I'm just getting some of my thoughts from Yesterday's scrimmage match for our FTC team down.
We had a coaches meeting before the matches began, and I believe that this is the first time we've had such a meeting. We only had a handful of coaches there, but at least it's a start. We all agree that the biggest problems we have are that we start building these robots in September, and don't compete with them until January. That makes for way too much time to build, and we have a lot of difficulty keeping interest. We also agree that it's a problem that there are so few times that we actually use the robots. It would be like a basketball team practicing for months, but never playing a game until the state championship tournament. I'm hoping we can organize the different coaches around the state and start having more scrimmage matches earlier to both shorten the build season and to give the kids more opportunities to compete.
I as a coach wasn't nearly as organized for this weekend as I should have been. We went in for our hardware inspection and I had completely forgotten that we needed a bill of materials. We had to write one up quickly on a notepad. We also forgot that we needed a flag holder until the morning of, and I didn't know that we needed to have a label for the power switch now. These little things are things that I usually make sure get taken care of. I think the problem is a combination of me being much less involved last year, and that we are only meeting once a week right now as a team. The team just hasn't been on my mind as much as it should.
As far as the robot itself, I thought it worked fairly well. It needs a better bucket for picking up the balls in the game, and it needs some code tweaking to be able to move it's arm with the bucket staying level. We're also going to raise it's clearance as it kept getting high centered on the balls. Lots of changes that this scrimmage has really helped us recognize.
We ended up a part of the second place alliance, and we won the Motivate award, so it was nice to be able to bring some trophies home to help celebrate the students who went. I'm hoping this weekend lit a fire under the students as it did for me. We have four weeks to get ready for the next one.