Robot in 3 Days 2017

there is a bunch to be learned from ri3d !! even if it is a “copy” the way certain gear boxes work, pneumatics, sensors, the list goes on. I mean depending how much exposure the “young team” has had they may not know about all the hardware and such that is available from places like andymark and vex.

i mean lets be honest here the rookie kop gives you just about enough to get in trouble and not much more.

Just a reminder.

The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting Mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.
Obviously, anyone, on any side of this discussion, is welcome to use it to support their position, or their plans for the season.

Exactly. I believe Ri3D is just an opportunity for experienced FIRST participants to mentor and inspire FRC teams around the world that might not otherwise receive the help.

I don’t think this has been mentioned, but I personally found Ri3D helpful and fun to watch as a freshman new to FRC. Gave some ideas and was definitely was a good resource to get ideas flowing, which is bit harder when you don’t have a year or two under your belt.

I feel like it would be ideal if Ri3D didn’t correspond with Kickoff. Like if they did a different competition maybe before the season starts, to inspire new teams without affecting design choice for the upcoming season.

Debates aside, I do hope Ri3D makes it easier to find the streams and YouTube videos from the various teams this year. The past few years you really had to go digging for content for some of the teams.

This is actually how FRC 5829, Awtybots was started. My second year on Team oRyon (2015), we gave them the robot we completed for Ri3D to compete in several off season events as a pre-rookie team.

Here are the results from the events we competed in as 6587:

RoboReboot -
Texas Robot Roundup -

We gave them the robot and let them make modifications on their own as a means of training and teaching them the skills they would need for the upcoming FRC season. The kids enjoyed the experience and I think the robot held it’s own against some really tough competition. :slight_smile:

What started as my way to help make a multitwitch for Twitch-using Ri3D teams (and I’m sure theres a way to have multiple youtube videos together in a similar fashion…) turned into basically that + social media links so I can probably help with that in form of spreadsheet. There’s not a lot of stuff for some of the new teams, especially Week 6 because they’re kinda hard to search but there’s a decent amount of info. A lot of it is based on old stream links/pages I pulled from social media and previous years but I’ll be updating them as Ri3D continues. The Twitch ones (`Snow Problem and Green Horns) are certain though.

Anyone is free to add comments if they have more updated info!

So what would be a preferable source for inspiration?
These are high school students and it is the 21st century where each of us can browse the equivalent of the Library at Alexandria in our hands.

What did your students do in the patinated past for the answers that you reminisce about? Popular Mechanics? The Encyclopedia Brittanica? :slight_smile:

Credited to Isaac Newton but possibly from others: “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
All “fresh” ideas are likely plagiarism in one form or another.
Isn’t everything we invent/create a product of everything we’ve heard or seen?
Listen to Aaron Copland’s symphonies.

The Ri3D program is an efficient program to introduce students to the engineering design process in an educational format (YouTube) that has become the “new normal”.
They do a good job documenting their thought processes, design iteration, and manufacturing. It all occurs in that crucial week after Kickoff.
Although anecdotal, I believe their presence has improved the level of competition in FRC.

This is a resource that I am grateful for.

It’s not the medium (Youtube, the internet) that’s bothersome to people who feel uneasy about Ri3D. It’s the fact that fully formed and viable solutions to the specific challenge FIRST puts before us are available in short order. In prior years of FRC, and in a majority of real-world engineering problems, you are charged with a new problem which may resemble one you and others have faced before, but is also different in non-trivial ways; that’s what makes it an unsolved problem rather than a solution waiting to be purchased. Of course you would look at past solutions to similar problems and build upon them, modifying them to fit the new problem – that’s part of the process. But being able to fill in the blanks and create something new, even if it’s largely an act of combining the old in new ways, is also mandatory. Ri3D is a small step in taking this element as both a skillset and a learning experience as applied to FRC from “absolutely mandatory” to “optional depending on what your goals are,” and that bothers many people.

Put another way: would FRC’s educational and inspirational value would be unchanged if the game stayed the same every season, but the rules required us to build a new robot every year? Or is the fact that every team gets the experience of solving a previously unsolved problem an integral part of the educational and inspirational process, connected strongly to what we hope our students gain from the program?

bonus points for use of word “patinated”!

T. Wolter

My slide rule is patinated. Like those sophomore physics tests several decades ago at Georgia Tech, during which electronic calculators were not permitted, and points were deducted for failure to show work, include correct units, express results to the required number of significant figures, etc.

My slide rule was replaced by a 15C calculator. Now that calculator has been replaced by an app. Someday, apps will be patinated.


A thought that might push the tension you are describing into the background (not make it irrelevant, but move it into background) is this:

If I understood them correctly, FRC’s founder(s) told us that FRC was created to attract students to STEM fields.

The methods FRC’s founders chose to use have many fun and valuable side-effects that shouldn’t be absent-mindedly discarded or unnecessarily crippled; but those side-effects aren’t the reason FRC was created, and shouldn’t be elevated to parity with FRC’s core purpose.

If RI3D opens the eyes of initially tentative, or unaware, students to the fact that fun STEM activities and careers are well within their grasp, then I think it’s on-target. If RI3D demystifies building something as interesting and tangible as an FRC robot, then I think it’s on-target.

This makes sense if you start from the premise that FRC was created to attract and inspire new students, and not to give already interested students a blue banner, or an associate’s degree in engineering.

PS: The FIRST mission statement tries to pitch a very big tent. It alone isn’t the basis for what I wrote above.

Does it even matter if Ri3D fulfill FIRST’s mission statement? I don’t believe they are ‘official’ FIRST activities and most (all?) don’t directly involve any high school students. I don’t think it should really matter if a group of people want to have fun, challenge themselves and show off what they accomplished in three days or if a company wants to do it to help sell their products or whatever motivates these groups.

(for what it’s worth, I do think that generally these groups contribute more positive than negative to the FIRST community).

I appreciate your clarification KSPRUL’s point of view. I am in agreement, however, change happens.

Getting a new game every year is the one constant that keeps my interest in FRC.
The problem is new and the competitions are still about scores of Robots competing for the best solution.

“Absolutely mandatory” works for many teams. For rookies or teams that are struggling to maintain their existence, the options demonstrated by Ri3D can be a godsend.

I still miss the old days before students were given the advantage of a Game Animation, instructional videos on the details of the playing field, and a bandwidth that required you to economize your inputs.
All we basically received was a “spec sheet” of game details in the Manual.
Back then, we were really teaching engineering inspiration the way it was meant to be. :rolleyes:

Ri3D is a signpost of how creativity may now be crowdsourced. Patent lawyer is a valuable vocation nowadays.

A team can choose not to watch Ri3D and their intent of preserving the problem solving aspects sans outside inspiration will remain intact.

The Ramblin’ Wrecks had a great weekend.
I find myself reminiscing about the old days when using a slide rule, showing your work, SigFigs, and units mattered to engineers.
I am teaching the new AP Physics curriculum now and these details are not considered as important anymore.

Ah, nostalgia.

Time for some secret sauce: if you “just browsed” for the Team Cockamamie answer to FIRST Stronghold, you were in for a bad time. The frame lacked a real bellypan and yielded within a few days of launches over the rock wall, the kicker (which required that minimal belly pan) was inconsistent as heck, electronics maintenance and packaging were lolno, and from time to time we’d lose the boulder sailing over the defenses. I think the radical difference between it and last year’s Garnet Squadron robot speaks for itself.

But perhaps we gave someone some ideas (like how we made the AM14U3 intake kit sit lower than stock), so maybe we contributed a thing or two to the mix. :slight_smile:

I will echo these sentiments. The GreenHorns’ robot had a number of good concepts going on, but if you copied it verbatim, you would do poorly. I spoke with many teams at champs that were inspired by our intake/shooter mechanism, but none of them used our horrible drivetrain. It’s difficult to build a durable robot that is sound in all aspects of the game in just 3 days.

I would say that each Ri3D team offered a few concepts that teams could take inspiration from, but no all encompassing solution.

I think alot of the sentiments against Ri3D don’t actually come from the last few years of it. I think alot of it comes from 2013 and 2014, where some seriously competitive robots were built (The two Build Blitz robots come to mind).

My team learned from those years. 2013 taught us what not to do – we have aimed for simple, durable designs ever since.

2014 gave us Build Blitz Team JVN’s over-the-bumper intake and ‘choo-choo’ catapult. We made small tweaks to those, and built them on a souped-up kit chassis. Because we converged on a design concept early, our build season objectives became (1) drive team practice, and (2) finding the robot’s weaknesses. Drive it, break it, fix it, iterate. That robot played 72 matches, including a blue banner and our first trip to CMP. Pretty nice improvement vs. 2013. That trend has continued.

Since then, our team has become more confident about game analysis and setting build/practice priorities. 2016 was a break-out year for the Average Joes, but its seeds were planted in 2014 – and we thank Build Blitz Team JVN for that.

For those who don’t like RI3D, you are free to not use it as a resource. Just like every FRC team that uses it in any way is allowed to as well.

I’m realistic and live in the real world where multi-site collaboration and using as much COTS stuff as possible are viewed as good things that probably 99% of FRC teams should be doing.

Time is ultimately the most valuable resource during a build season and RI3D has saved us a lot of time in the past 3 years. Thank you!