40 Things We Learned

Published by 7614 Admin - SZ on

NHS’s FRC team would like to recap the top 40 things we learned from kickoff to competition:

  1. Dividing the workload ensures that all students both get to participate and are not overwhelmed in their work
  2. Organization of the work is necessary such that the workload is not too great when the build period is ending.
  3. Plans need to be decided and started to be implemented in a timely fashion so the work of building and testing the robot design is not delayed.
  4. Staying on task throughout the build season is critical to properly divide up the workload.
  5. We have developed a system of communication using online tools such as trello and slack to ensure proper communication and that everyone is up-to-date with the work expected.
  6. Timelines need to be decided ahead of time and as work gets completed and dates approach, the timeline can get more specific.
  7. Ensuring that the entire team is working as a coherent unit towards the same agreed upon goal leads to better experiences and outcomes.
  8. The designs being set and decided upon the need to be well communicated to ensure all members are working and on the same page.
  9. There are many people with more experience than ours which can help assist us in what we are unsure about. We can use these mentors as a learning opportunity to widen our own experiences.
  10. Ambition is something that is needed but having a limit and setting a realistic goal is just as, if not more important. This is twofold for rookie teams such as our own.
  11. Teamwork is not only helpful but necessary in a competition of this calibre. It allows for people to work with what is best in their own skill set.
  12. Those in leadership positions need to both be comfortable in communicating with team members and need to be comfortable with the elements being used.
  13. Sometimes the skills of those working do match up with what is needed, in which case people who are more familiar can step in and teach the team.
  14. While those with more experience must take the lead, students that will be participating in the next year’s competition need to be shown the ropes and allowed to take leadership positions in preparation.
  15. We have learned much about team dynamics through our changed leadership model and in consulting with those who know more, we can better organize ourselves.
  16. Developed leadership skills through working in teaching students who have less practical experience in all elements of the robot.
  17. We have learned that preparing schedules of supervisors and who could be in charge is necessary such that we are not left unable to work when we have no teacher supervision.
  18. Through our experiences, we have realized that having a dedicated area where the robot can be built with specialized tools accessible makes the process easier.
  19. Through opportunities like FRC, we are able to meet like-minded, passionate people who are interested in engineering and problem-solving issues as we are.
  20. We have had to develop an understanding of business elements for the robotics team that we had not required to do in the past.
  21. Money is a driving factor in being able to run clubs such as FRC and without sponsorships, tools and materials cannot be bought.
  22. Worked on better understanding fundraising techniques and working to encourage people and get them excited about the robotics opportunity.
  23. Experienced working together with sponsors that assisted us in the creation of the robot.
  24. Being precise and clear of what is expected of each worker is needed such that we ensure everything gets completed and that everyone can successfully work together.
  25. Being clear on the workload and what is being completed is needed such that no situations occur where everyone believes a specific duty is someone else’s and it never gets completed.
  26. Maintaining dedication throughout exam times is needed so that not too much time is spent where no work gets completed.
  27. Testing is necessary for both hardware and software design elements and especially their interactions.
  28. We have learned how elements of robotics are controlled and interact with Java code through examples provided by other teams and in designing a moveable system.
  29. Using PID controllers was a challenge to understand and work with, but we learnt more about the theory and its functions.
  30. Developed an understanding of GitHub and how code can be developed and worked upon by many people.
  31. Understanding of motor controllers and their interaction with other electronic pieces.
  32. Worked with sensors and cameras as well as with motors and how their control can be used through the Java framework.
  33. We have learned how to use wireless technology and routers to remotely control elements of the robot.
  34. Systems of organizations have been developed such that all those codings are not all working in a method that would prove to be counterproductive.
  35. We learnt how to better use systems such as Solidworks and the many featured elements supported.
  36. Designing in Computer Aided Drafting software allows designers to image and try implementing designs without wasting unneeded time or materials.
  37. In working to plan before taking action in construction, the process is easier and we can be surer in the final product.
  38. There are many types of metalworking tools which can be interesting in function such as bandsaws that use gravity.
  39. We have learnt how to safely use power tools such as band-saws and table-saws and the importance of safety.
  40. We have worked with many different tools throughout the season which has been proven to be useful. Such a tool that will most certainly have to be used next year is the torque wrench which is easy to use.

Categories: FRC

7614 Admin - SZ

Sean Zhang is the Project Manager of the NHS Robotics FRC Team. The project manager is responsible for keeping team unity, holding members of the team accountable, and making sure the leadership team functions as designed. In addition, the project manager leads all team meetings and acts as a spokesperson for the team.