Hi everyone! We can’t wait to play this year’s FRC game, FIRST Power Up! We’re going to be blogging every other meeting or so with updates on our progress and ideas and we hope you follow along with us! Good luck!
At kickoff, we were super excited to learn about this year’s game. We attended kickoff at Auburn High School (thanks to team 3219 for hosting) and our members enjoyed the breakout sessions after the reveal, where we had the opportunity to brainstorm and design with members of many PNW teams. After our breakout sessions, we headed back to our own school to eat a yummy lunch and begin our first meeting of the season!
We started with an in-depth reading of the rules manual, going over key points that we thought were important and discussing potential strategies that teams might try. We loved looking at the AutoDesk model of the field, an awesome CAD model we used to familiarize ourself with the arena! We then went into brainstorming, where we started discussing ideas for we wanted our robot to do and mechanisms that would accomplish this.Our homework for the meeting was to read all 113 pages of the rules manual to make sure we knew the game well and could continue brainstorming.
Our next meeting was Monday the 8th. To start off, our lead build mentor Jim did a review powerpoint on drivetrains to refresh everyone’s memory and start thinking about the strategical advantages and disadvantages of each drivetrain. We discussed the importance of defense and how a stable robot that can’t be pushed around might be beneficial. We then took a quick break for dinner before jumping back into a point and strategy analysis of the game by team member Mike. This analyzed the importance of the scale versus switch and outlined some hypothetical game scenarios where we realized that to be competitive, it’s important to have both scale and switch capabilities. We also talked about the Vault game element and how the different power ups might be used, the idea of “hoarding” cubes before putting them in the Vault, and when the optimal time to use each might be. The final part of our meeting was smaller breakout sessions, where we split into groups of 3-4 with each group taking on a mechanism idea and making either a prototype or a pros/cons list. Each group presented to the whole team, allowing us to rule out some mechanism ideas and star others we thought were strong contenders.
Finishing up, we cleaned up and congratulated everyone on their hard work. We’re excited for our next meeting!