What are some of your rookie/silly mistakes?

We all have our share of rookie mistakes! What are some of yours?

Like, Last year we had a shooter that we were testing in the pits, so we took the drive train fuses out… and we forgot to put them in so we just sat there like a brick for a whole match!

Or once we forgot to pressurize the air so our drive train didnt work well in autonomus!

Care to share?

In 2009, our rookie year, we used a screw drive system to prime our scoring system. It consisted of pulling a wire a grand total of about 8 inches. It took about 30 seconds for it to prime completely. We competed with that at our first district.

Come Troy, our big brother team the Thunderchickens tell us about this magical thing called “pneumatics”. Took 30 minutes to replace our screw drive, half a second to prime the system (if that).

We have also, in later years, had a problem with not pressurizing the robot before a match when we used the pneumatics during autonomous.

At worlds, a member of our drive team took our drive station back the the pits when we had back-to-back matches in the playoffs this past year. We had to use our team timeout.

Not having a cart! Instead, we had four handles at the corner of our robot and we carried it to each match. It worked surprisingly well, but we still ended up borrowing a cart from our neighboring team.

Charging our batteries on the slowest setting. It took forever!

Not having a sign or banner for our pits.

Our bumpers took 10 minutes to change color!

One of my favorite stories:

At Nationals (yes Nationals) in 2000, we had a match scheduled for 2 PM.
The entire team went to lunch and left one kid in the pit.
The whole team planned to be back in the pit at 1:30 PM. We did not understand that the schedule doesn’t really follow the clock.

We came back at 1:25 PM and the pit was empty. Then we saw the kid we had left coming down the aisle with the robot, absolutely excited and breathless.

They had played the match while we were at lunch. This poor kid had to drive, operate and be the human player. They WON the match! Not bad for someone who had never picked up the controls or thrown a ball before that day. I will never forget the look of excitement on his face or my embarrassment for missing the match.

In 1995 the Judges created the award “Best Excecution of an Alternative Strategy” for our team We call it best execution of a losing strategy within the team). We spent the whole season building a catapult to score the balls around defense and never built the arm needed for a primary scoring mechanism. We did however get a big cheer every time our catapult fired I’m told.

This is awesome.

Besides learning righty tighty lefty loosey?
At Oklahoma City regional, back in 2010, we nearly went undefeated. Number one seed, doing amazing, and then come our 9th match and our robot just sat there. We had no idea what was going on. We go out to collect the robot and we found out we didn’t even turn it on! :o

“Someone” forgot to strap the battery down

1625’s rookie year, at the 2005 St. Louis Regional, we sent a mentor out for alliance selections. We had no idea it was ‘supposed’ to be a student, but if I remember correctly, the team representative at the time was not required to be a student (I believe it was clearly spelled out in the rules the following year). We had no scouting system and decided our most qualified person for the job was this mentor that had been taking notes througout qualification matches.

We quickly figured out our mistake as we saw all of the other team representatives were students while ours was a 50 year old mentor with a beard and graying hair. It was a somewhat awkward situation as we had seeded 3rd and he was out on the field for all to see. I think we had some comments thrown our way of “the mentors must do everything on that team”, but we just didn’t know what we were doing!

He wound up doing a pretty good job as we picked two great robots (1444, 939) and walked away a regional winner.

Our rookie year, we failed to communicate with the field during our first match. We were told by FIRST personnel that our 5V supply was incorrect. Our second match was only 20 minutes after our first, and we missed it while fixing the 5V supply. Our partners won the match without us, but we din’t share the points because we failed to send our human player. Those points would have spared us the ignominy of finishing in last place. Live and learn.

In 2011 we made our claw out of plywood. The guys that built it insisted that it would be strong enough to hold up in gameplay. The FIRST match of our FIRST regional, the FIRST time that we attempted to pick up a tube another robot hit the other end of the tube that we were trying to pick up. The claw snapped. We patched it up with some aluminum bracing for the rest of the regional, made several “I’m not dead yet!” jokes, since it was painted black, and competed with it for the rest of the regional and lost in the semi’s.

We machined an aluminum one before Boston, our next regional and then had a slight erm… situation… there with our alliance partners.

First time (for me) at World Championships last year… went to go get lunch, walked all the way over to Subway and got stuck there for an hour. I had to sprint a few blocks to make it back to the dome for our match (which was almost right after lunch).

I think I waited in line for an hour for a 6-inch sandwich (by that time they were limiting everybody to a single sandwich).

Also, mistake my first year in FRC. We built a nice swerve drive, and everything was mechanically perfect. Except for an optical encoder that was slightly out of position. We didn’t catch it until the end of our first regional.

Dead. Last.

I still remember our team’s cheers when we scored a single tube at North Star. Oh, the joy.

Well besides forgetting to plug in our radio before a match, or putting the robot on the field without a battery, or losing our robot at competition, or realizing that we left our driver station at home 6+ hours away, or weighing our robot in kilos instead of pounds and finding out that we are 25 lbs overweight a day before ship, my team hasn’t made too many ‘rookie’ mistakes.

Personally, I broke a tap. That is pretty embarrassing.

Hooking up the 12v to 5v converter for the radio backwards, turns out it works in reverse!

That just made my night!

We decided it would be a great idea to bolt our bumpers down and it took 10-15 minutes and four people to change them. Not fun when we had nearly back-to-back matches! Thank goodness we went with a much easier design this year…
Also, our first year we didn’t understand the importance of driver buttons and took them home the first day of competition. Then we forgot them the next day. That was a catastrophe. Luckily one of the moms ran to get them once we realized where they were. Phew!

My first year, we got a brand-new Cisco wireless adapter to replace the one we had been using for the previous few years. As the only person in the shop that day who knew how to wire, I got to chop the wall connection off and wire it to a WAGO connector - but both wires were black! A little bit of magic smoke later, I realized I had guessed wrong - and we had to use the old wireless adapter.

We’ve accidentally sent nearly dead batteries out onto the field on several occasions.

And our Logomotion bot was an exercise in how not to design a robot: we spent most of our six weeks working on a minibot and an arm, only to realize we couldn’t extend the arm far enough to pick up tubes from the ground and had no space on the robot to attach a minibot deployment mechanism.

But we’ve finally learned: as of today, we know that there is a tool for attaching the FlexHub snap rings for the modulox boxes that works better than the needle-nose pliers and screwdrivers we struggled with :slight_smile:

Every year at bunnybot for us. We have all of the non senior members design and build a bot with minimal help from the senior people.

My freshmen year, I, along with a group of five other students, designed this robot with a giant snow shovel on the end of a big piston. As we were driving, I bumped the controller the wrong way (our programmer plays inverted) and tilted the show shovel down into the carpet and fired the piston at the same time. We halfway did a pole jump before getting stuck. We then proceeded to trash the tread on the wheels and burn a hole in the carpet while trying to escape. I don’t think the flaming chickens were too happy with that. :o

And for logomotion: Using a banebots 256 to 1 transmission to move a 13 foot arm without a counterbalance. It got to the point where we were rebuilding the transmission between every match and taking apart other transmissions for the gears. Ugh. Lets just say that I can now completely reassemble and re grease a transmission in the dark in under five minutes.

I remember from last year a team (not mine) left a bunch of tools on their robot and they fell off during the match. I believe that they didn’t get a penalty because they were not robot parts.

Last year, we almost forgot to load the game pieces for autonomous for one match. Note that at that point, all (or almost all, I don’t remember) of our points were scored through autonomous, as we had no functioning floor pickup, bridge operator, or driver training (so we couldn’t even balance).