My team's chances/ best plan of action

So I’ve done vex since 7th grade middle school with IQ which was fun but my team didn’t win any awards. Then the next year with crossover we pretty much won every tournament we went to (including states) but didn’t go beyond that. Now as a rising junior, I want to take robotics as serious and as competitive as possible because the junior year would be the last year colleges see your achievements (by spring of the senior year you’ve already applied). However, our school’s robotics program is mediocre and the last two years we went to two competitions seeing the game field for the first time. For tower takeover, we have already started our robot but lack serious parts to finish. Additionally, even if we did finish our robot, our school won’t get V5s till… I don’t know when. We are located in western PA and we at least want to at least get to states next year. We have started our engineering notebook but I’m not sure if we can compete with top neighboring schools since they have sponsors/multiple teams/ and more resources in general and we don’t even have CAD to make drawings. I have done well only one year before but a lack of resources seriously limits me and my team’s abilities. One positive note is that our teacher already got a game field that will be set up in September :slight_smile:

I would like to ask for advice regarding the best plan of action and/or anything that could help my team make our goal. (ex building a skills bot, investing in parts, idk)
Any advice would be greatly appreciated by me and my teammates.

2 Likes

Hello, and welcome to the forums! First and foremost, look back on your previous years and reflect on what did well and continue and what didn’t and needs to be improved.

  • Perhaps your school or organization could receive a grant of some sort for materials or do fundraising for parts.
  • you don’t need CAD just take your time with your drawings, in my old notebook, everything except programs is hand done and judges in my state (sc) last year told me they really liked the hand done drawings.
  • take advantage of all your practice time
  • don’t be afraid of failure, trust me, my team went from literal rock bottom then to states in a matter of weeks because we took the time to reflect on what was bad and improved from there.
  • also, you could look to see if any old teams are selling parts for cheap
  • research other bots and strategies for the game that have already been done and see what is possible to do with your current resources and how that design could improve.
  • don’t stress, it will just make everything worse
  • see if there are nearby schools wanting to do scrimmages and help you out a little, they should understand your situation
  • for a skills bot, idk what design you are thinking but just remember colors don’t matter in skills, so towers are good to get because they will drastically increase your score
  • hopes this helps

EDIT: go to early competitions! Idk about your state, but in mine everyone is terrible at the start and that’s the best chance at getting to states. Then go to more competitions after you get your ticket to states for more practice under pressure and you can see the boys you’ll go against in states and any strategies they might use later.

5 Likes

What area are you in?
And also apply for sponsorships, my team lacks parts as well, we applied, and we found one pretty quickly! Just ask, you’ll be surprised what you get!

3 Likes

Thank you for your reply!

Our school I believe had the capital to purchase parts and the robotics teacher is willing to buy anything on our bucket list but the problem is he orders the parts in December, meaning we have just a couple weeks before our qualifiers.

I appreciate the input on hand drawings, so far what we have done is explain what and why we built/ designed something then we took a picture of the build.

I will definitely take advantage of the time we have since we started earlier than usual this year and to deal with stress/ failure, I’m thinking about going to competitions out of state earlier since the ones our school typically go to are in January.

However, what sucks is that there are only 3 competitions clustered in January/Feb that are eligible for qualifying us to western Pennslyvania states.

Thanks for the advice on finding old teams selling cheap parts and on finding scrimmages though!

2 Likes

We are in Western Pennslyvania. Where and how do I apply for sponsorships because although our school has budget, we dont get new parts till December.

Your very welcome! Never be afraid to ask if you have any other questions or concerns and I’m sure you’ll do great this season!

2 Likes

Our team sent out letters to companies and stores in the area.
It also helps if you are connected in some way to them

3 Likes

Also, like at my school, a lot of the parents of the team members are in techy stem fields and got sponsored that way and then one persons family works at a restaurant so for the competition we hosted we got food from there and they sponsored that event

3 Likes

Hmm, I have never thought of that… Ill definitely notify my team and look into it!

Ok… I know a pizza place that has worked with our school for events and such

1 Like

I can help with the CAD. You can get Inventor for free if you say you are a student. Just look up, “Inventor 2020 student license.” Since you are [most likely] a student, that shouldn’t be an issue.

4 Likes

Thanks I just signed up and got my product key!

Once you finish your bot, write an auton. Even if it doesn’t do much, any auton is useful. Also make sure you practice as much as humanly possible. You don’t need a cutting edge bot to do well in Vex. Take 7k for example. They won nationals and did well at worlds last season with a single catapult that loaded from the back of their robot. However, they were insanely good at driving and ended up dominating with it.

3 Likes

That is definitely encouraging. Do you know how they qualified to worlds? Our state championship only had 5 seats for worlds :confused:

1 Like

If you don’t get to worlds through state, go to nationals or just plan to go to both Incase you don’t qualify at the other. This will maximize your chances. To get a ticket to worlds, at nationals or states you need excellence award, design award, tournament champion, and I’m not sure if other states do it but tournament finalists and maybe even skills champion can get to worlds. Then at like my state, skills didn’t qualify for worlds but if a team double qualified then a ticket would go to the highest skills team.
(You only need one of the qualifications)

Edit: every state is different so I would check on Robot Events to see which awards for your state qualify and chose what/which you are aiming for doing

3 Likes

What/where is nationals?

1 Like

Nationals for the US is in Iowa and Is the create US Open but I just saw it doesn’t give qualifications for worlds but would still be good Practice and you could see what other teams from all over the country have.

1 Like

Create US Open is in Ohio (or it was last year). You can qualify by earning the tournament champion, skills champion, or excellence award at a regional or state competition. For your previous question, assuming Canada’s provincial championships work like our state tournaments, 7k qualified for worlds by getting to semi finals, but if that’s not the case they probably got their invite through skills.

3 Likes

Ok, I checked and for us the 5 seats are excellence, champions, design, and skills. Are there other ways to qualify for worlds?

1 Like

ONLINE CHALLENGES! (good luck :+1:)

https://challenges.robotevents.com/

3 Likes