Send the Freshman

Left-handed Allen keys, Metric crescent wrenches, aluminum magnets. Each freshman has been told to run and get these once or twice. What are some unique objectives that you’ve sent members of your team to acquire?

My personal favorite is reverse duct-tape (The sticky side is on the other side)

Edit: Many have commented on this bringing up the fact that this kind of joking can often hurt feelings/make kids feel stupid. Different people receive jokes different ways. Before making one of these jokes, take a second to think about the effect that it will have on the student that you’re making the joke to.


“Hey could you ask (random person from the electrical team) for some pneumatic fluid?”

Works every time.


“I need a hole drilled in surgical tubing. Here’s the surgical tubing and 1/8” bit. Clamp everything down hard. Go slow."
That was fun. Nothing happened, so… yeah.
(I was freaking out about the prototype I was working on so scissors just blanked)


I don’t really like the “send someone to get an item that doesn’t exist” prank, but a creative one I heard was “A magic smoke refill for a 775pro.”


After the robot comes back from a match:
“Dude, these rivets are totally loosening up. We need to tighten them, where’s the rivet wrench?”
“We didn’t bring the rivet wrench??”
“Hey, can you go ask some other teams if we can borrow theirs?”

I will say this was fun in high school, but these days I don’t really see the value in it. It’s too easy to just make someone feel dumb and excluded.


This happened to me my freshman (maybe sophomore?) year at competition.

I usually don’t drill much due to my role on the team, so someone in the pit asked me to “Go ask a team for a banana drill” (this is what we call our DeWalt right angle drill). That was one of the most interesting convosations I have ever had with another team, and boy did I ever get crap about it when I got back to our pit.

Edit: Let me clarify one thing. I was told to go ask another team for a “banana drill” because that’s what we call our right angled drill. The person asking me to go ask another team thought I knew the real name for the drill and in the heat of the moment, just said the first name that came to mind (banana drill). They did not mean to purposely send me to another team’s pits to waste the time of the other team or my own. It was a funny accident.

We also always tell one of our freshmen on slack the night before we load for a competition that it’s their responsibility to remind us to bring the PID. When they don’t remind us, we act like it’s the worse thing in the world and the robot will never function now.


My favorite was when I tried explaining what left handed threads were to somebody and they refused to believe me cuz somebody used the left handed allen key one on them.


Asked one of my friends who I convinced to join the team to get some pneumatic fluid, he went and asked our programming mentor where he would find that. They both went on a search for it! :rofl:

Edit: Although we do sometimes use soapy water to troubleshoot our pneumatics, so that could be considered the pneumatic fluid.


This year you can just send them to get an offboard compressor. Minutes later they will come back with the LRI.


New idea prank idea: Tell a freshman that they need to signal to drive that they’re about to queue your match by making a :ok_hand: and watch them get a yellow card.


Wait but yellow cards are on your whole team not just the freshman​:thinking::thinking::thinking:
While I’m all for pranks this seems counterproductive


So on our team my rookie year we told a freshman to calibrate a speed wrench, and it was so bizarre and funny each year we have a session just to teach students how to properly calibrate one

We had people look for an AC battery alot. Eventually someone just put a label saying AC on one of the batteries.


Attention in the pits. Team 1836 is looking for competent students. If you have a competent student that 1836 can borrow, please go bring it to the pit. They will return it by the end of the event.


After a certain freshmen bricked our RIO, we now sometimes send them to “go get some food from the office”. (They walk across the school, ask for food, and don’t get any, then walk back). It works really well keeping them from expensive equipment.
And to look through the signal wires for leaks in the code.


Cable stretcher!!

When something is brought …
… No, I need the large one!!


One of my electricians inadvertently did this to a freshman. The team has given Powerpole contacts the nickname “chicken-butts”, which has become one of the team’s in-jokes. We were trying to wire up a new motor quickly and had run short of contacts. The electrician told the freshman to go ask other teams for chicken-butts, but the freshman didn’t know this was team-specific slang rather than the correct term for the contacts. They went all over the pit asking teams for chicken-butts, which I’m sure was seen as another prank by everyone else, even though they were seriously asking for a real thing we needed.


and if they come back again with anything in there hand, “No I need the Hydraulic wire stretcher not the Manuel one”


It’s funny to talk about these pranks, but I’m not sending a kid out to other teams asking stupid questions about things I probably should have taught them about.


my team does not pull stuff like that, but some good ones I have heard of are:
copper magnets
flux compactors
a metric crescent wrench
pneumatic bolts