What is the best advice you could give?

Always stay equipped with an Uno reverse card. Just in case.

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Be kind. Be helpful. Be safe.

Have fun, learn lots.

Laugh.

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Legend has it,
You hear the sound of laughter in the distance, as your robot gets plummeted by a pushbot. There is nothing you can do as your motors fry, screaming with a high pitched noise.
But then you realized that was merely in your mind and you are the one laughing as you see a pushbot compete in a remote event.

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Every loss, malfuntion, low rank, and error are not to be sat on and moped about. Think why it happened, if it could have been prevented, and how it could be prevented in the future. Keep in mind the rank your local area is for competitiveness vs others. Don’t constantly work on robotics, competitive team or not your health is more important. Every year is a new slate with experience built up from previous years. Most importantly, please acknowledge all of the successes too, be proud of a new highscore, even if other teams hace soared past it.

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Make at least a basic schedule/plan for your time. Besides fulfilling a point on the Engineering Notebook rubric, you’ll likely be more successful at competition if you do the following:
• Schedule some point as a “design freeze” on your robot, perhaps 1-2 weeks before a scheduled competition. At this point, you stop trying to add new features.
• Learn to drive! As a referee, I’ve seen MANY robots that might be good, but the driver is not skilled at driving or operating the bot. This usually happens from building all the way unitl competition. The Design Freeze will give time for practice.
• Practice driving enough to reveal problems and weaknesses that need to be reinforced. Again, the design freeze allows the mechanisms to be tested for durability before competition. Making repairs, adding bracing, etc. don’t count as violating the design freeze.
• After competition, evaluate the performance of the robot (documenting the debrief in your engineering notebook). Think twice about a total rebuild/redesign to copy the “latest and greatest” robot you saw at competition. Maybe your design is good, and you just need more practice.

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Reuse as many old parts as you can. You’d be surprised what parts on your existing robot still work!

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Darn, I just hate it when my robot gets plummeted.

And to add onto this, build your robot in such a way that it doesn’t damage a ridiculous amount of structural metal throughout the season. That way the pieces can be reused in the first place. Curved angle irons (I believe that’s the name) and slightly tweaked c-channels are mostly trash for a lot of applications, so always support them adequately and then they can be reused. Once a piece is bent it is never the same. Doing this will save your team hundreds on the overpriced metal.

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Can confirm. Not drinking water is very bad idea.

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