Tips for first trip to worlds

Hi everyone,
Us, and probably other teams are going to worlds for the first time this year. Could you post tips, hints and other helpful information about competing at worlds?

Try this:

Best advice on that list is to take caffeine, but still sleep.

Generally, we have the drivers and coaches sleep the night before any actual matches, and the programmers and additional build crew power through. They do even more stress testing on all of the mechanisms than has been done, making sure that everything is perfectly working following transport. Find out your tolerance for caffeine before-hand, though. Don’t go taking 25 No-Doze or anything insane like that. Cardiac Arrest would severely reduce your chances of winning.

Speaking of that, everything breaks during transport. Every screw comes loose, metal supports bend, chain tension gets messed up and generally everything needs to be fixed as soon as you get to the competition. Check EVERYTHING.

You know how in the manual it says that you can use electrical tape to secure the connection points between motor leads? Do it. And label both ends of each one of these connections. People (including us) are going to play rough, and we don’t want to have your arm going up when you intended to move your base after everything got pulled out during your last match.

Your VEXNet keys are not infallible. If you are having trouble with connection, don’t be afraid to switch them. They are completely interchangeable, but don’t go switching them between every match. Just remember it’s another thing to try.

And I think the last thing I would say is to CHECK YOUR CONTROLLER BATTERIES. The Joystick chews through those things like crazy. Bring rechargeables, switch them every three or four matches, and have standard AAAs for when it’s finals and you’re panicking that the ones you were planning to use aren’t charged.

Thanks for both of the responses

This is the advice I give my teams every year-

You have earned the honor to attend the VEX Robotics World Championship. That alone is a huge success for you and your team. You will be competing against the best of the best from all over the world. The fact that you got there is what you should celebrate by enjoying the experience and doing your best. Remember that the best of the best are there and not everyone can be at the top of the rankings. Teams who dominated competition in their local regions may find themselves low in the rankings at World Championship. That is ok. Your position in the rankings is not the measure of a successful trip. If you go, do your best, meet new teams and make new friends, and truly enjoy the whole experience that World Championship has to offer, it will be a successful trip.

Oh, I forgot something.

There is a very short window of time between matches during Elimination rounds. Bring as many parts and tools as you could possibly need to fix something with you to the queuing area. Typically we pack a toolbox with:

Allen Wrenches (3/32 and 5/64)
Screws (all sizes, sorted)
Metal that may break
Spare motors (393, both types and 269 if you use them)
Rubber bands
Zip ties
Pre-cut Axles
Diagonal cutters
Extension cable
Pneumatic tubing
Robot and AAA Batteries
Whatever laptop you use to program with
Programming Kit
VEXNet Keys
Partner Cable
Spare Joystick and Partner Controller

Work as fast as you can to fix things, and remember that you have ONE three minute time-out that you can call. Use it when it counts. Also, work as a group and loan things out, especially at finals. If your opponent breaks, help them as much as you would your alliance partners. No one wants to win because the robot fell apart. You’re there to win, but be a good person, too.

-Bring all the parts you think you may need and bring some that you dont think you will need.
-You can never have enough extra motors
-Bring a surplus of tools
-put your code on multiple flashdrives and email it to yourself and you team mates.
-make scouting sheets
-wear comfortable shoes

Good luck to you and your team at worlds. I will be there mentoring my old club so if you have any questions feel free to come find me.

And ALWAYS stand up when you are with the judges!

If the pits are in team order, 536C & 536A will be right next to you.

If i had to give some tips the first would probably be to remember that you worked all year to get there, so try to enjoy it. By no means am i saying to just relax though. Still compete to the best of your ability, but try to remember that this is just like any other competition, just a lot more fun. Also, if something breaks, motors, gears, and sprockets should be the first things you check. If the problem isn’t in one of those, there is most likely extra friction somewhere.

And IF things break and you need parts, ask the people around you. Most teams bring everything they have to Worlds, not just parts they need.

Seriously, just ask. We don’t bite.

Oh yeah, other teams (including my own) will have plenty of parts! If you break something and don’t have time to wait in line at the vex store, we wouldn’t hesitate to lend you something!

There are joystick power adapters on worlds fields.

Seriously? That’s cool. I would still keep them charged, just in case. Redundancy is always good.

Are there two per team, so that I can run both a Joystick and Partner Controller off of wall power? Or just one for the main controller?

I don’t really remember. It could have been either way, either there was 1 plug but it powered both, or you needed to have the second control on batteries, or maybe there were 2 plugs. But either way, the partner joystick uses the batteries up much slower than a main joystick running a wifi link.

Pretty sure there were two per team, but keep the joystick batteries good and turn the joystick on so all the leds are green, that helps the field techs, we don’t like seeing any red leds.

Which raises another point, have a good backup battery and use it (you have to have it for inspection anyway), don’t just grab the one you used in the last competition, buy new ones. Without the backup battery plugged in it’s harder to tell the difference between a low main battery (red led on cortex) and no backup battery (also red flashing led).

We had that exact realization earlier this week. And then bought an LCD screen and wrote a debug mode to check all of our batter levels just to make absolutely sure everything is charged.

This is spot on the mark!!

Don’t sit there in the pits or stands and play your electronic game, plenty of time to do that on the way home. Go meet teams, talk about how they do things! Go to the college area and meet the people you will be working for in 10 years. Go to the middle school pits and meet the people you will be working for in 15 years.

Go give Jason and Brad a hug to say thanks! Fist bump Paul C, JVN and Tony for having a great product!!! Say thanks to Karthik for hours and hours of Q&A messages. Print and wear your VEX forum button. Walk up to Foster and say “Wow, you are much more handsome in person!” Make new friends!!!

If you don’t make it into the elims, grab other teams and play on the practice fields. Go cheer other teams on. BE PART OF THE EVENT!!!

And while the sportsmanship is phenomenal, never leave your robot unattended. Never.