Saturday, January 09, 2016

Day 1: Let the Game Begin

The 2016 FRC challenge is, well, interesting. Game elements from the 2012 and 2013 challenges make up this year's game. Over the day, some of us on the team started thinking about using a size and frame similar to Odin, our robot for 2012's Rebound Rumble. At the beginning of the day, we gathered together in the H building, along with FRC Team 2085, the RoboDogs, from Vacaville High School down the road. After watching kickoff with them, they left and we split into groups to tackle the game manual. After some time, we reconvened and discussed the game manual. From there, we spent some time individually answering this question: What do we want the robot to accomplish on the field? We did not describe How? whatsoever. We just listed down our ideas for what we wanted the robot to do in a match. After discussing those, we headed over to the Shubin Gym to run a game simulation. Humans instead of robots, of course. We did those for some time and discussed after each "match" that we ran. At this point (2:30pm), we as students had analyzed and received much qualitative data on FIRST Stronghold. We returned to the H building and started discussing strategies, in small groups. We challenged each other's strategies (not the people themselves) by asking thought-provoking questions, playing the devil's advocate. We looked at the pros and cons of having a short robot and a tall robot, crossing and breaching certain defenses, and making certain movements in the autonomous period. Tomorrow, we will answer this question: How do we want the robot to accomplish what we want it to accomplish on the field? Then we will discuss strategies in more depth and possibly start prototyping.

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