people who watch and participate in the competition.

First, you have the the robot designers and builders. As one of them, I like this competition because there are so many different tasks. This year you aren’t limited to just picking up balls or hanging on a bar. You can balance goals, pick up 2 sizes of balls etc. This leaves a lot of room for very cool robot designs.

Secondly, there are the strategists. Because there are so many different possible robot designs, there are even more strategies. Some people will have to change their focus (ie no more defense) but the number of permutations make this really interesting.

Last, you have the spectators. I don’t think this will be very interesting to watch. Unless you have a vested interest in one of the teams, I can’t imagine that you would want to watch more than a few matches.

IMO, FIRST has made a game that is interesting for team members, but has forgotten to make a game that will spread to the general puplic.

Joe Ross
Beach Bot, Team 330

Posted by Lora Knepper at 1/28/2001 10:02 PM EST

Other on team FIRST-a-holics Anonymous from . sponsored by …

In Reply to: QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!!
Posted by Andy Grady on 1/28/2001 9:17 AM EST:

: Question 1/28/01: Now that we are 3 weeks into build time and have thought a little more about the game, how do you feel about it?

first off —> RAVENS!!!

second ----> Still think the game is going to surprise people, and I’m looking forward to the NE Regional to see it played - but except for that optimism, I think I’m going to hold on judgement until after a regional =)

Posted by Anton Abaya at 1/28/2001 11:45 PM EST

Coach on team #419, Rambots, from UMass Boston / BC High and NONE AT THE MOMENT! :(.

In Reply to: QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!!
Posted by Andy Grady on 1/28/2001 9:17 AM EST:

it’s sunday already? i’ve been working on the robot too long…

hehe, just kidding.

the game is only cool because we dont need to build an extra sturdy robot…

on the other hand, i’m gonna miss flying metal pieces.

anton
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Posted by Ken Leung at 1/29/2001 4:26 AM EST

Student on team #192, Gunn Robotics Team, from Henry M. Gunn Senior High School.

In Reply to: QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!!
Posted by Andy Grady on 1/28/2001 9:17 AM EST:

Personally, I think this year’s game is really great! I am not just making that up, I really really think that way after the 3 weeks… and I am going to show you with my view as well as an incident happened last week. Please excuse the long post, and I do encourage you to read this.

Just the game itself:
As someone said before, the movable goals are one of the fun factors. Robots can manipulate the goals in many ways: pulling, pushing, getting it on the bridge, grabbing, putting balls in…etc. It’s a simple object with many actions to perform on. Then the bridge is just challenging. Not only going over it, sometimes you have to drag goals across it, treating it as a gate, balance stuff on there…! Talk about the precision and accuracy to control it. The barrier across the field is cool too… I never thought teams will treat it as the puck two years ago where robot have to go over some kind of step, or like the limbo bar last year where robot have to fit under it. The end zone make sure there will be points for each match, while the stop button make sure there will also be multipliers. And yeah, I think the game will be amazing to watch. Fast games where robot rush for end zone and stop, or medium speed game where robot get a goal balanced with balls in it, or slow game with all goals balanced with big balls on top, or any combination of these. A lot of matches in the qualifying rounds are going to be different, and you know what, I am totally looking forward to the competition.

As for the 4-team alliance thing, some people probably don’t like it, but I’ve seen the effect of that decision to the FIRST community, and I am not going to stop until I post it up.

Without head to head competition in a match, now I am seeing teams helping each other. Just the fact that people are posting database for robots info is astounding. What I mean is, there are database from the past years, but people started working on it this early… so many effort trying to accomplish such goal… teams freely sharing robot information… I would say it’s revolutionizing in the FIRST community. Then, teams are helping other teams building good robots, trying to help as much as they can to make sure every robot are good, as if there are no individual teams anymore, but a solid connected group of people making sure every student get the most out of this learning experience. No more teams holding back information, no more spying, no more rough bashing of robots trying to disable other robot or “de-score”, in another word trying to diminish other teams’ accomplishment to make your own team looks better.

Let me just tell you what happened at weekends when some other teams visited our place, and you will be the judge about the effect…

So it’s a week after we helped hosting seminars for other teams to learn about drive train, control system, pneumatics, and animation. Our students are all working on the design of the robot, and it was a Sunday after a “design review” (a process where we review each component group’s design and evaluate their progress and decide on what to do for the following week). That day, we are supposed to have a second-year team visiting to talk about the competition and hopefully getting some advice from us. It was 3pm in the afternoon and our students kind of forget about the whole thing and paid no attention about it. Then suddenly the team arrived along with another friendly team. At that time, I doubted if our students would give them a friendly respond. But all the doubts disappeared when I saw the people energetically talking to each other. It was an amazing view: little groups gathering at different places like around the goal, the bridge, our prototype of drive train, our computer area, and they weren’t just standing around trying to start a conversation, but they were engaging in strong discussions about different aspect of the competition and/or the experience on the team. They all were talking freely, having a good time, maybe laughing about something funny about robots, proving certain points by moving around the goals/bridge… etc. I was speechless when I was standing aside watching, which is only about 5% of the time (because I was constantly talking for 95% of the time (like an hour), and that NEVER EVER happened to me before). No more holding back, but simple hospitality between teams and among the people. No more barriers, but plain sharing and giving. Then I thought: “This competition is finally paying off…”

After that weekend, we invited more teams to come over for discussions, a gathering of the “minds” of students and advisors. This time the students are even more prepared, we serve the people some food, and the sound level of talking much higher, the place crowded with people interacting with other people. And it seems like the teams around the country are working together toward one goal: every team and every person are going to score more “points” then they will ever get in their entire life…

Posted by Erin at 1/29/2001 11:32 AM EST

Other on team #65, Huskie Brigade, from Pontiac Northern High School and GM Powertrain.

In Reply to: QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!!
Posted by Andy Grady on 1/28/2001 9:17 AM EST:

I like it and I am in defense of it.

The Giants lost, but I don’t like the Ravens, so I still say go Cowboys (they will get back there eventually…hopefully in 06 when it swings around D-towns way).

I like the game. Maybe it is because I am just thankful that there is a game and that there is FIRST at all. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

-Erin

Posted by Chris Hibner at 1/30/2001 7:19 AM EST

Coach on team #308, Walled Lake Monster, from Walled Lake Schools and TRW Automotive Electronics.

In Reply to: QUESTION OF THE WEEK!!!
Posted by Andy Grady on 1/28/2001 9:17 AM EST:

I think it’s definitely true that when peolpe get together and think as a group and help each other out, the result is better than what could be achieved by any individual.

HOWEVER, I also believe that without a strong element of competition, there is little motivation for people to achieve anything. The largest reason that technology advances as fast as it does is because companies want to be the first to introduce new products so that customers will start to buy their product instead of the competitor’s. When this happens, the competitors must respond and develop a new technology of their own. If all the companies split the profits equally, there would be very little motivation (other than, “wow, look what I did”) to develop new technologies.

Remember, the reason the U.S. pulled off the incredible feat of going to the moon in such a short time is due to competition from the Soviet Union. In general, there is no better motivator than stiff competition. I would personally like to see it come back to the game a little more.