Upcoming Season Preparations

So, our season is pretty much over, and we have a LOT of time between now and the next game reveal. What should we do with our time in preparation for next season, before knowing what the game is going to be? would building a really solid drive be a good idea? or should we just build random things to try and improve our build quality in general. What do you guys all do once your season had ended?

Definitely focus on learning and experimenting as much as you can. Try all the major lift types and other arbitrary things that are consistent across the years. Additionally, now is also a great time for programmers to figure out new things.

Program with sensors! Have the codes written and ready to implement easily. Test drive trains and decide what works in various situations.

If you still have a competition robot, you might add all the available sensors to it and see if you can achieve some specific programming score with the current game. Also, you can make modifications to the robot and finally do all those things you (maybe … us, anyways!) always say you want to try but never got around to. See if you can rebuild it so it would have gotten a worlds bid.

In RobotC, I have a whole folder of templates I can just pull out whenever I want a specific function.

While useless, I think it would be fun to try to play some game using another game’s pieces. Such as ITZ but putting caps on the goals or something.

DEFINITELY learn more code, especially with the new VCS there is so much to learn and play with, also what my team did last year going into this year, start your engineering notebook, judges care not only about your robot but also your team and how they got together. We did this and dedicated about 15 pages just to the formation of our team and we have been told many times how that is very important to judges,

I have started talking about other drive types. Right now the girls use a tank drive and two drivers, and at times it gets awkward for who does what when at the field.

This year more time was spent with software, modularity, and multitasking with the Cortex (yes, cortex, not brain) and in the offseason (while making prototypes) I was going to push for them to develop a base program that has many types of drive built in and selectable from a variable config. This way, they can select different types of drive (tank, arcade, RC, etc… ) and try them out before hard coding and setting things up for a competition.

In addition, it never hurts to get drive time. I heard of some teams getting over 1000 hours of drive time in for worlds last year. If you can get another team together, do some scrimmages with the team and see how good they can get.