Revealing Secrets

There are many secrets in FIRST known to only a select few teams. These secrets are usually relatively minor things but can increase performance significantly. Do you think these secrets should be revealed? One side says yes because it will make for better compeititon in the future. The other side says no because the team who reveals will be at a great disadvantage. Just like at LA I believe we got beaten by some of our own autonomous code (in qualifying matches). What do you think?

*Originally posted by sanddrag *
**Just like at LA I believe we got beaten by some of our own autonomous code (in qualifying matches). What do you think? **

I didn’t understand what you meant. I asked Mark. He said you did get beaten by your own autonomous code. I still didn’t get it. He explained you guys held a class on teaching autonomous code, for instance.

Mark says that was the essence of gracious professionalism to make it a great competition.

Mark still thinks you guys had the best autonomous code and you guys perfomed reliably every single time. And that came from the experience of teaching others the code, thus you learned more about your autonomous code by teaching others.

A good teacher always needs to be a good student, he says.

Your post seems to hide some information in and of itself.

Some secrets shouldn’t be revealed until due time. Others, should be out in the open.

It really depends on the impact they could have. Such as a secret of “I hate So-and-so, but don’t tell anyone” no, That kind of stuff doesn’t need to be outspoken.

Other things, such as ideas, should be given due time. i.e. Team’s robots not being revealed until a regional, or a fancy new idea [cough]45’s ball drive[/cough] shouldn’t need to be outspoken unless the team wants it to be.

I’m going to infer from your “beaten by own auto code” that some other team looked at your auto code, had a suggestion, and didn’t tell you. Or something to that effect. If it is true, I think that should be outspoken and told how to fix/help.

Expressing a secret should be done with discretion due to it’s possible impact. If it will unneededly upset someone, don’t express. If it will be helpful in the long or short term, go for it. If it doesn’t matter either way, it doesn’t matter if you say it or not.

I think that by “secret” he meant like a little trick or something that made doing something a lot easier. A secret in the sense that it is not widely known.

I think radical new ideas (such as the first time Swerve Drive was tried) are good secrets UNTIL after the build time. After that, tell the world, after all, Inspiration is FIRSTs middle name :smiley:

*Originally posted by sanddrag *
There are many secrets in FIRST known to only a select few teams. These secrets are usually relatively minor things but can increase performance significantly.

Sanddrag,
I am a little hurt. I am upfront and honest with all who are interested in learning. I can’t come and find everyone and force them to learn what I know. I go out of my way to answer questions on these forums and at competitions. I will lend a hand to whoever asks. (and some who don’t) If you want to know intimate details about what we (Wildstang) do to be competitive, you only need to come and look at our robot and ask questions.
I take the FIRST ideals to heart. “Gracious Professionalism” requires me to answer you, honestly, and in a way that helps you understand the concept(s). This is a learning experience for students and adults and I will happily tell you what I know and hopefully, I will learn something new in the process. Remember, it’s not the winning that is important it’s the learning. One of my personal goals in life is to never go to bed unless I have learned something new that day. First makes that goal extremely easy.
Sanddrag, I have known you from these forums and I would like to extend a personal invitation to come to our pit at Nationals. I will answer any question you (or anyone) have or find you someone who can.
Al

*Originally posted by Al Skierkiewicz *
**Sanddrag,
I am a little hurt. I am upfront and honest with all who are interested in learning. I can’t come and find everyone and force them to learn what I know. I go out of my way to answer questions on these forums and at competitions. I will lend a hand to whoever asks. (and some who don’t) If you want to know intimate details about what we (Wildstang) do to be competitive, you only need to come and look at our robot and ask questions.
I take the FIRST ideals to heart. “Gracious Professionalism” requires me to answer you, honestly, and in a way that helps you understand the concept(s). This is a learning experience for students and adults and I will happily tell you what I know and hopefully, I will learn something new in the process. Remember, it’s not the winning that is important it’s the learning. One of my personal goals in life is to never go to bed unless I have learned something new that day. First makes that goal extremely easy.
Sanddrag, I have known you from these forums and I would like to extend a personal invitation to come to our pit at Nationals. I will answer any question you (or anyone) have or find you someone who can.
Al **

Yea. After GLR, I went over to their pits. Their drive train was awesome. I asked tons of ?s on that and their controls. They are very-very gracious. Teams that have secrets to help out with programming, programs its self, mechanical operations, etc… should share the wealth. Last year, when we had our ball-popper mechanism, people asked how did we do that. We told and gave the programming. Vet teams probably know most (no team can no all. I have always believed that) but what about the rookies? Common, give everyone a fair chance.

Remember, FIRST is about people. Robots are just what bring us all together…

Learn secrets for yourself - other teams cannot build your robot and write your code for you.

And any information you want to reveal is completely up to you. As for my moral obligation to show you every last little detail of a winning strategy or robot design, I don’t think I have one.

There’s more to the game then winning.

IMHO, if you’ve discovered something useful you’re better off sharing it. It will give you great publicity and respect from other teams, it will look good for Chairmans/other FIRST awards, and it will encourage other teams to share “secrets” which will help you.

On the other hand last year there was a team that beat us by using a tether they had claimed they didn’t have. That team ended up on the very short list of teams we didn’t want to deal with in the future, and thats a hard list to get off of. Ultimately not pissing off other teams is much more valuable than winning a single match.

For the part about getting beat by our own autonomous code, let me explain that. In the spirit of Gracious Professionalism, we gave anyone at LA autonoumous help or programs who needed it. We put our own robot aside to help others. It ended up that some of those who seeded higher than us used some of the code we gave them. No stealing was involved. I can feel proud about the situation because it is a great example of FIRST spirit.

Now, since this thread has seen a few replies in such a short time, I think it would be fair to say we all agree on sharing the little tips and tricks that keep us (all FIRST teams) runing so strong. I will start a new thread for this soon.

If your talking about secrets about robot design and functionality, just come over to the Bomb Squad pits at nationals and anyone would be happy to explain our robot to you(if you want the ultra detailed explanation just ask for Jesse(me) or Garrett.

If your talking about something else then perhaps you could rephrase your question so it is easier to understand.

i agree with Al… our team will do our best to explain to anyone anything we might have a better undstanding of than they do. We’ll lend out our own engineers and programmers, and have at both competitions this year. In fact, at west michigan i had to look around the pits asking for our programmer several times, because he’d been helping other teams for so long that we had no idea where he was!!

*Originally posted by Gope *
**If your talking about secrets about robot design and functionality, just come over to the Bomb Squad pits at nationals and anyone would be happy to explain our robot to you(if you want the ultra detailed explanation just ask for Jesse(me) or Garrett.

If your talking about something else then perhaps you could rephrase your question so it is easier to understand. **

I know this to be true! At St. Louis last year I had your entire robot explained to me top to bottum. I think I have film of that too. You guys were really gracious about that. :slight_smile: