Virtual Team Meetings

With all the stay-at-home orders in place, would it be a good idea to do virtual meetings where team members who work on different parts (CAD, code, the actual build part, notebook, etc.) hold meetings where only one person builds and everyone communicates through a video communication program (Google Hangouts call/Face Time) and has people sending code/CAD files?

Is this a good idea, and why?

  • Yes
  • No
0 voters
1 Like

Something is better than nothing. That’s all I have to say

5 Likes

Our middle school robotics club has moved to online format once schools were closed. We meet twice a week (like we did before) for about an hour. Each session has theme to prepare for the upcoming game announcement and preparation for new season. It also keeps club members connected with something that is “normal” for them in these challenging times. Huge benefit all around:

  • Prepare for proper documentation - Design Award
  • Factors in making good teams
  • Game analysis and strategy (April 1st Game Manual was a lot of fun to discuss)
  • Picking designs.

We use Big Blue Button conferencing built into Canvas, which made it very easy to organize - all but two club members participated. Club alums at the high school also participate.

I highly recommend doing something similar club wide.

8 Likes

I would like to offer a few random suggestions to teams who want to get started early (in no particular order) that can be discussed during virtual team meeting:

CAD: this may be a year when carefully designed robots excel over tinkerbots. This year, you might not have the chance to randomly build, but instead, be forced to do some design work prior to building (in the real world, no parts are ever machined or fabricated without prints already in place). Here is a resource that tells about lots of CAD options. CAD for VEX Robotics (2).pdf (300.8 KB) If you want to use Solidworks, you’ll need a Mentor/Coach to apply for the sponsorship to get licenses for the team. If your computer power is limited…take a look at OnShape. In the document, there are links for all the commercial CAD packages and various parts libraries.

Design/Excellence/Notebook: The newest Judge’s Guide will be released with the game or shortly after, but the 2019-20 Judge’s Guide is still a great resource, as the Guide doesn’t change a whole lot from year to year. Find it here: https://www.roboticseducation.org/documents/2019/08/judge-guide-2019-20.pdf/ Spend some time looking at the Design Award Rubric

Game Manual: When the game manual is released, it’s a great idea to READ THE MANUAL prior to posting questions on the Fourms. As you READ THE MANUAL, keep in mind that the manual tells you what is absolutely required (like starting position, size limits, use only VEX parts, etc.), and things that are prohibited (don’t exceed expansion limits, don’t deliberately throw game elements outside the field, etc.). All questions that start “is it legal to…” or “are we allowed to…” will have their answer in the game manual, and if absolutely necessary to clarify, in the official Q&A. It is impossible for the manual to tell you everything you “could” could, such as “are we allowed to bend a c-channel to grasp an object from the top”. If the manual does not require it, and does not prohibit it (or it doesn’t violate any rules, then it is generally legal (within the bounds of common sense) .

I encourage all teams to answer the following common questions by reading the game manual when it is released on April 25. This will greatly reduce the number of RTM questions on the forums:

  1. How many motors are allowed? Is there a motor-penalty for using pneumatics?
  2. Are there expansion limits for robots after the start of the game?
  3. Is there a limit to the number of game object the robot may possess?
  4. What are all the various ways to score points?
  5. What types of plastics are legal? How much plastic is legal?
  6. Are 3d printed parts legal?
9 Likes

my team use wechat. We usually just tell each other stuff about a robot we built or new information about the virtual world

also it will be a great idea after the new game manual comes out.

My team is experimenting with CAD for the first time. Specifically fusion 360

2 Likes

CAD will likely be the biggest part of a notebook this year.
What else can most people do at home with ease while quarantined?
Online meetings will be neat
I’m personally using zoom and it’s okay

1 Like

The more you think about the game the faster your team will evolve. Sharing ideas and adding to other’s over the internet is the best thing you could be doing right now; if you don’t have access to tools and building materials.

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