I saw this discussion earlier, and I thought it might be interesting to explore the other side of this - many teams are initially moving away from the Innovation Challenge for some of the reasons described in the below thread (not being “roboty” enough, open ended, tough to figure out a good starting point…)
The Robot in 3 Days team I’m a part of, Full Moon Robotics, put out a blog post yesterday about the challenge, exploring some ways teams can start to explore a problem area and pick a problem that is interesting and engaging for the team to try to solve.
For me, as a FIRST Alum, this is one of the more exciting challenges that FIRST has put out this year. The things I learned most from FIRST and took into my real life the most are not the weird technical details about how to code a robot with a swerve drive, or the best strategy to reduce cycle times - the most valuable thing I learned from FIRST was how to analyze a problem and create an innovative solution… and the most interesting problems my team had to solve weren’t robot related.
I think teams are overlooking an extremely exciting challenge here. Yes, it’s harder to get started, and much more open ended than the rest of the challenges, but I think teams tackling this challenge will be rewarded far more in the end, both in what they learned along the way and in the actual competition.