worst experience

whats you worst experience at a first competition?

i’ll start.

my teams worst experience with first was having our robot controler break right before a match in 1999, luckily first stepped in, and gave us a new controler.:cool:

Wow my experience is a lot like yours…

Our team is headed out for a match on Einstein last year (its a horribly long and crowed walk usually) and for the whole night before we had been messing with all the ways to control other peoples robots, disable and break our own so we could just go play at quest all day ect ect… so we decided to tether up just to make sure its all working, and the OI is completely dead, we all think its a big prank pulled by our programmer so were all laughing, but it wasnt and our match was the next one up. So the rest of the drivers hitail it out to the field and i find my dad steal his wallet and take of running for the innovation first table, i just handed them like 3 credit cards and said i would be right back after the match, it was quite a wild time, and a little more stress than i needed at the moment, we don’t let our programmer screw with us to much anymore :), or at least we try and keep him from giving us heart attacks.


i try not to hink about things like this…

Well two years ago we were a rookie team and we had no sponsor, which means we had very little money…we deccided we were going to be a ball collection bot, which was a great idea(intheory)…we got to the end and we had a scissor lift box (wooden)…on top of the bot(which works right…well not exactly we had no way of making it go up…someone yelled out…“lets use tape measures”…and that was that…we used tape measures to control the box…

The actual worst experience is when our box didnt want to work at the Philadelphia alliance…it wasnt a complete didsaster though…we did learn a lot…it was just funny how we did it…and the box worked sometimes…needless to say i hate scissor lifts and tape measures

Well, my worst experience was actucally from this year. At the CR. I was driver, and I (finnaly) was having a good match, when-POOF-our robot controller goes all in stand-by mode. I brought the robot back so our human players can load up, and than it went dead. I was so mad, I almost broke our joysticks, our mentor had to remind me to stop :o. I was very, very mad after that…

Here’s mine…

This is like 2 days before the bot had to be shipped, I was working on the bot in a garage…Started at about 9am that day - this is a saturday (as if that matters) - and a team in our area was holding a ‘practice’ at their school…They had the carpet, the goals, and controller stuff and everything…was really good…Cept there were no 7 foot walls…just a table…but the balls werent really any issue, just testing the robot.

Anyway, my job from 9am to 2pm (when the practice was) was to get about 15 pounds off of the bot. So, I got my little cardboard box to collect all my weight reductions…So I was working away, taking off extruded alminum here and there, cutting things smaller, replacing steel with aluminium…Got 15 pounds off, so we were good to go. Time to throw the bot into the car and head over to the school for the games.

So, I get the the school (note I am the ONLY person from school there)…There are like 6 teams there from the Toronto area, we’re all showing our bots off and weighing them with a majical triple beam balance.

So, weigh the thing…127lbs…Good stuff.

Then it’s time to set up the bot for the match…All is going well, I’m in a good mood…The match starts, I run out - or at least the bot does - and grabs a goal like its suppose to…But then it DIES COMPLETELY!!! i freak out lol

Then another team comes out and tries to grab the goal from my dead bot…They couldnt…

So then like all 4 bots on the field come to the goal I’m stuck on…in all their fighting for it the whole set of things goes into a wall. Guess what bot was between the wall and the goal? Yep, mine.

So now the match is over…I go over to my bot to see what happened…

  1. I notice a few things… it died cause the connector for the ground on the battery came off.
  2. Our ‘Claw’ (look in the robots 2002 there are pics of it…its our goal grabber) was completely screwed up. One of them had a huge dent in it, the other one had somehow been pushing all the way back into the robot - this isn’t possible. Then I notice this happened cause the pnumatic sylinder it was on was broken (how do u break those things?) and one of its supports on bot had been majorly moved out of place.
  3. The secondary drive on the bot (we have our outer wheel drive, and then the inner one on drill motors for extra pulling pushing power)…So the drill ones, the chains on both of them had popped off…I discovered later this was because the drive shaft the wheels were on MOVED.

So, get the bot, run out of the school, floor it back to the garage i was working in and time to get fixing it…

A couple friends of mine who also saw all the damge the bot took came to help as well…Fraser (from University of Toronto) and Ian (who was a mentor for team 188) came back…

I also gave our coach/mentor a call…Figure he should be up-to-date with what happened…

He comes over as well to help out as well (he lives like an hour away)…

Se we were all there till about 10…then Fraser left…me, ian, and robb were there working till 3am…Got everything fixed…Improved some stuff so that non of these things would happen again…And they never did :slight_smile:

So…That was my worst, as well as probably best, building experence…

Then we get to the compettion and one of our drill motot transmission keeps gridning itself all to heck…Long story short we kinda fixed it…But not entirely…It still gridnded from time to time, but it worked well enough.

If you want to see pics of our bot, go here:


You can hit next two times after that pic to see 2 other pics of our bot…

Now, thats quite enough for this post…lol

Yeah I guess I should also mention having out bot stolen, yes that’s right, stolen, everything was gone except for a few valves and the yellow soccer ball, pretty miserable but we pulled it off and just worked like mad for 10 days, I think that’s my new worst experience.



How does that happen??

…and then who would steal one? Have you guys made enimies of other teams in your area?


I don’t know the details (wasn’t on the team yet) but, a few years ago we were competing @ JnJ and one round our robot burst into flames. from that point on the judges made a point to carry fire extingushers out for the rest of our matches so it couldn’t happen again

To understand my worst experience you have know what happened the year before. My first year on the team our robot barely worked at all, we finished like 31 out of 33 at UTC and in the bottom 20 at nationals, that was 2000. But it was one of the most fun years ever.

Then the next year we had a great bot we seeded our way into the finals at UTC getting paired with an all star alliance it was in order of selection
157, 151, 131, 47, 176. We knew we had a real shot at doing good. But then in the first round our robot Low Rider just died on the bridge, the allinace all clocked out with and got like 50 points from the round. After the match we did a functionallity check on the bot, and couldn’t find anything wrong, we eventually changed out the radio cable and were back for the next match, where we worked but still lost. It was the worst feeling in the world knowing we’d let our alliance down. The robot never did it again.
It was a wierd fluke.

Thankfully we were in the finals this year and the curse was broken our robot did exactly what it was supposed to do. Guess we all have our share of bad luck.

Chris Team 151
The wilcards
Quaterfinalist UTC 02

worst experience in general from FIRST definitly has to be when I was attacked / nearly raped. but competition related it’s really nothing big, just met a few annoying people here and there and almost got kicked out of Epcot for umm… using too many stickers :slight_smile:

Team 616’s worst experience was last year when we were ranked first, the next day…the unthinkable happens, we get NORWALK, and our human player gets sick. In between matches, our robot drivers would go in the bathroom and…yeah it was bad. I think that getting Norwalk prevented us from winning. We had to put people who weren’t as experienced as others to play in the game. But, we got on TV for getting sick though. :rolleyes: We ended up getting second place, which is not bad, but we could have won! Each year, our robot gets better. The first year we entered the competition, we were ranked in last place. The next year, we were middle way and the next and next. But last year, our robot was flawless and we knew we were going to win. :frowning:

Am I allowed to post something out of FIRST robotics? (I’m somewhat new, so I don’t know otherwise.) Aside from coming to a competition with a half-built and untested robot, I think the worst experience took place last year. During one of the elimination rounds nearing the end, our robot didn’t shut off in time. We were disqualified, even though we would have defeated our opponent otherwise. Somehow the prioritized “shut off in 90 seconds” command was overridden. I suppose it sounds silly now, but…we were really disappointed then… Ah well, I guess it’s another thing to put on the “Things essential to-do” list.

My worst experience was the day last season that I realized my (almost) rookie team wasn’t going to be able to get the money for a registration fee. Luckily I had my 226 buddies around to cheer me up. And it worked out in our favor with all of that extra time to prepare for this season. We visited a few veteran teams during their build, and we went to a few regionals, and (mostly) build a practice bot (we ran out of stuff before we finished it). Plus we had time to find more students and sponsors and mentors. So I guess it wasn’t bad. It worked out very well. It was just a little depressing at the time.

Nice thread idea. =D
My worst experience at a competition was in the '03 season, when I was a rookie. And I was also the baby. Not good. One particular guy gave me a rough time, and he bothered me to the point of insanity that I had to leave. I wasn’t doing too well that day. It just bothered me.
Some experiences also were leaving friends behind that I didn’t wanna say goodbye to. I miss a ton of people I hardly talk to anymore in FIRST. It’s sad. =(

I spent my junior year of college in Germany, and had a chance to visit a sausage factory. Well, I found out why they say you never want to find out how laws and sausa… Oh wait. You said worst, not wurst. :rolleyes:

OK last year at VCU my team was doing ok, we were in the top 30ish, in the few minuets before our last match our programing team wanted to work out the last few bugs in our line tracking. The first run the robot did ok, so they made some changes, second run the robot ran itself in to the wall hard, and broke the front caster in half. We get back to the pits we didn’t have a replacement, we went to just about every team couldn’t find one. We sit out our final match. Then alliance pairings comes, team 345 picks us to be there alliance but we had to decline. It just wouldn’t be fair to team 345 and their other partner.

Not to mention all but 4 people on our team were sick, so we packed up and went home early. Bad experience i don’t think you can get much worse than that.