Adults carrying/transporting bots

Hey All-this may be a very petty question but I wanted to get some thoughts on adults that carry the bots around the pits, to the cueing area, and to the field. While I dont see this as creating a “competitive advantage” for teams, it’s something that just gets under my and my teams’ skin. Is this a big deal or not? Part of me says no but the other part says “if adults cant trust the kids to carry it, could they trust them to build it” or a variety of other judgemental-esq thoughts. We saw this at Worlds a lot last year and it really frustrated our kids. We’ve even seen this at some local VRC events where the adults will physically bring the bots to the field. I just have an inherent problem with that. While no official rule prohibits this, I’d like to get input whether this is petty or something that may irritate others? One team member said “if their bot is so large and they cant carry it, get a cart”. I chuckled a bit. Maybe the grinch is coming out of us :slight_smile:

Thanks for the input and Happy Holidays!

I’d say it depends on the age of the kids, how long they’ve competed, etc. Take the following example:

In my region we have kids as young as 1st grade doing IQ. Am I (an EP) going to fault their volunteer parent mentors who are in their first competition ever carrying the kid’s robot out of the pit area and helping their teams learn the ropes? Absolutely not, in fact I am going to do my best to encourage their growth in robotics - most teams stop this sort of thing as their understanding of the VEX IQ Challenge grows.

VRC I’ve never seen this and wouldn’t expect to but the same applies as above.

I have seen a lot of teams with larger robots use carts at worlds and think it’s a great idea.

Try to have some fun and not be too competitive. Leave it to EPs to find judges/refs that do their jobs and keep an eye on over-mentoring. Focus on the example your team sets to other teams. I’ll also share with you our local EP food for thought we share with all teams that we are involved with or that attend our events:

It is Excellent to win… It is shameful to win at all costs.

To the point of “trust to carry it”, I’d say sometimes it’s not about trusting your team but the others. When there is a line, there is an inherent danger to the robot that the student may not comprehend - I have seen kids stumbling over someone else’s robot few times, especially in the slow inspection lines. Transport box makes a robot much safer.
That being said, I try to avoid handling the robot, but I often carry a spare battery in my pocket. Rule number 3 is run with a fresh battery, but when they remember in the queuing area, I don’t want them to run to the pit for a fresh one. To avoid breaking someone else’s robot :wink:

@nenik - definitely agree with your thoughts. I was more thinking the parents holding/transporting when the kids are goofing around :slight_smile:

Great advice! I will share that with our judges as well.

The issue of “who carries the robot” is one that has not occurred to me in 13 years of competition robotics. I guess I just don’t care…

In a crowded venue, I’d rather have adults carrying robots than try to manage 40 carts into and out of the competition area.

I know exactly what you’re saying. I have the same thoughts.

In most cases, I just smile knowing our students are better builders than the other team’s adults.

I’ve seen adults who don’t let the kids even touch the robot. (put it on the field, and pick it up) I’ve seen adults building and programming robots at competitions, without kids even present, much less involved. I’ve seen robots autonomously do something good, which the kids didn’t expect, but clearly the adults expected.

I like giving the kids the responsibility of caring for the robot, and making sure it arrives safely at the field.

I side with Rick, I don’t care. But, before you flip out and rush to the event partner and have my team DQed for me carrying the robot, ask why. I think the over sensitivity in what parents / mentors do has hit a new high ( or a new low). I celebrated 10 years of being a mentor, I seldom do things that would go against my goal of inspiring roboteers.

I coach middle school students. I put full responsibility on my students for carrying their robots and keeping track of when they have to be in line for a team-work match. One seventh grade team has dropped their robot to the floor three times so far this season: twice in practice and once at a tournament. I expect them to pick up the pieces and put it back together. I will help with finding replacement parts when a beam snaps or give support but the kids know it is their robot. At the last tournament, the robot dropped four feet from a stage to hard floor. They were arguing about something, but when the robot hit the floor the team was instantly working together to rush the parts back to the pit for repairs. They made their next team-work match. It puts a little bit of drama into a tournament when things break but kids rise to the occasion.

We let the kids handle the robots. However if there were circumstances that none of the kids can help out, then we help carry it. We even let the kids take turns even if it is not the driver. We treat it as another task and the kids actually enjoy it.

We did see instances where adult was controlling and we even told them to let the kids handle it. They “preferred” to carry it. So I guess it is up to the team mentality.