So now that all of the Fix-It Windows have passed...

…what do you think of the concept and its ramifications on the rules?

Did it mess with your robot building method significantly?

And, at the risk of jumping Dave’s gun, what would you do with the concept for 2006?

(I’ll answer after a few others have, to keep from throwing the conversation one way.)

While I greatly understand and appreciate the concept of the Fix It Window. It’s biggest problem is that it doesn’t take into account travel time. We travelled to a regional that was a 12 hour bus ride.
By the time the event is over, you crash at the hotel 1 last night. Leave early the next morning, once you get home, you have like 8 hours left in the fix it window. And that’s if you walk right off the bus into the machine shop.

I think it’s a great idea, but just needs to be refined a little bit more. Like maybe close all building for the weekend at the end of the compeition. Fix it window starts at a fixed time on monday and counts down from there.

This would give teams a chance to get home, and unwind from the thrills and pressures of competition and maybe get a night off before cranking for another couple of days.

Second the motion!
The Fix-It window gave an advantage in revising and spare-part making to teams that live/build in the immediate area of a regional. They could get 48 hours of work, compared to 24 or less for teams that had to stay in a hotel and return later. SoCal teams often go to the Northern California regionals or Arizona or Nevada and get home with about 24 hours left of the window. By the time they get to the shop, they have probably 1 or 2 hours. I can’t speak for anywhere or anyone else, but that is annoying because you spend the first day in travel and the second in school. Ouch.

I agree with these views. I think the 48 hours needs to either:

  1. be flexible (ie start your 48 hours any time between regionals, but you must finish within 48 hours - no “Im gonna work 8 hours here, 8 hours there”… its two days long, thats it!)
  2. Start the monday following the regional (allowing for ample travel home time)
  3. Start the monday BEFORE your next competition.

All three of these options would give plenty of travel time for teams. I remember at FLR, we had a full 48 hour fix it window, but with Cleveland and Toronto, we lost time to travel. To be honest, we didnt use a lot of our window because we were all so exhausted on the sundays that we just crashed. We opted to build new parts at the regionals.

I’d agree with those ideas (my spin: fix-it window is the monday and tuesday before the regional/championship, giving you wednesday to travel).

But just as a personal thing, I’d like to see programming/OI panels not covered under the rules next year. The way the programming was handled this year just doesn’t seem to make sense–code all you want, but you have to key-punch at the regional–unless FIRST is trying to make better typists out of all of us. The OI panel change is mainly so we can get our panels sufficiently pimp for competition (and to allow folks to harness feedback things for their newly-programmed robots).

Just my thought.

a lot of people i talked to at our regional/championships really hated the idea of the fix-in window…but i have to say i do think the idea is good, just i agree that it should be pushed to either the monday after the regional or the monday before your next competition. we didn’t have to worry about travel (pacific northwest regional is right here in portland) but since we qualified for championships, sunday was spent in shock and frazzleness as to getting the money, travel plans, and all of that good stuff. and then school started and we were scrambling to get things machined because we all had grades to raise…but i think with the little change, the fix-it window is just fine

The Monday before Regionals competition is good, but I’d consider lengthening it for Atlanta since Travel time is generally longer for most teams. Maybe the Friday before Atlanta? Also consider Non-North American Teams, and International Regionals (non Canadian) because customs really slows down a lot of time that could be used for fabrication. And personally I believe of First plans on going global they should do all they can to cater to the unique needs of International teams.

Any who, I’d say, overall the Fix-It window worked out well, despite being a tad confusing at first. It really helps enforce the 6 weeks policy for fairness in competition, at that should make everybody happy.