Should teams be allowed to reuse fabricated items and/or build before Kickoff

What if the team has $500 budgeted for robot parts, and the rest of their money is budgeted to tools, and registration fees? If they need to use a new kit chassis, they have already spent the majority of their money and have almost nothing left to develop mechanisms.

At that budget, they’ll probably get more bang for their buck doing FTC, honestly.

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Marshall? Who is Marshall? We don’t see anyone called Marshall.

We don’t need any stinking …

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Fair point, but too some extent younger teams run into issues. Examples of this could be sponsors dropping last minute, or the high school only be willing to fund an FRC team because the administration thinks it’s what’s best for their students.

If the team has a $500 budget for parts, then they should consider other competitions. Even if you re-use the previous year’s entire drive train, $500 is not going to go very far. You would have to have a large supply of parts from previous years before that got into the realm of possibility. Heck, we used up about 1/3 of that amount just on pulleys and belts last season.

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The 2019 Everybot has an estimated cost of under $400 of materials. I wouldn’t be so hasty to say that teams with $500 robot budgets should compete elsewhere.

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A lot of teams were able to improvise on the everybot system, the first example that comes to my mind would be 6140. If you look at the 2019 Everybot thread, there are quite a few success stories.

“Low resource” refers to more than just cash. Other resources are access to a well-equipped machine shop, mentors, parent support, hours of access to the build space, and more. There’s multiple reasons a team could benefit from reusing an old chassis, other than just not having $475 in the bank.

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This should definitely change now especially due to no bag restriction this next season. Because there is no bag, it could actually hurt teams more than benefitting due to not knowing the game. So why not allow it?

One point I’d add: Just because building a “KOP Everybot” wouldn’t require much in terms of design, fabrication, etc etc, does not mean teams won’t do all of those things and more. The “KOP Everybot” would serve as a starting point for most teams.

I’ve worked with hundreds of VEX and VEX IQ teams. I’ve seen most of these teams start by building the basic, points-scoring clawbot (aka “KOP Everybot”). This has pre-built code and step-by-step instructions to complete. After completing the clawbot and running a few minutes of practice and scoring some points, guess what the vast majority of teams do next?

They start building new mechanisms, improvements, and writing new software. They write auto modes and find ways to score more points faster with design changes.

“Just doing assembly” actually circles back around to all the skills you listed.

These are my observations from watching real-world students learning and growing with a robust KOP offering. The more thorough and straight forward the FRC KOP is, the better the program will be for the lower-resourced and rookie teams.

I think the theory that teams who assemble a KOP Everybot wouldn’t learn a lot of skills like fabrication, programming, etc, is not based in the reality of what we see in other competition robotics programs.

-Mike

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for teams like mine it just hurts us because we have a small budget and almost all of it is spent on buying a new frame every year when we could just reuse the old one

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Fair enough, however I suggest that all of those have some minimums that if a team can’t meet, perhaps FRC isn’t the right thing for that team.

One of the great things about FRC and game design is that it’s set up so that even a low-resource team can get a functional robot that does something useful with just some hand tools. This year, that was “Get off the 2nd level and play defense.” Is it reasonable to say “now, you don’t have to even go through that effort? You can just grab last year’s chassis and have that minimum robot?”

The nature of FRC isn’t static or ordained by the heavens; the premise of this thread is whether lowering those minimums in a specific way would do more good than harm. If you believe it would be bad for FIRST to do anything to reduce those minimums, that’s a valid position but I’d love to hear more reasoning behind it than just “we should maintain the status quo”.

Part of why kids love FRC is because they get to do something harder and more exciting than most other high school competitions, and I don’t want to dilute that overly much in the name of making FRC more accessible. I think there should continue to be limits to what can be reused, but I think slightly expanding the list of specific things is reasonable, and the KOP chassis might be a good addition to the list.

I don’t think teams will do less if they’re allowed to reuse a KOP chassis. I’ve never used a KOP chassis, but I imagine assembling it isn’t a huge value-add for student experience. If a team has decided they’re going to use a KOP chassis instead of designing and machining their own, I don’t think they’re missing out on much by reusing last year’s instead of assembling a new one. I can’t fathom that a team that struggled to get a minimum robot done one year, will decide the following year to just reuse it and sit back and relax the whole season. They’ll use the time and money saved to do something more interesting and educational than assembling a kit (such as designing better scoring mechanisms).

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are team has barely any budget and we have had to buy a new base every year and are team only has about 4 builders so that takes a long time to build while if we could use the old base we could get to work on manipulators and other things that can improve us.

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Yes?

Look, FIRST has a sustainability crisis. Half of all teams fold within 5 years. (That’s why HQ needs to keep pushing rookie expansion, just to stay ahead of the burn rate.) We have to make changes, or the whole program will eventually fizzle.

Teams that re-use their previous chassis can redirect those precious resources into making improvements to the old machine, designing better mechanisms to bolt on, or getting prepared for competition. All of these are worthy challenges. Moreover, fielding a robot that works for less money is much more inspirational than folding because you can’t raise the money to duplicate what you already have sitting over in the corner of the lab.

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that is what our team tries to do if we could reuse our base we could spend more time on an elevator and get practice in instead of having our first match being our first time driving like this year and the years before. we are always up till almost midnight on bag day getting it ready.

this is exactly the situation my team is in it will be our fith year and our mentors sat us down and said how we are having problems with money and resources we are trying our best not to die out

I wonder if there are any teams out there that pretty much use the same chassis every year but just rebuild it because they have to.

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we do
we have for bases

Are you opting out of the KOP chassis? Thats problem #1 if so.