While I appreciate idea sharing and I will always support helping and teaching new teams, I think there is a fine line that we should not cross. I have several concerns with how some ideas were shared in the past season. First, anyone over the aged limit to participate are by definition considered an adult as per Game Manual. As such, anything that person shares must be done with the same discretion as any adult coach. Imagine how inappropriate it would be to watch a video of a 45 year old coach talking about his 24 hours build and then proceed to drive it. It iis perfectly ok for actual kids participating in the game to share their ideas or show off what they’ve accomplished but not someone who is clearly more advanced than the games was designed for. Of course, any older kid or adult would be better at solving it.
Last season, you were the first to post 274, 306 for LRT and LRS and virtually all milestones. This robbed good teams of the chance to be the first one while many other teams including top performing ones simply copied your robot and route without ever understanding how the solution was developed. The engineering process is really more important than the result. We are here to educate kids about robotics not just to provide kids with quick winning solution that they can easily copy. No adult or over aged person including myself should ever be driving and publishing solutions for kids.
The second concerning practice from last season is detail picture of robots that were freely given out. While trying to reverse engineering a competitors robot may not be an innovative as creating your own design, it is still a very though challenge and kids can learn a lot from it. But when they are provided with detailed close up pictures from all angles, they are no longer learning. They are simply copying it mindlessly in most cases. It is no different than building a Lego kit with some RC functions. They need to do very little if any experimenting or testing because this works out of the box to get high scores as per video. The same age rule also applies to build. No adult (anyone over the cut off age of VEX IQ) should build a robot and give it to a kid to copy. Designing, building a robot and developing an effective route strategy that can clear the field is a great challenge and a great reward for those who achieves that. The honour of the first person to clear the field should be left to kids actively participating in the game, not a coach, not an adult nor over aged kid. Just imagine you were competing this season and you were on the cusp of being the first to solve this year’s challenge but someone who is too old to compete beats you to the punch and publishes a video of their victory dance in clearing the field. I am bringing this up not as a criticism but a simple hope that things will be different this year so more kids can benefit from this great program. Based on what you and your brother have done, you must’ve learned a great deal from your mentors becaue you are so good. We should let other kids have that chance as well to learn and fumble on their own.