Countdown has started – 75 days to go!

I’m pretty excited. Mid July is my favorite time of the summer. We’ve reached the center point, days are getting shorter, starting to see signs that the school year is gearing up. (Plus this Saturday is Delaware City Day fireworks) Local school district sent out their summer news letters, teachers I work with are cramming summer picnics, birthday parties, watching the specials for teaching supplies.

Only 75 days to go to the start of Robot Season!!!

While schools open up around Labor Day Weekend, most programs don’t start full force until October. Libraries in the area will kick off in September for the new games, followed by schools the first week in October. It takes a few weeks to get students back in to the schedule, sort out bus line, and get fall sports underway. We start advertising for roboteers late September with first meetings scheduled the first week in October.

I’m super excited about this year. We have a big base of returning roboteers, so that gives us a huge base to build on. Last year we started off building a sample robot, “Stretch”. This year we will do what winning teams do, think of a strategy first. We will look at the game, the elements and work on our strategy to play. We’ll then work on designing robots that match the strategy. It’s best to build a robot that does one thing really well, vs a robot that does 4 things poorly.

Our four pillars are
– Mechanical Build, how does the robot move around the field and manipulate the game elements.
– Software programming, how does the software enhance the robot.
– Driver Skill and Practice. This is important, how well can the roboteers drive the robot.
– First and Finally is Strategy. How you play, what your robot needs to do come out of your strategy. In a later post we’ll look at strategies. It’s important that teams start this early and continue to re-examine that strategy across the season.

I’m pretty exited, I’ve been watching videos of the game, setting up spreadsheets to calculate max point, and looking at end game strategy. Lots of interesting things to adjust and poke at.

I’m also watching videos of robots under construction. Lots of good idea, lots of ideas that need refinement. Lots to think about for the next 75 days! What are you working on?