3 Mistakes Most Teams Make
In FIRST Robotics, there is a lot of room for error, so therefore teams make mistakes. Some mistakes can be avoided by simply following the instructions or the rules, but sometimes mishaps just happen. So, to keep you from doing these things, we hope to inform you first.
1. Making the Robot to Complicated
This one happens all the time. Teams (especially new ones) come up with this extravagant robot design that can do every single task in the game that year, and they guarantee that it can be built in 6 weeks. For the most part, the idea of making a robot that can do every single task in the game, and do it well, is not really something that can be done without a team having years of experience. Unfortunately, even some experienced veterain teams can't even make that kind of a robot; there are very few that can of course, and they do it well.
Coming up with these amazing and complicated ideas kills your team. We would strongly advise to always keep it simple when you are coming up with ideas and designs. After your teams has gotten some more years under it's belt, and you have experience mentors, then you can go for a more complicated robot design. The key thing again is to, keep it simple!
2. Using Duck Tape
Alright, this one should really just be obvious for everyone. Never use duck tape unless you are in dire need! High ranking, design savvy, respectable teams don't use duck tape on their robots, ever! The robots that really nock your socks off and do well at competitions are the ones that solve the problem with effective materials, in the simplest of ways.
If you can't think of any other materials to use than duck tape, here is a list of acceptable items:
zip ties, instant-fix fabric, screws, heavy duty velcro, or adhesive glue. The idea and goal here is to find a material that looks professional on your robot.
3. Thinking Your Team's the Bomb.com
I think this one is the biggest mistake of them all. Far to many teams think of themselves as an amazing team that can accomplish any task that is thrown at them, and this is simply not true. Yes your team might have experience, resources, and money to do things, but that doesn't qualify an attitude like, "we can build and do anything". Now before anyone blows up about what I am saying, I want to express that I am not condemning any team, nor am I saying that teams or individuals shouldn't try new things and work hard to solve problems. I am simply stating that some teams have this mindset about themselves that could be harmful.
We think the best way to get around this harmful mindset, is to never disregard other teams or individuals advice, especially if it's a big project or an important issue. A team that knows what they are doing, and is confident in their abilities is awesome! But if a team also considers others, they will go even farther and learn even more in the end.
I hope this was helpful! I would love to hear your comments on this subject, so please respond below.