What purpose are you building your robot for?

This question is directed to high school students, engineers, teachers, and whomever else.

I ask this because today, as we were discussing whether or not we wanted to add a particular feature on the robot, we suddenly pondered on whether we were building it to WIN, to WORK, to LEARN, or whatever else.

-anton

now that odd teams(this year) have to win a regional to go to nationals it is alot more important to win than in years past. It used not matter how we did but everybody wants to go to nationals. so winning became important

I’d have to say, the way the “just to get it to work” option sounds, it has a bad conitation.

I’m that first vote for it because really, it encompasses teaching the high schoolers and learning as much as I can.

Even though this is my third year in here, and I know it sounds corny I still think it’s amazing what we (the particapants) get to do. I mean, having a hand in designing and building and moving, working robot when you’re 14 or 15 is amazing. Just getting the thing to work when and I don’t know about other people’s teams the high schoolers have such a big part in everything.

I’m just happy to have had the chance to do this. I know a lot of people who are only a few years older then me and never got a chance to do any of this and would have loved to have a chance at it.

Sure, nationals would be great, but just to get it working well is great.

I’m the second vote for “just to get it to work”. We are a second year team. I think “just getting it to work” (for us) implies the other choices (except winning maybe). But I don’t think the goal of winning is fair to the kids because they are attempting something that is almost utterly new to them but other teams often have huge resources (numbers, money, years) and competing against them is not realistic.

I had the most eye opening experience with the kids last year in “just getting it to work” when we brought the machine out for a round and another team asked us “can you move?” and the team captain of that round answered “sure! no problem!” and I had just finished a re-wire and had no idea if it would move or catch fire. And darn if that machine didn’t work just fine. I have no idea what our score was that round but we didn’t care. The team was elated that in fact it had worked! I think they accomplished all your choices (except win) by “just getting it to work”.

*Originally posted by Benji *
**now that odd teams(this year) have to win a regional to go to nationals it is alot more important to win than in years past. It used not matter how we did but everybody wants to go to nationals. so winning became important **

Yes, winning, to our team, has definatly taken a step up. In years past, our team mainly focused on learning a lot and having fun, regardless of how our robot did. If the team was having fun, the robot would do well and that was all we had to worry about. Chairman’s was the most important thing to try to win because that was what FIRST was about. It wasn’t about having the best robot, or about taking first place in the competition. It was about learning. Remember what FIRST stands for? “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” Not “For whoever can build the best robot and kick everyone else’s tail”. So I guess our robot is being built to win this year. We are still trying to win Chariman’s, and that will always be the most prestegious award to win, but winning has definatly moved up on our list of things we have to do.

  • Katie

Going along with FIRSTAE2004, unfortunately the Chairman’s award is probably one of the most under-rated awards many a lot of members.

I’m in charge of our team’s and I have high hopes for it and want to do more then I probably can do. The biggest problem is that I’ve had to beg students to help with it. The “making a robot to win the competition” part of it has taken over any student that I thought would have wanted to help me.

The other problem that I worry about is that I think that the award is becoming “an award to win to go to nationals” not the spirit it’s meant to be.

Oh well, you win some you lose some.

*Originally posted by 401Mentor *
The other problem that I worry about is that I think that the award is becoming “an award to win to go to nationals” not the spirit it’s meant to be.

I agree. It used to be that if you won first place that was cool and all, but if you won Chairman’s at nationals… well, taking first place was nothing compared to winning Chairman’s. I just hope that any team trying to win the award will see it as more than “just another way to nationals”.

  • Katie

This year our robot, and chairman’s award are both being done to fullfill on idea that a recent graduate had.
It was so outside the box that everyone was just taken aback in awe as to what the possibilities and limitations would become.

Now I CAN NOT and WILL NOT divulge this idea and or design information to anyone not on my team and expect everyone on my team to do the same!

All I will say is that if it works, which I have the most faith in my team that it will work; it will be the first time it has been done in the FIRST world as far as I know!

Hopefully we can pull it off legally while still staying within our robot building capabilities!!!

And maybe also win an award or two along the way, which would be very cool for an odd number team to do this year !!

See you all later! (Maybe)
:wink:

If you are talking about a walking robot…u might not be the only one…

SOmething to think about…

*Originally posted by ggoldman *
**If you are talking about a walking robot…u might not be the only one…

SOmething to think about… **

NOPE!

And in the future I will not be playing 20 questions concerning this issue! sorry!

But on the walking robot issue I believe I saw Gompei and the HERD that had a walking spider type “Spider Goat” Walking Bot so no that’s not it!

** ANYways, back to why you’re building it…**

this kinda stuff is fun… I LOVE robotics! and what a perfect time to apply my knowledge and gain a whole lot more than this! To be honest, I KNOW that we wont win the Nats, rather we are not even going to them cause we dont have any $. Its alright though… like its still fun to build

i would rather not go to nationals if it means that i have to think of winning as something important. my main reason for being in this is to learn. last year (my rookie season) seeing the robot run for the first time in the competetion was a feeling that i will never forget it made me feel good about myself and pround of something i had helped with. we did not to very well at all last year but that did not matter to me. i was happy just to see the thing move. when i found out about nationals it made me sick i couldnt believe FIRST had done that. this program has given me a goal in my life and i think because of that i have got the real point of what this is about. i will never go into a season hoping to win. yeah it would be an added plus. but it will never be my main goal or even one of my goals. like i said before i would rather give up nationals then change the way our team works just to build the kick butt robot.

Well, this is a good thread. I’m glad to hear that people out there feel the same as I do. I hear so much of the winning crap that it makes me want to find a new program.

At least, I meant that I’m glad the people who took the time to respond feel the same way. It’s sad to see that most people who voted voted to win…

One of the engineers on my team frequently likes to remind us that “this is not a competition.” Now, I tend disagree with that statement. First off, nothing says competition more than one team against another. Machine on machine. Team on team. However, FIRST isn’t just about the competition the media is interested in. It’s a competition against yourself. Can I help build this robot or not? Can I create a design that can play this game the best? Can I make this robot work? That’s what FIRST is about. I’m sure everyone has been to a competition where one robot has broken down during a match – heck, I’m sure that it has happened to everyone reading these postings. If a team is dissabled, there is always someone from another team rushing over to the disabled robot’s pit area wanting to help. If it were a football game (Whatever that is ;)), and a member of team A was injured, you won’t see team B rushing over to help put team A’s player. It is really a beautiful thing to see so many people working together. That is why I am such an avid FIRST participant. You won’t see any of this ‘Gracious Professionalism’ in any other sport. Especialy Robot Wars or BattleBots.