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Thread: Feedback from our 2/19 practice event

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    6

    Default Feedback from our 2/19 practice event

    We had a practice event in Milwaukee today with our Team 537 practice course. We had 15 teams attend. We were able to do several practices matches in the morning, and about 15 matches in the afternoon. Some things we learned that we'd like to pass on.

    1. Paul talked on the call tonight about where to put the balls before the teams come out onto the field. We put them in the lane between the baskets and the colored top of the key. They are out of the way there, and then when the team doesn't load them, we picked them up and put them on the bridge. We started out putting them on the top of the key, but they got in the way there as players tried to set their robots.
    2. In all those events, we only damaged 3 balls, and that was from teams running them over and getting stuck under the robot. The damage was not from the shooter.
    3. I would not recommend using blocks under the bridges. What for? Half the time a robot is on one end of the bridge and causing the other end to be up in the air. That is the hazard, and we just made sure the gate guards went and held that end of the bridge up until the robot was pushed clear, and then we carefully lowered it to neutral position so no one would get "slapped" by the bridge coming up. If we had 1-2 robots on a bridge balancing, we waiting until the teams arrived, then raised one end of the bridge so the robots rolled down towards the end that they exited the field. I do not think you will need supports, or you will be forcing the teams to lift their robot off the bridge and carry it down. It was better to roll the robot down the bridge and off it, and then they can lift from the normal floor position.
    4. Lots of balls went over the top nets, so you need to have someone positioned there to chase those balls, often in the public seating areas. You can not let the alliance on that end of the field have the ball, they only get the ball if it was shot into a basket.
    5. And not one team used the Kinnex station...they all said it took more code to figure it out then using autonomous, and there wasn't time to do anything requiring non-automated actions.

    Thanks. George and Dave

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Feedback from our 2/19 practice event

    Thanks George and Dave for the information. Having "real" world experience with the field really helps.

    As for the bridge blocks, I now have mixed emotions. I agree that with only 1 robot on a tipped bridge it is best taken off while the bridge is being held and then lowered to horizontal safely by the Field Reset person. However, I still think that blocks under a balanced bridge is safer than tilting the bridge and having robots roll to one end. Even if they are being held back by their teams. Plus, the teams don't have to bend over as far to lift the robot.

    Also, the blocks keep a bridge from flipping up if someone decides to jump onto it.

    For me, if I have the blocks, I would use them. If I didn't, we can still get the robots off the bridges safely. (How's that for straddling the fence?)

    Ultimately, you and the FTA have to decide what's best. And whatever you do, be careful and be consistent.

    Paul
    Paul

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Feedback from our 2/19 practice event

    This is just a thought...

    Could there be a period of time after the match ends, after the head ref gives the clear signal, that the robots could be reactivated long enough for the teams to drive them off the bridges, then shut the field down for the clear and reset?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Feedback from our 2/19 practice event

    The rules specifically state that robots will not be re-enabled after a match. It creates a safety hazard. We can't have field reset and teams on the field with active robots. If you want the actual rule number, I can look it up.

    Paul

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Feedback from our 2/19 practice event

    Here's the sequence I pictured:
    1. Match ends and robots are disabled.
    2. Ref gives "go ahead" signal to scorekeeper.
    3. Scorekeeper reactivates the field for 10 seconds and robots are driven off the bridges toward the exit side.
    4. Field shuts down, and scorekeeper hits the Field Clear, turning the bridge lights on and people then enter the field to remove robots and reset the field.

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