Monday, December 19, 2011

Some thoughts after last year's FLL season


The first thing is to test to see if your robot goes straight. Everything else follows.

Second - figure out how to make a consistent 90 degree turn and share it with the group.

Stop the insanity! If you don't start at the exact same place every time, don't expect the results to be the same.

First things to check before running a mission. Is the battery fully charged? Have you checked the robot to see if its sturdy, the wheels are aligned, everything is plugged in, the mat is flat, the playing field is set up?

Program one step at a time, don't change more than one thing at a time.

Don't “fix” things that are working just because it doesn’t work once.

Don’t be a "robot hog". Only the person who will be running the mission at the competition should be lining up the robot and pushing the button.

Keep your programs organized and don’t forget to save them with a backup.
Don't delete anything. Save it as a different name.

If you want to "improve" an attachment or program - Make a copy of it. The proof is in the pudding - have a contest to see which one is better.

Once an attachment is finished - put it in the vault (envelope) , so it doesn't get taken apart by accident.

Learn fast - find out if something is not going to work early so you can try something else.

Time is real. There is only a certain amount of time available and at some point you just have to go with what you have. The day of the competition is not the time to be making changes.
Respect the work of others. Don't come in after missing a meeting and start questioning the work of others. Don’t touch anyone else’s attachments or programs unless you have their permission.

Before making a change to the program. Run the mission a few times. Figure out if it really is a problem with the programming or something else.

Is the robot running/turning too fast? Too fast and the wheels slip.

Learn the difference between “braking” and “coasting”

Make and use a measuring device to measure rotation and speed up your programming time.

Use alignment jigs and the game board to your advantage to line up your robot.

Learn to use sensors and incorporate sensors into the robot’s design

Be willing to give up your ideas if the team has a better one. The goal is for the team to do well, not for your individual idea to be used. If you are convinced your idea will work better - prove it.

Think stupidly simple. Think about the quickest, easiest way to accomplish tasks. There are not points awarded for complexity.

Focus on the tasks you have been assigned. When you have mastered your missions then you can help others.

Learn from watching other teams but don’t copy them. How do you know what they are doing is any better than your ideas?

Get down to “points per second” analysis to judge which missions to complete.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

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