Starting the Engineering Notebook

So, I’ve been in VEX for three years now and this is my second year as documenter. The past two years, my team’s notebooks have not been that great. This year, I’m planning on going over the top with our notebook.

I was just wondering if anybody had any tips on starting the notebook during the summer, before you’ve actually started building any robots.

Yeah, put strategy stuff in there now to show that you thought stuff out before even designing

Thank you so much! :smiley:

link to fricking learning

This should get you started:

-Strategy/counter strategies/tactics/how it will vary for qualifications/eliminations/skills
-Needed robot traits to execute strategies+ ranking the predicted difficulty of robot traits and why
-Calculations for mechanisms
-Team dynamics: what you want to accomplish, what are your priorities (what will you sacrifice if you can’t reach your goals), how will you prepare for new members, how much time will you guys devote to meetings, what available funds and resources do you have, how will you tackle interviews
-what you look for in your alliance partners
-designs for protoypes/sketches
-prototype code/needed sensors
-basic electronic diagram
-fundraising ideas and how to carry them through
-outreach ideas and how to carry them through
-how to tackle online challenges/ what to do for online challenges/ summary of what you should emphasize

Wow, this is very helpful, thank you! :slight_smile:

This is my second year, and I am mainly working on our notebook for the summer. As of right now, I have about 40 pages of design pages and strategy pages. I have included a lot of detail about each of our prototypes and stuff about pieces of code I have decided to print out.

Even before I started working on the robot I had some code threw together and worked on some ideas for different autonomous routines for my different designs.

I have also decided to dedicate a page to explain our team, our program, and how we decided to name our robot.

I tried to do a presentation-oriented section of the notebook last year and have it updated every tournament. Sadly I never squeezed out time for that. Time was barely enough for detailed documentation, if you’re working on your own with the notebook.

Addressing the thread’s topic: treasure your summer, when you can spend as much time on everything with robotics as possible! After school starts it just becomes pressure and you always have to omit things that you don’t have time to put in notebook. Do extensive facebook and youtube checking and sort out what other people are doing. Always stay with the highest standard at the time and think how to make your robot easily beat theirs. Brainstorm. Design. Learn programming. Draw sketches. Judges love sketches over CAD screenshots sometimes. Take screenshots of other’s robots and dedicate contents to how this robot is good or bad, and how you are going to do better than that. Don’t fix your mind on any ideas yet – if you don’t have a lot of time working on building, then choosing the wrong path early is usually what fails your season. And in the end, write about all of these.

Good luck!

On the subject of notebooks, how are judges with color? In the past, I’ve always just kept it black and white. However, I was thinking of adding pops of color to show off the personality of our group, but I’m not too sure about what the judge’s opinions on that will be. Any advice? :confused:

With past logbooks my team has put pictures of the robot as well as some jokes and memes in the logbook haha. Most judges are open to color in the logbook but I would advise to keep it as professional-looking as possible but have fun with documenting it. Adding color and pictures will make your logbook stand out.

That’s what I figured, thank you!