What to work on for Worlds as a rookie team?

My team recently qualified for the World Championships via the Rookie All-Star award at the Milwaukee Regional. Just wondering what areas to improve on to be more marketable for a Rookie All-Star Award at Worlds.

Truth is, it’s pretty dang hard to be picked at worlds as a rookie. Bin grabbers will be useful, but focus on just getting them as fast as possible. If you can only get 1 bin faster than most bots, just do one. Making sure that you’re diverse in the ability to do landfill or human player is very important. Just being a capper may win a regional, but you will probably need tote manipulation in order to get into division elims. Best of luck to you and your team.

Work on having fun!

That all being said, also work on learning why some of the teams keep on coming back. If you get a chance, talk to all of the HoF teams, the big name teams, and even just get to know your pit neighbors very well. They’re all more than willing to share what they know and help you grow as a team. Take advantage of the fat that this year, 600 of the best teams will all be crammed into one building, and each team has their own special advice they want to pass on to someone.

Have Fun! I would also say being consistent is key. You should do what you do every match and do it well. A robot that can consistently do their goal whether from landfill or feeder is more valuable than a team that can do a little bit more and fails half of the time.

Just some additional information our robot is currently a bin grabber that can stack 4 high and manipulate totes and bins due to our claw having the dimensions to perfectly fit around a bin. And a side note our team is having fun and very excited for our opportunity of being able to go to St. Louis this year. If any Wisconsin Regional teams are reading this post thank you for all the help and support we received at Milwaukee!

Congrats on the RAS! You’re going to have an amazing time in St. Louis - it takes effort not to :slight_smile:

Robot-wise, I’d work on becoming as consistent as possible. It seems like it would be difficult to add game-changing functionality (though step RC grabbing would be worth considering), so it’s in your best interest to play the game really solidly within your current design.

As far as marketing your team for Rookie All-Star, you’ll want to be careful. Judges and other teams can often see when a team is doing things purely for the award, not because they’re the right thing to do, so be wary of trying too hard. That being said, you can dramatically increase your chances by having dedicated spokespeople to talk to judges, and something to give the judges to remember you with. If you can make a good first impression with a solid pair or trio of spokespeople, the judges will like you, and if you give them a brochure or something along those lines, they’ll remember you way better. This goes for pretty much any award, but it’s something that a lot of rookie teams forget, so it’ll give you a better shot at RAS.

Good luck!

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Last year our team won the Rookie All Star Award at the Michigan State Championship.
Before St. Louis, we updated all of our documentation and media, but we didn’t add or change anything major. We also changed a few things with our robot, but again, nothing major. If your goal is to win a specific award, aim your media at that award. Consider contacting the teams who won it last year in their division.
We were not picked for eliminations in St. Louis, though I expect this year will be different with fewer teams in each sub-division, so you may want to add and RC grabber or a good auton if possible.
I would set two goals, learn everything you possibly can from successful teams, and have as much fun as is possible. Your performance there may be less important to you, as it isn’t a qualifier.
I also suggest you attend RoboProm, it was a blast last year.

Congratulations! Attending Worlds as a rookie is a wonderful experience. Try to soak up whatever you can- there’s a lot of very experienced teams there, many of which are more than happy to give advice.

If you’d like to be competitive for Rookie All-Star:

I’ll second this. 4488 won Rookie All-Star on Curie a few years ago, and we do something similar. More specifically, making sure that there is at least one student in the pit that is comfortable holding in-depth conversations about your outreach, general structure, and any technical stuff (it doesn’t all have to be the same student) is helpful; as judges start asking more specific questions, you can then refer them to your student experts on the topic. This allows for clear communication of everything that makes your team great.

Beyond that, Good Luck, and enjoy championships!

make yourself sellable, or fill a niche: if you can do something that an alliance needs, then you’re pickable; be able to cap high heights, or make lots of tote stacks, have the best Human Player at the competition, have a great auto (step container, 3 tote, etc), be able to upright downed containers, tether two ramps to your robot… keep in mind that you just have to be the 24th best robot to get picked if everyone’s done their scouting correctly.

more important than that though is to just have fun; it’s hard for the best of us to make it to Worlds, let alone getting picked for alliance selections. just getting to go is so frikin awesome, in the end getting picked doesnt matter (although it is cool)

Network, networking, and working on networking should work.

Congrats on the Rookie All-Star award, I am not the most experienced when it comes to division playoffs (my team has had a dry run over the past few years), but this would be my advice. First off (as stated above) be consistent, if there is one thing that I have learned with scouting, is that we would rather have a robot that does one or two things the same way every time than a robot that tries to do everything a different way every match. Second, If you can find someway to make your bot truly unique you may be looked at for just that. If you have something that turns out to be useful and no other (or very few) team(s) has that mechanism, strategy, etc. you boost yourself in picklists by being unique. I would advise against changing your robot significantly to accomplish these things unless you know for a fact that it will improve things significantly, add to ease of use, etc. It’s better for your drive team to have the experience with the current bot then completely change it around on them, this all ties back to consistency. Do your thing and do it well, teams will notice.
Good luck in St. Louis,

I think that the OP was asking about getting ready to do another run at RAS, not getting picked for playoffs. If that’s the case, all of the advice above applies - make sure that you have a person or people that can articulate various aspects of your team - the business side, the community involvement side, AND the technical side.

Notice that I put technical last. Not being a judge but having read the description for the award, I think that technical merits are the least important for RAS. They want to hear a story about how your team is engaging the community, how your team got sponsorships, what’s the business plan for the team, things like that. To me, robot performance is secondary in winning RAS (not saying that it doesn’t matter at all, but it’s a secondary consideration to the others).

Good luck in St. Louis, both on the field and off! I’m a scorer on a field (won’t know which one til I get there, I guess…), so perhaps I’ll get to see you compete!

The other advice on the rest of the thread is great, these people know what they’re talking about!

My personal advice for your team would be to become really good friends with other teams at Worlds. Even though this may not help you this year for RAS or for competition, team connections are really helpful, especially for rookie teams that want to come to St. Louis again (which I’m guessing you probably want to). Not only will you be able to get helpful advice from other veteran teams (or even other rookie teams), but you may be able to build some long-distance friendships and meet some teams that you wouldn’t know existed otherwise.

Went for the first time last year: enjoy and learn from all the teams you meet.

What to work on? Fundraising to pay for the trip.

The top teams will be stackers that can load from the Chute or the landfill. My guess is that the winning alliance will have one stacker that loads from the Chute, and one stacker that loads from the landfill. That’s the only way to get 6 or more stacks with an RC on top.

And that’s the key: RC on top. So, they will need a 3rd robot that can get the RC’s from the Step.

So, if you can modify your robot to get RC’s off the step (without messing up the landfill), and if your robot can get rid of pesky litter, then you might have a chance.