This year, I have learned how to work as a cooperative unit at the Lovett School under leadership of the visionary superstar and robotics overlord, Benjamin Yarmowich. Combined with the excellent mentorship of the legendary Jim Swindlegate, I learned oodles about parallel, series and complex circuits, how to finagle labview to get a complete looking code and ceaselessly edit and debug it to provide the needed response. I also learned how to roll with a squad, how to interpret necessary manuals such as C++ for You++ and even how to design, produce, and “stress-test” my very own product, a fan cube (patent pending). It is obvious to me that this FIRST Robotics season has benefitted my character as a whole and I will certainly be re-enlisting under Yarmowich in the coming season
During this Robotics season, I learned a few lessons that I think will continue to guide our team. The first is the importance of managing time. There were several phases in which the team was not able to make significant progress because of a lack of drive and leadership in the necessary areas. In addition, the team underwent a struggle of systematically progressing from the design to construction phases that will be valuable for future experiences, as we now know the importance of deciding a sound design before trying to actually begin building. I was primarily involved in the construction of the robot and mechanical early stages, and gained valuable experience using different tools and teaching others how to use them. This helped me gain key leadership skills, which I think will help me take a larger role next year in ensuring that the build season is more efficient and successful.
I learned a lot as a member of the robotics team this year. The biggest things I learned were about building a sturdy robot, and working as a team. Without teamwork, I am confident that we would not have a had a robot ready for this year's competition. I also learned new skills in electrical engineering, by working on wiring the robot.
Throughout this year in Robotics, I learned many things. First and foremost I learned how to assemble a robot to make a sturdy structure that could survive the needs of the game. Second I learned how to program learning LabView to make a robot that would do exactly what we want when we wanted it. Third I learned about how to organize and work with a team in order to maximize efficiency to complete the robot before the deadline. I also learned a lot about how competition operates, designing things within given parameters, making quick changes to fix any small issues we had during competition, and overcoming any small design issues that were discovered during competition that required altering, such as moving the location of a chain to maximize its efficiency, or adjusting the positions of bearings to improve their ability to move with the least resistance.
As the Captain of Roarbotics during its rookie year I learned a lot about commitment and leadership. I have dedicated days to this team and it was incredible to see us perform so well during competition. This year had some bumps, but overall I think that we are better off for them. Between the quality of some of our brackets, the lack of preplanning, arguments about t-shirt designs, and rookie mistakes the team will be much better next year. It is great to do something I love alongside people who enjoy it as well. Thank you FIRST for sponsoring such an amazing program. I cannot wait to be back for the 2016 season.
I learned that being safe is important. I spent a lot of time this year as the team safety officer trying to make our lab a safer place while still maintaining the fun free aspect of robotics. I learned a lot about the safety measures required in robotics labs.
I also learned that it is incredibly valuable to plan ahead. Unfortunately this year we did not do the best job of that and the results were sloppy. All in all we had a great year and I can't wait to do it again in 2016!
Being a member of a rookie FRC team presented a lot of challenges that I had not been exposed to before. I don't think I could have learned the teamwork and engineering skills that I did this year if it wasn't for FRC. A lot of what I learned this year came from failure rather than success. I learned that it is extremely important for every member of the team to be on the same page and to keep detailed documentation on the design and observations of the robot. Additionally, I feel more inclined to develop skills conducive to robotics that I may have overlooked before FRC. Next year I anticipate we will do much better because of the lessons we learned in design and organization.
I learned a lot from our first year of robotics: How important it is to plan, how to work as a team and how to work efficiently. Our team started out the year unprepared, and adopted an unofficial “Plan as we go” strategy, which turned out not to work well. Planning as we went meant there was a lot of debating to do, and when people are expected to debate each other one minute and try to work together the next, it often leads to people not working with each other. Not only that, but instead of having hours of pure build, we would build for minutes, then stop to decide what next. Even during competition day, when it came time for repairs, tempers flared and productivity sank. A bit after the competition ended, we held a meeting about what to change for next year; the most iterated thing was the source of our problems: That we need to plan beforehand for a more efficient and team-positive build process.