Team San Diego - 2010 Fall Workshops


Team San Diego is hosting the 2010 Fall Workshops Oct 30th at

High Tech High (Home of FRC1538 - The Holy Cows)
2861 Womble Rd
San Diego, CA 92106-6025

You can register here:
Cost is $100 at the door.

2010 Fall Workshops - Workshop List

Workshop Descriptions

Engineering Workshops

Systems Engineering: What You Need to Know to Build a Competitive Robot - Ric Robers (Mentor, Team 330 - The BeachBots/Chairperson, Los Angeles Regional)

Have you ever marveled at how simple the solution to a problem can be? When
you go to the FIRST competition you see many different ideas and concepts, but
which is best?

A systems engineering approach will help you identify and solve the right problems
and make your design much simpler. It will ease the design and build process and
allow you to develop a more competitive robot. This is the same thinking that goes into
a rover that has to operate on Mars, a car you see on the street, a rocket that will carry
us into space or any complex system.

It will teach you a systematic way to approach a problem and end up with an effective
solution. FIRST robotics teams from California to New Zealand have used this method
to design and build better robots. Based in aerospace industry ,this hands on workshop
developed by Teams 330 (Beach Bots) and 1138 (Eagle Robotics) will give you some
tools you will be able to use to produce a winning design.

Mechanisms & Manipulators - Andrew Keisic (Mentor, Team 294 - Beach Cities Robotics/Alum., Team 217 - The Thunder Chickens)*

This course is designed to give you the necessary knowledge to intelligently design effective manipulators and lifting devices. It’ll cover the pros and cons of various lifting devices, object perspective, object orientation, acquisition zones, hard stops and soft stops.

Motor Performance - Andrew Keisic (Mentor, Team 294 - Beach Cities Robotics/Alum., Team 217 - The Thunder Chickens)

This course is designed to give you the necessary knowledge to intelligently design gear ratios that accomplish the task without creating a cloud of smoke. It’ll cover the governing equations of electrical motors, combining motors to create super motors and how to calculate gear ratios while giving you a tool to assist in the process.

Drive Systems - Rob Colatutto (Mentor, Team 1622 - Team Spyder)

This course is designed to give you the necessary knowledge to intelligently design a base. It’ll cover base stability, ramps, center of gravity and various base setups and the pro and cons of each.

Intro to programming with Labview - Richard Sisk (Mentor, Team 2493 - Robokong)

You’ve never programmed a robot before? Then this is the session for you. Learn the basics of robot programming in Labview including; how to use Labview, basic programming techniques, generating your first robot program.

C++ - Kiet Chau (Mentor, Team 968 - RAWC)

Learn how to use C++ to program a FIRST Robot. Also, learn some of the C++ features that will help you get the most out of the hardware.

Java - Eric Arseneau (Team San Diego) & Brad Miller (WPI)

Learn how to use JAVA to program a FIRST Robot. Also, learn some of the JAVA features that will help you get the most out of the hardware.

Scouting - Kiet Chau (Mentor, Team 968 - RAWC)

Learn about scouting in FRC and why it’s important.

Sensors - Sergiy Nesterenko

This presentation will be an introduction to sensors in robotics. Sensors are key in both autonomous, and remote control robotics, allowing the robot to perform on it’s own, or to assist the drivers with their task. Some of the discussed sensors will include gyroscopes, encoders, distance sensors, touch sensors, and camera vision. Some basic algorithms, and tips will be presented to help get valuable information from the sensors, and use them effectively. This will include the PID loop for locomotion, data analysis for distance sensors, and tips for better camera color recognition.

This presentation is intended to introduce teams to the different sensors which exist, and get them on the right track in implementing some of these sensors in their own robots. Although the world of sensors may seem daunting, it is easier than it seems. All levels of expertise are welcome, from rookies to experts.

Non-Engineering Workshops

Rookie Workshop - David Berggren (Assistant Western Regional Director, FIRST / Mentor, Team 1538 - The Holy Cows)*

This rookie workshop will provide the participant with many of the tools that veteran teams use to navigate their way thru a FIRST robotics season. We will review in detail the FIRST website and discover very useful tools for new teams.The team and mentor and handbooks will be discussed in addition to tips on judging for rookies.Come join the workshop to validate what you know and learn new ideas to make your experience with FIRST truly positive.

Team Organization - David Berggren (Assistant Western Regional Director, FIRST / Mentor, Team 1538 - The Holy Cows)

Explore different organizational models that award winning teams have used and discuss how to sustain a team’s knowledge and success year after year. Learn about year long activities that will help spread the word of FIRST and help raise money for your team.

Chairman’s Award - Jim Beck (Western Regional Director, FIRST)

This workshop will deal with the 2011 Chairman’s Award. Why eligible teams should submit a chairman’s entry & how to prepare one; preparing your team for judging.
• Executive Summary – it’s important, how to do it right
• Chairman’s DVD - What’s new/changed this year
• How to be prepared entering the judge room
• Share the impact FIRST has had on your community with the judges
• Demonstrate what you have done differently from last year to this year
• Tips for Success

FIRST: 2011 And Beyond - Jim Beck (Western Regional Director, FIRST)

This workshop will be conducted by Jim Beck our California regional Director for FIRST. Have you ever wondered what a district event is? When will we go to 5 or 6 regionals in California? Will we have State Championships in Calif? what is bag and tag and when will it come to San Diego?, what is a flex event? How will we get funding in 2011 and beyond? Come to this workshop and learn the new terminology and what it means to you and your team in 2011 and beyond.

Talking To Judges - Dona Sisk (Mentor, Team 2493 - Robokong)

Who are those guys in the blue shirts that keep asking me so many questions? Learn how to interact with judges when they come by your pit. Why are they asking so many questions? How do you tell them about your team? Why are awards important anyway?

Fundraising - Phil Smith (CEO, Space Grant Institute)

During this session we will explore how to create, manage and perform a fund raising
campaign. We will:
1 ) review good ideas used by other FIRST Teams,
2 ) learn about INTERNET based resources,
3 ) learn how to approach commercial companies,
4 ) learn how to approach Not-For-Profit Foundations,
5 ) learn about forming your own 501c3,
6 ) learn how to work with an existing 501c3 and
7) finally, using templates the coordinator will provide create a sample Fund Request
Letter and Foundation Proposal that is unique to your team.

How Parents Can Be Involved - Julie Parker (Co-‘Team Mom’, Team 1538 - The Holy Cows) & Cathy Schulz (Co-‘Team Mom’, Team 1538 - The Holy Cows)

Learn how to get parent support through communication, enthusiasm, fundraising, donations of supplies, team building support, adult networking, mentoring, etc…

Award Submissions -Molly Tremblay (Alumnus, Team 1538 - The Holy Cows)

Learn about how to write, edit and revise award submissions.

Elevator Pitches - Monte Lyons (Team 3476 - Code Orange)

Learn about how to develop an effective elevator pitch

FIRST Communications - Steve Stark (San Diego Regional Planning Committee, Team 1266)*

Learn about the

About the Presenters

Jim Beck

Once a electromechanical designer in Silicon Valley, Jim spent over 30 Years as a Professor of Engineering and University administrator at San Jose State University. He volunteered for over 3 years in various FIRST positions including, RPC chairperson, and Judge at the Regional and Championship level. He became a full time consultant with FIRST seven years ago,and has started regional competitions throughout California, Hawaii ,Colorado,and served as Western Regional Director for FIRST. He currently serves as the Regional director for the California,which has the largest number of FIRST teams in the nation.

David Berggren

David Berggren graduated from Point Loma High School and 1990 and received his BS in Marine Technology in 1994 from the California Maritime Academy. For the next 5 years he traveled around the world working as an engineer on fishing vessels. In 2002 David began teaching at High Tech High as an Engineering Instructor. He also helped run the team’s BotBall team until 2004. In the fall of 2004, David and several of his BotBall students started Team 1538 - The Holy Cows. In 2009 David became FIRST Senior Mentor for San Diego county and recently became Assistant Western Regional Director.

Kiet Chau

Kiet is in his 3rd year at UC Riverside. 2011 will be his 7th year in FIRST and 3rd as a mentor for Team 968 (RAWC). From 2006-2008 Kiet was the driver for Team 968 where he won 2 regionals and 2 championship divisions. For the 2008 season, Kiet developed iScout - an online scouting database that made match statistics and video easily available. Kiet as also helped develop some of the highest scoring autonomous modes in FIRST over the past 5 seasons. In his spare time Kiet runs his own business, Vivid-Hosting and works as a software developer for Plug-In Supply.

Rob Colatutto

Currently I am a mentor for Team Spyder, FRC 1622, entering my 11th year of FIRST involvement. Previously I have also been a mentor for FRC 229, and a member of FRC 263. I have also mentored FLL and VRC teams, in addition to being a Vex regional coordinator.

Bachelors of Science, Mechanical Engineering, Clarkson University, 2007
Masters of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Clarkson University, 2008

Andrew Keisic

Andrew has been involved with FIRST for 11 years and has volunteered for 3 different teams. He originally participated as a student on Thunder Chickens (FRC 217) before joining Team Voltage (FRC 386) as a college advisor. Since 2006, he has served as the lead technical mentor for Beach Cities Robotics (FTC/FRC 294) where he has lead his team to 2 world championship titles (2008 FTC & 2010 FRC). He holds a bachelors degree in aerospace engineering from Florida Tech and is currently working towards his masters in mechanical engineering at UCI. He specializes in strategy, system engineering and mechanical design and has presented in numerous workshopsthroughout southern California. He is also a certified expert with MS Excel and has created multiple mechanical design and team management tools. Professionally, Andrew works for GKN Aerospace where he serves as the Site Continuous Improvement Leader.

Sergiy Nesterenko

Sergiy Nesterenko is a sophomore at Saddleback College majoring in physics and mathematics. In high school, he has spent three years with Echoes, FIRST team 1047, leading for two of those years. His love for robotics has taken him outside of FIRST, and quickly led him to other robotics projects. Sergiy won the gold medal in the Robomagellan Autonomous Robotics event at RoboGames in 2008, and has taught several FIRST robotics summer camps. He is now a mentor for Code Orange, team 3476, and has put together numerous robots, from a walking Hexapod to an Autonomous Projectile Launcher. For Sergiy, robotics is a passion, and a potential career.

Julie Parker

I have been involved with FIRST since 2005 with my oldest daughter and Team 1538 Holy Cows.I took one year off between kids in 2009- and came back to help in 2010 when my youngest started 9th grade. . I have volunteered at the FIRST regional competition for 4 years. During the day I am a Life Insurance Underwriter, which I have done for over 20 yrs.

Ric Roberts

Ric Roberts is a mentor for Team 330 - The BeachBots. He is the parent of two FIRST alumni and currently serves as the Chairperson for the Los Angeles Regional Planning Committee. Professionally, Ric is a Chief Engineer for Raytheon. Ric is a veteran of the Fall Workshops and his Systems Engineering workshop is a favorite of all the teams.

Cathy Schulz

My name is Cathy Schulz and I am the “team parent” of the Holy Cows, my son is a sophmore so I have 3 full seasons to keep involoved with the team. Last year I traveled to Salt Lake for the regionals with the team as well as Atlanta for the Championships, it was a wonderful way to get to know some of the team members and am looking forward to traveling again this year. I love to cook and bake and feed our hungry heiffers. I am an elementary school teacher and take on some photography sessions in my free time.

Rick Sisk

Rick Sisk has been involved with FIRST Robotics for four years as programming mentor for team 2493 - Robokong. He also has been a judge at the Los Angeles and Phoenix regionals as well as Championship in Atlanta. When not busy with robots, Rick is designing business software for Sage in Irvine or building sets and special effects for Riverside Community Players.

Dona Sisk

Dona Sisk has been involved with FIRST Robotics for six years. She started her journey with FIRST as a judge at the Los Angeles Regional and has also judged at the Phoenix Regional and Championship in Atlanta. Three years ago, Dona started team 2493 - Robokong in Riverside. Dona’s background includes teaching science and technology classes to high school students putting her degree in Physics to good use. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Educational Technology.

Phil Smith

Phil Smith is CEO of the Space Grant Education and Enterprise Institute managing
new technology development through student led research programs. During his career
Phil has been a structural designer, a rocket engineer, a mission integration manager
and aerospace company CEO. He helped create one of the first publicly traded new
space firms, SPACEDEV, building rocket motors and small spacecraft. He is currently
helping to create a new commercial aerospace firm, Adaptive Launch Solutions, building
mechanical and avionics systems to fly small research spacecraft on major launch
vehicles. Phil has an engineering BS and MS from the University of California at
Berkeley, is a registered engineer and is a founding member of NASA’s Space Portal.
Phil has been a volunteer with the FIRST Robotic Regional Competition committee and
Judge at the San Diego and Las Vegas Regionals.

Molly Tremblay

Molly is in her 2nd year at UCSD. 2011 will be her 4th year in FIRST. For her first two years, Molly was the Chairman’s Lead for Team 1538 - The Holy Cows. In this role she manage all of the team’s Chairmans efforts from the submission to the presentation. In 2008 and 2009 she wrote the winning San Diego Regional Woodie Flowers Award submissions.


Is there a schedule available?

We need to know how early to get the students out of bed for the drive to San Diego…


Good point, thanks Dave.

The sessions run from 9AM to 3:15PM. Every session is run either 4 times throughout the day, or once in the morning and once in the afternoon after lunch.

The following sessions do the morning/afternoon repeat
Team Organization and Rookie Workshop
Chairman’s Award and What’s New in FIRST
C++ and Scouting

The remaining sessions repeat all day long.

Hope to see 980 in San Diego!


I will be there (not as an official presenter) and available to talk about the 2011 beta test and answer questions about the recent creation of RobotPy (Python for FRC). I won’t be able to bring a robot with me to demo RobotPy live, but if another team wants to bring theirs I’d be happy to do so.


Will any of these sessions be recorded?