Monday, November 29, 2010
A couple years back I put together this video to provide tips on forming polycarbonate material for use on an FTC robot. I was recently reminded that this was still being used by teams.
If you are looking for some fairly easy how-to info on forming polycarbonate check it out here.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
You'll notice to the right is a poll question we'd like your feedback on. In addition to gearing up for the season we are also planning next year.
The photo here is an interesting adaptation of the Get Over It cliff. Look close and you'll see a hole cut into the back side. A camera was mounted there and run to one of the video screens. It provided a unique view to the audience. Another Michael Coleman advance in Florida!
Friday, November 26, 2010
The end game in "Get Over It!" is turning out to be quite the crowd pleaser. Balancing in the game requires teamwork if you hope to get more than one robot balanced - and it get's crowded up there.
We've heard that there have been some events where all four of an Alliance's elements (two bots and two scoring caddies) have been balanced. This shot was from the Pennsylvania Qualifier last weekend. Pretty good. Can't wait to see what happens as we move into Championship tourneys.
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Just this week NASA announced that FIRST was awarded a generous 5 year grant! NASA has been a great supporter of FIRST Robotics Competition over the years. The 5 year grant further cements this relationship.
More important to the FTC world, NASA has committed significant funding to help the FTC program as part of the 5 year grant!
The funding will impact FTC starting next season - more details to follow.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Just like any sport you gotta know the rules if you expect to succeed.
FIRST teams always demonstrate Gracious Professionalism but that does not mean there can't be honest disagreements - they key is knowing what you're talking about...
The responsibility for making calls on the field is the referee's. FIRST referees have the unique challenge of calling a new game each year - as opposed to developing expertise in a game that stays the same. By-and-large they do a great job.
Part of the reason for this is that they are trained. Part of the training is taking an on-line certification test. They are not infallible, but they've done their homework.
If you are competing in FTC do yourself a favor, read the rules!
The game animation is a good overview but the details are much more involved that what can be covered in a 5 minute video. There is a simple link on this page (just look to the right) with a direct link to the game rules. Check them out, you'll be happy you did.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
One thing I've never commented on this blog is scouting. We talk about it a bit in the documentation and there is a bit of buzz out there about it. I would bet that newer teams learn about scouting in "real time."
This is a shot looking over the shoulder of Exploding Bacon's scouting data. They use MiniTab as a tool to analyze team performance of each team competing including points scored by individual robots (as opposed to Alliance total score).
This date is reviewed in aggregate and over time to objectively determine performance. Impressive way to pick your Alliance Partners - and very effective.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Carnegie Mellon University has posted the whole ROBOTC for TETRIX and MINDSTORMS curriculum for FTC teams only! http://www.cmuroboticsacademy.com/solt/lessons/trctetrix/content/index.php
And… their most recent webinar is on Continuous Rotation Servos http://www.education.rec.ri.cmu.edu/fire/competitions/ftc/#webinars
Monday, November 1, 2010
Today is the day for newly formed teams from either FLL, FTC, or FRC to register and take advantage of discounts on registration. Any new team formed by a current/past FLL member, a current FTC team, or a current/past FRC team is eligible for some big discounts on FTC registration, TETRIX kits, and future FRC registration.
There are limits to how many of these grants are available to get moving!