What did we learn - FIRST Scrimmages?

To all those who participated in or viewed any of the many scrimmages held today:

What did you learn about “Breakaway” today?

Thank you to all teams and volunteers who made these events possible!

Charge the battery for the Classmate!!

We were at the Suffield Shakedown today, about to start the second finals match after winning the first. Right before the match started, our Classmate died. Luckily we were able to borrow another team’s battery for that match, and won.

I can’t remember the team number, but HUGE thanks to whoever loaned us their classmate battery.

I learned that in the anticipation of scrimmage, the team works a lot faster than usually expected. We hooked all of the electrical board, pneumos, built bumpers, mounted a roller, and tested some other mechanisms. Most we’ve ever done on a Saturday.

We found our ball magnet needs to be faster

We found out that we can drive against 1557 and nearly flip them over just by pushing them in low gear :smiley:

That robots are making it over the bump.
That robots are attempting to make it over the bump and may need a sign on the bottom like the one in the game animation.
That the students and mentors that I talked to, were enjoying themselves and this awesome opportunity.
That scrimmages offer opportunities to rethink things.
That rookies rock.

Thank you, FRC 2158 and FRC 2881 - for hosting the third annual Austin Robot Roundup at Anderson High School.


While I posted this issue in another thread, I will state it here as well… If you are experiencing any watchdog timer issues, no matter how infrequent, you must correct this issue before competition. The field control system shut down our communication with the robot in multiple rounds due to watchdog errors. You are not able to regain communcation for the rest of the round. The good news is we were able to resolve our watchdog errors by removing all, but our basic code (ie. removed camera, gyro, and other code, leaving only our joystick/drive and kicker motor controls in the Teleop.vi) and were able to get a few complete rounds in without errors. We are using LabView.

Merle Yoder
GRUNTS Team #3146

although i was not at a scrimmage, i watched a webcast with a few members of my team. we found and believe that some teams try to rush their designs to make it to these scrimmages. please please, in the future meet earlier in the season, meet at least 3 times a week, have a commited team, and you should have everything working fine for these scrimmages. we only saw 1 robot hang in this webcast and only 1 autonomous goal (for however long we were watching). so i urge teams to let the drivers and programmers hav the robot for the next few days before ship :rolleyes:

What webcast were you watching?
And I also agree with the fact that some teams rush their designs in order to attend these scrimmages. IMHO (even if you do not have a working robot) it would be wise to attend for the advantage of observing how the game is played, learn more about other teams’ designs, and scout out the competition.

Looking forward to the start of the competition season.

He cannot be more correct, getting to know your opponents before competitions is key. The more knowledge you have about a team (their strategies, driver style) the better chance you have of beating them.

we were watching the Suffield Shakedown. IMHO a scrimmage may be fun and can help with scouting, nothing can replace the ussual 15-20 hours of driving practice my team has

Or considerations for a possible alliance . . .


Thanks to everyone who posted their learnings so far. Anyone else have any observations from the scrimmages?

I was a little surprised with how low the scores were. I did notice that a lot of the scoring was done by robots pushing the ball into the goal instead of kicking in. Also, I noticed that defense was a pretty big factor too.

We found out that if you want to play at a scrimmage, you need to build your robot faster, plan it out better, and not mount your battery in a manner that causes your electrical board to fail when you fly up a bump.

While technically not at a scrimmage, but just on a field, we also figured out the tunnel is not a terrible zone transfer method, but it’s very vulnerable to defense like bump climbing is.

I learned that our team overestimated the necessary drivetrain to get over the bump. We made an articulating drive with 6 wheels, 16 sprockets, and 27 feet of chain, and we were going over the bump easily…but so were all of the other teams at Shakedown. Teams with the kitbot frame and 4 mecanum wheels were going over without too much trouble at all. 230, which was arguably the best robot there, had that exact setup.

However, I also learned that having 6 sticky wheels did NOT hamper our ability to turn, and it helped a whole lot in being able to push around other bots. It was literally like a warm knife through butter. Also, in learning things about our robot, we are then able to assess what we can and cannot do, and where we can and cannot play the best on the field. As it is, our kicker will be great picking up balls that were launched from the far zone, and just popping them quickly into our goals.

Where any of the cast saved/recorded?

We found that the ability to move between zones consistently and quickly can be the key for a successful match, that controlling a majority of the balls on the field doesn’t always lead to high scores (not that it hurts your chances:D), and once again the drivetrain of the robot is the most important design feature; being able to go where you want in a quick and efficient manner will once again play a huge role.

I found:

Not much travel over the bumps

Seemed to be more beneficial to the other alliance than to your own due to open field section.

Low scoring

High score was 6, a more average score was 2

Hard to push a ball over the bump

Just ended up being caught under the frame.

Once a ball is up against the alliance station walls, it’s dead. If it’s against the side walls in the middle section, it’s also dead.
Autonomous is very important because it’s a unimpeded chance to score
Hard to manipulate ball, even with ball control

Did anyone manage to find the e-stop button at the driver stations at Suffield Shakedown. Team 999 has lost the stop button. If anyone has it, please pm me.