Rebuilding before worlds

My parents and I are at odds over whether or not rebuilding before worlds is a viable option. I am entirely for rebuilding in order to improve the robot however my parents believe that if the robot was good enough to qualify for worlds then it is good enough. Normally this would not be an issue; Vex is student driven and they are adults ipso facto my team will be rebuilding, however they threatened me with just not letting me go to worlds. Anyone have any reasons that would help me convince my parents that rebuilding is the way to go? Conversely does anyone have a good reason why we should keep the robot as is?

That’s funny, I’m in the same situation (except my parents are letting me do what I want). I always get backlash from them over rebuilding, but if I stopped when my parents said it was good enough, I probably wouldn’t have qualified for Worlds.

I think 6 weeks is plenty of time to rebuild; I’ve built polished robots in less than a month. Personally, I’m planning to get it done over Spring Break. I think lots of good teams rebuild for Worlds (2915A last year, for example, rebuilt from a catapult to a flywheel and got the top Driver Skills score in the world). Basically, “good enough” to get to Worlds isn’t even close to “good enough” to win Worlds. I personally want to have a chance (slim as it may be) to win. I’m not spending thousands of dollars to go there without a chance of winning.

I would start by showing them on robotevents.com that your current robot ranks in the lower half of the teams going to worlds in skills. This is not to knock you, but to give some ammo. They need to know that the competition really jumps up a bit.

Money might be the issue. You might try getting some sponsors and raise the money. There may be ways of reusing most, if not all, of what is on your current robot. I would take a clear plan of exactly what you want to do and how you plan to accomplish it.

In the end, you need to respect what your parents say, though. Be sure to be respectful. Us parents love seeing respect from our kids. Let them know that you are not wanting to argue and that you will abide by their final decision but you would like them to consider some additional information. The approach is half the battle.

O very few teams ever compete at worlds with the robot that qualifies. I would very much encourage you to rebuild. Unless you were winning state championships in a very strong region, your robot is not ready for worlds.

That is quite foreign to me - not respecting my parents of course, but the fact that parents have any say in how the kids approach what their team needs to do. Usually my parents will just say, “Alright, you’re the expert.”

Couldn’t Agree More. Our Coach and I are at a deadlock, and I know we have a lot to do to become competitive at worlds.

Ask him, “What would Benji do?” Then supply the answer. It’s really an unfair question. :wink:

Every time we added something to our robot, our coach said it was a bad idea and that it would make us lose. Every time we have proved him wrong.

For your situation, if parts and design allow, try working on it in sections; such as building a new tower and claw while leaving the current one in place. Tyat way, you can bolt on the old one if thenew one doesn’t work, instead of having a pile if parts to try and reassemble.

We rebuilt right before regionals and it helped us tremendously. Except a few electrical issues messing up two of our matches, the robot was a complete improvement. An argument to convince your mentors is: Worlds is a step up from states so your robot also needs a step up to be competitive.

Well… I’d start by losing that attitude in all honesty. If I saw my team member put that in a forum then the World’s trip would be off without question. It takes a lot of effort to keep these teams running.

That being said, I like to let our teams learn through failure. They do this by constantly re-building and trying new things. Those things that don’t work are a great lesson in what not to do, it’s as important as knowing what to do.

Fully agree with looking at your standing in the World rankings to make some decisions. But even our team that is high in World rankings is rebuilding.

Last year one of our teams completely tore their robot apart and went in a completely different direction mid-season, even though they were winning tournaments. It eventually helped them win State with our sister team and then go undefeated in qualifiers in their division at World’s.

Just make sure you document the robot you have, go full force into the rebuilding with a scheduled date to put it back as it was if it’s not working out. Whatever robot design you have, give yourself at least two-weeks with it 90% finished to practice-practice-practice. Giving it a chance to show you the weaknesses.

I should have provided some context, my parents are not in any way affiliated with vex or any robotics program. They have had zero helpful input into the robot thus far and have actively hindered our progress at times. They may or may not have good intentions but as non-mentoring adults with no robotics experience I do not believe they should have any say in how our robot is built. Now if they were my teacher it would be a very different story.

I’m in an odd position where almost immediately after joining the club (as a freshman) I became team captain. I’m happy to share the backstory, but it’s kinda long, and not altogether related to this thread. Suffice it to say, I had power while still being a n00b.

Anyway, during our first year (Skyrise), we rebuilt our sloppy-but-quasi-functional scissor lift into a non-functional RD4B, against the advice of our mentor. He suggested we simply improve the robot we had rather than completely rebuild.

In NbN, we completely rebuilt over winter break (again against the advice of our mentor), transforming a barely functional flywheel into something that at least worked. Not world class, but enough to qualify for state and be top 16 (we got 15th out of ~50 iirc). Our B team, on the other hand, rebuilt their working flywheel (against the strong insistence of our mentor) into something non-functional. Our mentor was furious, and rightly so.

This year, we have rebuilt several times, often 1 or 2 weeks before competitions, every time against our mentor’s advice. We had an above-average robot at our very first competition, and then something embarrassing at every competition until winter break. We rebuilt after winter break, finishing the bot at a competition, and once again embarrassed ourselves. Fixing up the issues, we stayed with the same bot through all of February, qualifying us for worlds through skills. Our B team, on the other hand, stayed with their pushbot idea from the beginning of the season until December, eventually getting it to high-hang autonomously. They then rebuilt, and have not had a functional robot since.

TL;DR: Mentors sometimes have good ideas. Rebuilding can help, but make sure you have plenty of time to iron out the kinks. Avoid rushed rebuilds, if you can.

I completely support rebuilding after states and before Worlds. I agree that Worlds is a long way up from States, so your robot needs to demonstrate that change to be competitive. Though many teams in my area would argue that rebuilding is a bad idea, I think it is important. Its kind of like deciding for a sports team that once you qualify for the finals, what’s the point of practicing. If you want a chance to win, you have to improve. On the other hand though, major changes are not always what is necessary. Sometimes small tuning may be enough to make a robot “Worlds worthy.” Regardless, it is important to know when to stop rebuilding and decide whether your new design is a success or a failure. Good luck in convincing your parents!

just dont decide too late and rebuild the weekend before…

(thats how you go from getting division finalist to not qualifying for worlds)

What is their objection? Are they putting out money? I think you first need to find out their concern and address it in a respectful way.

I agree, and i would also add that the top teams at Worlds will have spent their time improving after their state qualification, so being world quality when you qualify doesn’t necessarily equate to being world quality a month or more later.