New Team Tips

I’ve Just joined my high school robotics club, and I’m part of a new team, 99999V, with 5 other freshmen, all new to being on an official team. I’ve had plenty of vex experience before (competed as driver and captain in a local tourny for starstruck and itz), and I’m well associated with the competition, and can build a lot of things, up to a dr4b in difficulty. Most of my teammates have some vex experience, but only three of us have competed at all before. We have pretty good resources, all the parts we need, a playing field for turning point, and 5 other teams at our school. I was wondering if anyone has any advice for a new team, ready to take on this years competition, and attempt a worlds run.

The 2 main pieces of advice I have:

  1. Divide up the work on your team. With new people, it’s not always clear how the team dynamic will go, and giving people specialized roles (builder, notebooker, coder, CAD designer, driver, etc) really helps to minimize conflict and keep everything going smoothly. If someone isn’t pulling their weight, that’s a problem you should bring to your teacher or mentor, or if it’s really serious you should find someone else to do their job or learn it yourself. You don’t want too many hands in the cookie jar at any one point, but you also want each step to go smoothly.

  2. Think carefully about when to rebuild. High school rebuilds are much more prevalent, and it’s important to know when and how to undertake one. 62A rebuild their defensive states bot to a cleaner defensive worlds bot, and 929U rebuild their offensive states bot to a cleaner offensive worlds bot. Both won their division. 7700R tried to rebuild their offensive states bot to a defensive worlds bot, but because they hadn’t worked with defensive robots before, they had some major optimization errors. Bottom line being it’s totally fine to rebuild, but make sure you’re rebuilding to a design you’re comfortable with if time is a concern.

Good luck!

Thanks, that sounds like good advice.

Anomaly really provided some amazing advice! To which I will second. I personally am a mentor, and if I could offer any other advice, though it is very much overkill…it is to just have fun! It is important that you take the necessary work towards the robot dead seriously, but never take yourselves dead seriously. Also when it comes to the days leading up to the competition, it’s always a good idea to have full dry runs of your robot and look at what is called in the world of software development as end-to-end testing.

While you and your friends are building the robot, you each build individual components and the programming would tie all the components together. It is important that you run the end-to-end tests, and try to have the end-to-end tests resemble match conditions as much as possible. Since you are in a school that has multiple VEX teams, reach out to the other teams and see what help they can provide you!

All in all, just have fun and you will learn a lot! Trust me!