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Thread: Dog gears for modular attachments

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Dog gears for modular attachments

    None of these ideas is new. They keep getting discovered over and over and over, which is a good thing. What would be very bad is if somebody created a repository of all these ideas where you could search for "best practices" on how to solve different problems.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Dog gears for modular attachments

    Quote Originally Posted by Dean Hystad View Post
    None of these ideas is new. They keep getting discovered over and over and over, which is a good thing. What would be very bad is if somebody created a repository of all these ideas where you could search for "best practices" on how to solve different problems.
    While there's something to be said for kids "re-inventing the wheel" in the context of FLL, I do think there's value for the kids at least being aware of different approaches. That said, showing a kid a hammer may inspire them to come up with a sledgehammer by opening their eyes to the possibility of a whole class of tools. To mix metaphors, if all you've ever known were hammers and nails, being presented a screwdriver and screws would likely stimulate a lot of creativity without having to overcome the obstacle of independently inventing the screwdriver.

    From what I've seen of the FLL game over the past 2 years is that there are several common tasks - push an item, retrieve a loop, pull a widget. I don't think it is at all a bad thing if someone were to create documentation discussing different ways to interact with models (active / passive attachments) complete with generic examples. I've found a channel on YouTube that is quite helpful in demonstrating tools without solving specific FLL field problems.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Dog gears for modular attachments

    Honestly I ask "Why is that a good thing?"

    I agree that all teams should have access to generic information, such as "A color sensor can report the color of an object or the intensity of reflected light. Here is an example program that reports the color of object placed in front of the sensor. Here is an example program that drives forward when the room lights are turned on and stops when they are turned off." Or a building example could show how you can make a really strong and light structure by connecting pieces in different orientations. As far as I am concerned this is the toolbox and it contains a hammer and a screwdriver and maybe some additional tools.

    How to push an item or retrieve a loop or pull a widget is not a basic tool. That is the challenge the team is supposed to solve. Supplying that information, even in a supposedly generic form, is giving the team a circular saw or a hammer drill. Yes, that will let them build a solution faster, and build a better solution, but are either of those a good thing? Isn't figuring out how to build faster and better the really important part of FLL, and the actual results of little to no importance. Why do you want to short circuit the learning experience.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Dog gears for modular attachments

    Quote Originally Posted by Rbbbbb View Post
    My team has idolized Cassapeia, with their video of 842 punkte. They wanted the big square frame, and their attachments fit on top as a big square frame.
    Wait until you see their robot this year. It is even bigger and squarer.. And they routinely score 953 points.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Dog gears for modular attachments

    Quote Originally Posted by Dean Hystad View Post
    Honestly I ask "Why is that a good thing?"

    I agree that all teams should have access to generic information, such as "A color sensor can report the color of an object or the intensity of reflected light. Here is an example program that reports the color of object placed in front of the sensor. Here is an example program that drives forward when the room lights are turned on and stops when they are turned off." Or a building example could show how you can make a really strong and light structure by connecting pieces in different orientations. As far as I am concerned this is the toolbox and it contains a hammer and a screwdriver and maybe some additional tools.

    How to push an item or retrieve a loop or pull a widget is not a basic tool. That is the challenge the team is supposed to solve. Supplying that information, even in a supposedly generic form, is giving the team a circular saw or a hammer drill. Yes, that will let them build a solution faster, and build a better solution, but are either of those a good thing? Isn't figuring out how to build faster and better the really important part of FLL, and the actual results of little to no importance. Why do you want to short circuit the learning experience.
    Why is your example of demonstrating a really strong and light structure built by connecting pieces in different orientations OK but example of a dog gear or a passive one-way box or a modular attachment system not OK? I don't understand where you're drawing the line.

    Why do you think learning how to build faster and better from external resources is worse than learning how to build faster and better in isolation? I view the point of FLL as a way for the kids to learn problem solving skills. Independent self-discovery is one way; standing on the shoulders of those who came before is another.

    I know I would be way less productive in my day job without resources like Stack Overflow and Google. Learning how to learn is a valuable skill. There's no way I would have come up with functional programming on my own. Having learned about it, though, opened my eyes to solving problems in an entirely new way.
    Last edited by dcieslak; 12-17-2015 at 08:17 AM.

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Dog gears for modular attachments

    Quote Originally Posted by dcieslak View Post
    Why do you think learning how to build faster and better from external resources is worse than learning how to build faster and better in isolation? I view the point of FLL as a way for the kids to learn problem solving skills. Independent self-discovery is one way; standing on the shoulders of those who came before is another.
    I cant answer for Dean, but I do want to share my experience. I was pretty upset when Ev3Lessons came online. They were revealing a lot of things that my newly created team had just worked hard to figure out and our newly found advantage was gone. I felt that others were now suddenly having an tool that we didn't have and that leveled the playing field again. Of course there are still advantages that arent in the lessons, and my belief is that they were purposely left out to allow the Droids/others the advantages they already built up. And I feel that is okay. Unfortunately EV3Lessons made it so that we would have to work even harder to stand out... and we did.

    Is my attitude the RIGHT attitude? It is all a matter of perspective. I was proud of the "discoveries" that my team made. Hundreds of other teams surely came to the conclusion that we did on how to code some items. Also, we had previously scoured the web looking for hints, be it from BuilderDude35 or the FLL videos site or YouTube. New teams are doing what we did. EV3Lessons is a noble bit of sharing, but I personally felt that an advantage we just worked hard to create was robbed from me (me, not "us" the team. My team didnt really care). But you are right... everything is built on top of other things.

    FLL is NOT about winning and it is all it is about learning and discovering. There are still plenty of things to learn/discover for everyone, but I absolutely believe there is a finite level of what CAN be learned to solve EV3 FLL missions, unlike something like functional programming in general. When we all get to that point where the learning is saturated, possibly from too many give-away secrets sites out there, I hope that some sites go down/arent maintained (due to kids aging out) and that Lego or FIRST come out with a new platform. Then the learning can continue. Is my team close to learning everything? No way.

    Let me finish this by throwing in the opposite perspective that told me that its okay for these sites to exist. I helped found 5 new teams in my town. None of them have any core of kids who had been in FLL before. EV3Lessons, BuilderDude35 and others all were instrumental in keeping them from being overwhelmed. If it wasnt for resources like those, they might not have made it through the season and might not be willing to continue on next year. 40 more kids learned to love the discovery, building, and project skills that FLL brought to the table. For that I am most thankful.
    Last edited by cschaffer; 12-17-2015 at 10:47 AM.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Dog gears for modular attachments

    Quote Originally Posted by cschaffer View Post
    but I personally felt that an advantage we just worked hard to create was robbed from me (me, not "us" the team. My team didnt really care).
    I applaud your team's attitude.

    Why do you feel your team was "robbed"? One of the core principles of FIRST is "teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete." Sharing concepts, even advanced ones like PID or modular attachments demonstrates the spirit of cooperation. There is certainly an obligation on teams to "make it their own" and not copy things directly as they learn from others, and that is where creativity happens.

    Your team was given the impetus to work harder and they took it; I don't think they were robbed at all (quite the opposite), and I'm glad they don't either.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Dog gears for modular attachments

    Quote Originally Posted by dcieslak View Post
    I applaud your team's attitude.

    Why do you feel your team was "robbed"? One of the core principles of FIRST is "teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete." Sharing concepts, even advanced ones like PID or modular attachments demonstrates the spirit of cooperation. There is certainly an obligation on teams to "make it their own" and not copy things directly as they learn from others, and that is where creativity happens.

    Your team was given the impetus to work harder and they took it; I don't think they were robbed at all (quite the opposite), and I'm glad they don't either.

    My team has helped a large number of other teams across multiple continents. We firmly believe in sharing. That is what is FIRST is about. If I didn't believe in sharing, I wouldnt be posting here. I wouldn't be helping 5 other teams come up to speed either... I think it goes deeper than that.

    I suppose what I felt robbed of was TIME and EFFORT. I suppose I believe that large online repositories of "how to" allows people to "do without thinking". With that come pros and cons. Maybe that is where the long timers (of which I am not one) get a little frustrated. They had to work through the issues.

    As I said, when we get to the point where online repositories contain all of the tricks and tips and little thought is needed to complete everything, I hope that a massive change (like a new robot platform or such) causes everyone to start at ground zero again. Then we would complete the circle of FLL.
    Last edited by cschaffer; 12-17-2015 at 02:29 PM.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Dog gears for modular attachments

    Quote Originally Posted by cschaffer View Post
    I suppose I believe that large online repositories of "how to" allows people to "do without thinking". With that come pros and cons.

    As I said, when we get to the point where online repositories contain all of the tricks and tips and little thought is needed to complete everything, I hope that a massive change (like a new robot platform or such) causes everyone to start at ground zero again. Then we would complete the circle of FLL.
    I don't really agree with this. A large supply of "lesson" style resources does not lead to an easy follow recipe for a strong robot. It leads to a bunch of different tools without context on which tool is best for which job or which tools work well together. Coming to the competition with access to that sort of repository a team needs to (not necessarily in this order):

    a) Learn and understand the basics that let the "best practices" even start to make sense.

    b) Learn and understand how to use the individual building or coding methods

    c) decide which methods to pursue

    d) Put together a base robot that will accommodate the above mentioned methods (there are designs available that accommodate some methods but none I know of that will work equally well for anything.)

    e) execute the methods decided on

    f) tie the set of individual tricks together into a cohesive whole

    g) execute the whole

    This is not, IMO, a simpler, easier, or less rewarding process than starting from scratch.
    Team members and coaches in North Carolina, direct your rules questions to referee@nc-fll.com

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Dog gears for modular attachments

    Quote Originally Posted by SamLast View Post
    This is not, IMO, a simpler, easier, or less rewarding process than starting from scratch.
    Good point. Maybe my team realizes this more than I do since they are in the thick of it and maybe that is why none of this even phased them.
    Last edited by cschaffer; 12-17-2015 at 03:51 PM.

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