For myself, the FIRST Robotics season is over. I go back to my desk job as a student lol. FIRST is like the Army Reserve. Once the season is over, a lot of participants go back to work or school or both!
An exciting weekend or two at a competition has always been something exciting for me. I don’t know about you guys, but the night before a competition, I don’t usually sleep. I am way too excited. It is like a younger person not being able to sleep before Christmas or some other major holiday. I know walking through the doors on the first day always makes my stomach churn excitedly and anxiously. I know in just a couple hours robots will be clinging and clanging on the playing field.
Then, two short days later, it is over. The robots are packaged back up and are ready to be shipped to their next competition or sent home.
Anywho, I was just wondering what some of FIRSTers do when the season is over. I know there are some off season competitions and events but else is there? I usually develop my film from the competition, get it onto cd and place a hard copy in my photo album. It takes me a couple days to do everything you know, the film developing always slows me down.
Well this summer, I’m hoping to go for an Internship somewhere or work at Brookstone. Maybe I can convince them to let me use the Segway for work related details. If anyone has any foot in the doors for an internship let me know. I’m an IT Major with a Minor in Networking. I’m looking for something in a IT department or data entry program.
I’m not really planning on doing much FIRST-related after regionals. Although… no, I recind that remark. I’m gonna teach myself more C and C++ just 'cause I can and I’m REALLY curious as to what I can do with the program.
Aside from that on-going project, not much really. I’ve got AP tests coming up in May, plus a couple of extra things (goin’ to see Spamalot(!) and NIN(!!) late May) and there are other, more personal goals that I’ve set for myself whose deadlines are in the next couple of months.
After all that, I’ve got gradumication to look forward to, lotsa work, as well as a whole new season of FIRST either as a Mentor for my present team or on the Drexel U. team down in Philly.
That’s about it for me… I’m just looking forward to a whole new experience with FIRST as a part of a different team.
I/We got a few major plans. I am very excited about building a robot based on a PC running Linux. Over the next few weeks I also want to build a segway out of parts we got laying around. A few members of our team are also pretty hyped up about building a new bot cart. This year ours consisted of a piece of wood on casters which must not have even had bearings, because you could watch them and see that the wheels were not even turning. So yeah, we got plans.
I’m not really sure what we’ll be doing after nationals are over, but for now it’s basically back to school for all of us… It was kind of weird, going and going and working non-stop for sooo long up until regionals, then they’re over like that snaps fingers, and we all kinda don’t know what to do with ourselves… We’ve been used to living at FIRST base for the last couple of months, and now we’re just… not. I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet…
I’m planning on doing a ton of proof of concepts for various programming/electrical ideas. I have yet to ever use encoders, have never actually gotten the CMUcam working, etc. I think I might even make it an independent study so that I get school credit for it
sigh we also need to put together our website, do a bunch of advertising to drum up new members, and possibly new sponsors (nearly all of our team is in this year’s graduating class IIRC, but I’m a lucky junior).
I want to learn CAD stuff and C to program and help design our robot next year since the senios who did most of it this year graduate after this season. Right now, I’m occuppied with Track Season, so once that ends, I’ll have a ton of free time.
Hopefully get a chance to get caught up on my studies and work. Do some work with the solid edge program and get caught up on some sleep. This summer, get the robot out again and head off to indiana for the IRI.
Finish my project for my local high school engineering contest.
Finish the robot for another robotics competition.
Fix my robot, again – it has a CMUcam (just plain CMUcam, not CMUcamII).
Get cracking on my 5 still remaining since last year programming projects.
Oh yeah, school, sleep, eat, sleep, clean my room, sleep, finish homework, and not to forget, sleep…
And CAL games (we just might enter another robot into CAL games, who knows) and RoboNexus (if there is another one this year).
We’ll be working on some omni-drive prototypes this summer, and hopefully be attending IRI… We shall see. Also, we’ll be working on getting the details down for the Midwest Drivers’ Union that we are establishing (Shameless plug! IM/PM me for more details)
As for me, I’ll be interning at either a business or an engineering firm. Or both. A bit of tennis factored into the free time, and quite a bit of packing for college.
Take some of your old robot controllers and build an underwater ROV for the national competitions. This was a great advantage we had going into the competition. This was partly why we joined the University class. Now we have to go back and defend our national champtionship against MIT (and this year CMU as welll). Take a look at these websites:
I still have to do a project for my electrical engineering independent study, so probably figuring out some type of adapter for an xbox controller (usb-type plug) to the operator interface to use as a controller. Hopefully it works out
Off season activities are fun! We need to finish our lego puzzle solver, just programming anyways, and we plan to build our submersable, fun stuff!! Lol. On top of those plans, we are making our bot cart - so far it’s sooooo awsome, lol we have it drawn out and are making a final design in inventor before we build. Fun stuff! And there is talk of us trying to make a recycle bot, sounds interesting, the idea is to make a humaniod robot out of recycled parts only, lots of trash runs, ucky, and the scorage bins are gonna be my best friends! Ohh, we also need to fix are previous two OI’s. They both have broken tether ports, so we need repairs on those. Other than that, off season is still just as busy as build season, but none the less it is still fun and packed of entertaining things to do!