Rookie team in need of a lot of help

I’m a sophmore on a team that’s entirely new to this competition. We have about 14 people on our team and maybe two or three mentors at this point who know what they’re doing.

So far we seem to be pretty far behind. We have had a lot of problems getting started.

Our team is made up of sophmores, freshman, and a few junior high school students. Of this group, only four or five are actually committed to this project. Still, even they do not always show up for our meetings. We are totally inexperienced in this field and have very little knowledge as to what we are supposed to do. This applies to almost every aspect of our robot. Another problem we have is that our mentors are usually unable to attend the nightly meetings. This means that we are not really able to gain the knowledge we need in order to complete our robot.

Design team
The design team is made up of three sophmores. I am the only one who can attend every night. None of us know how to use CAD at this point. All three of us are going to be working on programming as well. Right now, all three of us are on at least 2 other teams and are a little swamped. At this point we have only completed a rough draft of our final design that is not drawn to scale or dimensioned.

Electrical team
This team is pretty much non existent at this point. We have had an electrician come in last night and he got us a little more organized. Once again, as we are all lower classmen and come from a small school, we do not have any experience in electrical components.

Mechanical team
This team is slightly better off because we have shop and welding classes in our school. Still, many of the members making up this team are alittle…immature. Maybe more than alittle.

Programming team
The programming team is made up of myself and another member from the design team as well as a few more members. He at least has some experience in programming. Unfortunately, he is the only one who has an idea of what hes doing. One more problem with this is that we cannot access the EasyC Pro software included in the KOP because our license is missing or expired.

Pretty much nonexistant. We have no animation software besides AutoCad and the software included in the KOP.

Spirit team
This team is basically made up of three mom’s who have been helping us out a lot.

At this point we are trying to assemble our chassis. It is not going well. We do not have a way to make the axles fit into the wheels. As we have no electrical experience we do not know how to assemble all the components on the chassis.

We are being mentored by the Winnovation team (1625) in Winnabago IL. So far they have done a great job but we do not want to burden them with our problems. It is our short comings that are making this difficult. We are very frustrated by our lack of progress. We would love to have some advice on anything you can think of.

Oregon RoboHawks
Team 2364

Hey, Winnovation is an excellent team to be learning from, and they are the absolute BEST place to go with your problems :slight_smile: … Feel free to keep posting questions here for opinions as well. But since Winnovation is nearby, they can always give you a consice, hands-on, and visual solution AND help you impliment it… Take advantage of this great resource!!! I’m sure that they will be more than happy to help you with any problem you may be having.

Good luck!!! :slight_smile:

Burden them!! That’s what mentoring teams are for. :stuck_out_tongue: They would be happy to help you I promise. :wink:

Check out rookie resources here on CD or check out MOEmentum
a site for rookie, or any team, to use during build season to help them with what to do when and so on. Check it out there is tons of useful info.

Who cares about progress? What matters is that it is done by the time you send the robot off. A lot of teams don’t get much done right away. In fact, you remind me of my team when we started. We had 15 people. 3 who could make every meeting. As far as CAD goes, don’t worry. I am well-experienced with the software and will be checking the delphi forum twice a day until you are through that part. I will talk you through anything you need. Just tell me what you need and I will help. As far as the mechanical team goes, ignore maturity. My experience is that if they can weld and machine, I don’t care how they act. I will let them act however they please, as long as the work gets done. Now, the programming team. Dedicate the 1 person who knows something about it to that. Have them talk to people on here and they should be able to get a workable code for the whole drive straight and turn control. Other then that, just have fun. 1766 is always way undermanned and yet they always seem to do well.

Just a note, I will be on here most of the day Friday until 4. Just PM me anytime that day and I should have an answer back within the hour. I mostly just know CAD, but I know it well. Also, even if it is not CAD related, still PM. I will help as much as I can.

Hang in there! this is supposed to be fun

I would forgo the animation and CAD for now. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a design but it is not a requirement to submit a CAD and/or animation solution. You may be taking on more than you can handle.

Your number one goal should be to get a robot moving with joystick control. If you can drive the robot around the track, you can compete this year and get some points. After you have a robot that is drivable consider another step like herding. You can design and attach an apparatus to you existing robot to do this. Just do not take on too much. This can be your learning season building up to next year. Take baby steps and do not burn people out because you are trying to do too much.

I agree that you should burden team1625. That’s why they are there and that’s what FIRST is all about. Burden us too! Ask specific questions and I’m sure that you will get answers.

Scour this web site. Almost all that you need to know is here or is only a click away. As an example, there is a thread where others posted programming that will get you started.

The chassis in the Kit is very usable and friendly to assemble.

Regardless of the impression that you get here from people building with parts they order, you can build a stellar robot with everything supplied in the Kit of Parts.

If you have no pneumatic experience or experts, don’t use it. You’ll survive without it.

Above all, have fun.

I see that you are 100 miles away from us. If things get desperate let me know. I would be willing to drive out to try and help and give advise. I may be able to persuade one or two mentors to come with me.

Ok thanks for the replies and the offers to help. We actually got a few engineers to show up tonight. Hopefully things will start to turn out now.:smiley: If we need anything else I’ll do another post.

Oregon Robohawks
Team 2364

Check out the following resources: - FOR NEW TEAMs section - Resources for new teams

This manual can help you build a drive train that works. At the very least you will be able to score 2 points per lap.

Lastly, check out the white papers section on ChiefDelphi. Find the simplest stuff in there and implement it if appropriate.

MOEmentum is also a great resource (mentioned above).

Do not worry too much about all other departments of your team concentrate on getting the robot built in the simplest possible manner. Since you have only 15 students it might not be appropriate to have 10 different departments but rather maybe 2 or 3. Figure it out but keep it simple. You’ll get through. The only people who can really help you in person are veteran teams/alumni in your area. Good luck.

Don’t be afraid to email me at [email protected]

Check back and look for this thread. I bet you get a lot of responses.

Don’t worry about animation or applying for awards.

Don’t stress out about designing everything perfectly–plenty of young teams kind of build haphazardly to start out with.

Have the leader of your spirit team contact me if they want. I captained Team 1073’s business/strategy unit for years. I can give them a quick rundown of things they need to do, and maybe point them in the right direction of some places. Send me a PM and I’ll give you my contact information.

Hang in there! Being a new team to FIRST is stressful but ultimately very rewarding :slight_smile:

Have a mentor of your team drop [email protected] an email, and we’ll get your easyC up and running. Good luck!


Trust me we would be more than happy to help you guys out with some more stuff if need be just let us know if you need electrical\mechanical\programming help. Im sure you could also just stop in while were building to get some tips…

Here’s a selection of electrical advice:

If you get stuck, feel free to PM me.

Not much has changed on electrical since last year, so getting a tour of 1625’s electrical system on their current or last robot would probably help a lot.

I could probably help you setup a site if need be. Click my signature if you’d like to see my work.

Our site has been taken care of. We have a really experienced kid who knows intermidiate HTML. That’s one aspect of the build we have taken care of.

BURDEN 1625!!! This is funny because I am at college.

From what I have heard they are planning on finishing early, and I sure they would be glad to help.

Rookies should hope to have a team like Winnovation to turn to for help. They are a high quality team. Set up a time when you can meet for pizza or go over to thier shop and pick their brains. Don’t wait. You should have a driving base by this weekend so your drivers can start practicing. Be sure the exterior dimensions of the base are correct.

I’ve gotta use all the knowledge i get from too much CD surfing for something you know…

I can help you on pretty much any robot subject besides programming you’ll have to go to popo(brent) for that.

we were glad to have you up a couple days ago sounds like it helped alot. Feel free to stop on by or call us anytime, we’ll make some trips down to see you sometime.

Hey Oregon,

Feel free to stop by any time. We are more than willing to give you a hand. Hope the build season is going well. Don’t get to stressed out yet just take it one step at a time. Get the chassis working and then worry about the auxiliary system. Good Luck! Hope to hear from you soon!

As many of the people on here will tell you, just ask. PM me specifics on what’s going wrong or slow and I’ll try to help you as much as I can. I’m a programmer for my team and I can help you there as much as possible.
I know the 3DS Max animation software (you get get it by registering and registering your team on but I don’t think the animation is required for the competitions; could someone clarify this for me? (My team is hectic this year as well and I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to get it done)
Everyone has their own personal rookie year, and yes it is crazy. But that’s FIRST! What is FRC without the lack of sleep and stress?
With any other subjects that I don’t know specifics on, I can ask my team.