Discussion, Reflection, and more Discussions

Week 1 of build season

With the “non standard” way Wave approaches kickoff we might also approach other parts of the build differently.  This post is aimed at a shallow dive in how our 1st week meetings go and how we arrive at decisions on what the robot will look like.

Since we start prototyping after lunch at kickoff, we end up with a lot of group discussions that happen around the prototypes and even while prototypes are being designed. Wave doesn’t have a lot of mentors so prototype groups are usually all students while the 2-3 mentors that are at each meeting float around and answer questions.

Tuesday’s meeting turned into a solid 3 hour discussion between a rotating group (we were still building prototypes afterall) of people but always had a core of the 2 main build/design mentors in it. The core of this discussion was tall vs short robot architype. The 2 mentors differed in their opinion on which was the best route to take . While that was the focus of the discussion it would be interspersed with long moments of:

Match flow analysis: what types of robots are there in this game and where do they like to play? Where are power cells going to end up with these types of robots?

Auto strategies:

Our main two autos will look like the following

5 ball auto: steal 2 balls from the other alliances trench then drive over to the goal and score 5:

6 ball auto: shoot your starting 3 then get the 3 in your trench

Potential other strategies are to score your starting 3 and get the 2 or 3 power cells that are on the rendezvous zone. These will be stretch goals for Wave this year.

Also discussed other things that popped into the heads of the people in the group at the time as it related to it.

A great thing that came out of this conversation was a design that nobody was thinking about. Whether we go with design is yet to be determined, but we believe that it has the potential to be really effective at keeping the “positive feedback loop” going.

Thursday’s meeting started very much the way Tuesday went. More discussion and more prototyping. A big bulk of the discussion on Thursday was focused on whether lifting another robot while hanging was worth the added complexity to the robot and if we went that route how much would it take away from the rest of the robot in terms of fine tuning it. We are signed up for Northern Lights regional which is a week 2 event and we’d like to have as much time for programming to fine tune autos, shooting, vision, etc as well as giving as much time to the drive team to practice.

No decision has been made yet on whether we will lift another robot yet, but our deadline for that is the end of the day this Saturday.

We really like reading other teams blogs and FIRST is all about learning from others and improving upon it. I don’t think we can’t improve upon this idea but I really like Spectrums segment they’ve been doing in their blog on teams/robots that inspired them that day.

So teams/robots that inspired us this first week are

118: 2012 shooter indexer and turret  and 2017 hopper floor and turret
125: 2017 intake
341: 2012 shooter and intake
3476: 2019 turret and intake