The first item is not necessarily true, while the second one is absolutely true. We build some of a wooden field, and even then, not until week 3 or 4. BUT we IMAGINE a perfect field and… (see below)
No, you just need to prototype faster. Kids tend to work slowly, we teach them how to work fast.
Also yes indeed.
The very first step in winning the game-of-the-year is to work out how the game will play. We ALL know how Baseball is played (for example) and so oddball strategies like a Bunt, which aren’t at all obvious, can win a game.
We take the rest of Kickoff Saturday and play the game many, many times, learning as we go. What do the robots need to be able to do? Anything subtle we need to think about? Then we send everyone home to think on Sunday.
Monday, we start by defining Capabilities. we determine which we need, and by Wednesday we can start on methods to achieve Capabilities. Then comes the prototypes - dozens of them. They are demonstrated by Friday (yes, FAST prototypes).
Meanwhile, the drivetrain team has a rolling platform ready for Saturday. The drivers drive, drive, and drive some more.
By week 5, the practice bot is driving and playing, we’re assembling the competition robot.
In the whole process, the simple things like scoring are designed to be simple and therefore quick. Any task that can be simplified, is. We want the drivers to focus on the things that can’t be predicted, and the mundane tasks are either automated or very simple.
This year, shooting and ball gathering is brainless, just drive to the right spot. Pushing down the bridge involves A) deploy mechanism and B) drive up to bridge. It lowers and you drive up without stopping. We go to ultra-low gear for balancing, but the balance itself is manual.
Kind of like modern aircraft cockpit design: Reduce the pilot’s workload so they can focus on what is critically important.