What do your teams do in the offseason?

I was just wondering what types of projects other teams do in the offseason?

(I am aware that there are some similar threads to this, however many of them did not get very many responses and some were on related topics to this, but were not enirely similar subjects)

Between late October (when the Rah Cha Cha Ruckus is occurring) up until mid December we have a pre season to do team building and safety training amongst other things.
The spring and summer months we do many demos. The adult mentors meet often to discuss the direction of the team by reviewing our lessons learned and take whatever actions are needed to make our team even better.

Our team is in the process of doing some R&D with a test chassis for drivetrain & other fun ideas (T-Shirt cannon, etc.)

Also, in October a lot of our students volunteer at, & a lot of our mentors work at the largest & best haunted house attraction in New England.

Summer time is for partaking in some off-seasons, & resting & relaxing as well in anticipation for the next season.

We did IRI this year. We are looking into doing the Western Michigan Regional Invitational as well.

We have 4 or 5 parades, fairs, and similar events we go to and demo. We take the robot to sponsors and show it off and let them drive. We plan literature and recruiting techniques for the fall. Tonight we are working on a Fischer Price firetruck that we disassembled, added a pneumatic lift kit into and robotic steering. We’ll hopefully be able to show it off at Platteville Dairy Days in a few weeks.

We went to MARC and IRI, and the team is also signed up for Kettering. Aside from competition there are a few things this year in particular that I want to get the team to do. We’re losing 6 seniors so next year might be a bit rough. I’m quite sure of the abilities of our underclassmen as we had them do most of the work this past year, but one little project I want to see if we can pull off is building a prototype drive train.

We’ve never really had the time to build anything extra in the off-season, so there is two reasons to do this. One is to allow the underclassmen more time to work and learn, and the second is to have a drive train design ready for next year, so we can start building the real thing right away, and then use the prototype for building a practice bot(something we’ve never had the manpower to do).

Finally, we have to get started early this year on getting funding. We were extremely fortunate last year to have the support we did, so I think we have to get started early this year.

sleep, sleep, and sleep. :smiley:

something that will be lost soon enough- for various reasons…; )

Our team is brushing up on our knowledge of arms (last one we built was in 05) by building two small robots that can be used later for demos. We are also getting new sponsors and reworking our website, and planning to expand our autonomous abilities with sensors. Around the time of the Rah-Cha-Cha Ruckus we’ll start training the new members in their subteams.

sleep and work for gas money during the build season :frowning:

that just about sums up our entire team

Both of the teams that I mentor - 190 and 228 - are year-round teams; however since I am primarily involved with 228 during the summer months, I’ll keep my comments to their activities.

Team 228 meets at least once a week during the entire year (although a lot more during the build season ;)) for normal team meetings. We also have fun team events at least once per month, like a team barbeque, everyone going to see Wall-E, or mini golf and bowling tournaments. Outside of the FRC build and competition season, we attend at least three other FRC offseason competitions; this year it will be Beantown Blitz, BattleCry@WPI, Bash at the Beach and hopefully River Rage.

This season we have also been exceptionally busy fundraising (so far, selling pulled pork and our can and bottle drive) and working out a sound business strategy, as well as incorporating as an official 501©3 non-profit organization to make recruiting sponsors easier (as opposed to using the school district’s tax exempt status). Once we get all the final work done and receive our tax exempt status, we will begin an aggressive sponsorship recruitment campaign, as well as looking (and writing proposals) for local non-profit grants to help fund large capital improvements to our team, such as TIG welder or a CNC milling machine and CAM software.

Another thing keeping us busy for the past few seasons has been a lot of small to medium size capital improvements to our team and our workshop. Last year we repainted our machine shop to match team colors (before and after), and this year we’ve been adding tons of new storage space, cleaning out and resorting all our stuff, taking inventories of our raw materials/hardware and purchasing or seeking donations of more, rebuilding our robot cart, keeping our new vinyl cutter constantly busy, building a mobile cart for our sheet metal bend/brake/roller with this 3030 80/20 extrusion that was donated to us years ago by Bristol-Myers Squibb, designing and building a powder coating oven, teaching the students SolidWorks, prototyping ideas for a new modular chassis, all while taking the time to have huge team water balloon fights after meetings on particularly hot or humid evenings.

But FRC is not our only annual competition; in the fall months, we used to be involved with FVC/FTC as well as Savage Soccer, although this year it will most likely be IFI Vex Competition and Savage Soccer. (We’ve invested too much money in Vex to move to another platform). In addition, we also like to participate in local parades and community events, such as a local Autism Walk (with our robot of course!).

Yeah, in other words we are busy. :wink:

So this year was our rookie season but we are in the process of building a swerve drive system. We are planning to possibly host a small pre-season competition event. We are also going to get the entire build team OSHA certified. We hope to participate in the beta for the new control system. People are also doing programming work. We are working on business plans, and are seeking sponsors. We will do something (we don’t know what yet) to get new students involved once school starts. :smiley:

Train drivers, sleep, work, some of us play paintball, R and D, hopefully programming practice and maybe even get the robots ready for some offseasons. Ohh yeah we go to the beach every once in awhile since we live in Florida, also the Techtigers love to visit out FIRST friends around the state.

Since our school starts pretty early we try to get on the recruitment bandwagon asap for the next year (:

Previously OCCRA (Oakland County Competitive Robotics Association) has been participated in which we found was a great for teaching the new members really how FIRST will feel like.

Also offseasons (Kettering, IRI, ARC, MARC) are participated in (: