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December 2008

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From:
"Swayne, Nick" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Swayne, Nick
Date:
Thu, 11 Dec 2008 14:31:21 -0500
Content-Type:
text/plain
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All,

As the guy in question, my concern at the state tournament was not the use of break-aways, rather it was the very precise integration of the referee into the team that I took issue with.  Their plan required pre-match "training" for the referee to the degree that the ref became a de-facto team member.  It shifted about 1/3 of the burden of work/time to the referee rather than the team/robot dealing with it. The strategy required a lawyer-istic approach and a detailed "gap" analysis of the rules.  It was a process that left me wondering if we're encouraging future engineers/scientists or lawyers.  And - it essentially put three team members at the table.

After a long career in the military, where contractors did the same thing - delivering technical products that met a specification but really didn't work right - I was left shaking my head in wonderment.  Is this really what we're all about?

Applying my logic to the game/life, I would not buy a "self-elevating house" as a means of surviving a Katrina if it required that I (or worse an employee of the company) go out in the middle of the flood/storm to disconnect the mechanism after the house was elevated.  Such a device does not represent sound engineering or commendable ethics - even if the device meets the design specifications of the contract.  As taxpayers, this is the kind of engineering that is often featured as a highlight on "the fleecing of America".

I'm all for creativity and thinking outside the box - it's the other stuff I take issue with.

I will work with FIRST on how to sort this out if possible.  Until then, I'm OK with following the rules as they are - but you'll know where I'm coming from.

Nick


On 12/11/08 1:30 PM, "Mark Vanderlyn" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Rusty-
There were several Ashburn teams at the tournament. Ashburn Robotic NX Treme use a similar tactic to what you described below as an integral part of the teams strategy. Given the number of missions and the time constraint the kids realized just before regionals this was one of the only ways to reduce the number of trips back to base and to save time. It was unfortunate, that during the state tournament, our team was accused of bending the spirit of the FLL rules by one of the tournaments key organizers for this tactic. Sometimes think out of the box is just to threatening to the status quo.

Mark-
Ashburn Robotics NX Treme
<-----Original Message----->
>From: Rusty West [[log in to unmask]]
>Sent: 12/11/2008 1:11:22 PM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-L] FW: [VADCFLL-CHAMPIONSHIP-L] Vector 67 Climate
>Connection Game Plan
>
>I like what I saw the team from Ashburn doing.  Think of how NASA did the
>lunar lander and the orbiting module.  The lunar lander left the orbiting
>module, went to the moon, landed, and when it took off it left the base
>there.  It then reunited with the orbiting module before beginning it's path
>back to Earth.  Look at all the good engineering that happened on Apollo 13
>with common components to make the famous CO2 scrubbers.  I have never had a
>team that used the module idea but I wish the would.  I think it takes
>imagination and thinking outside of the box.
>
>Rusty
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: vadcfll championship tournament
>[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of David Levy
>Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 11:30 AM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: [VADCFLL-CHAMPIONSHIP-L] Vector 67 Climate Connection Game Plan
>
>"Obviously it is well within the rules to do so, but what is the opinion
>on the approach from this group? "
>
>Frank,
>
>I guess it depends on how you look at it.  From the perspective off the
>FLL Game, I 'd say it is a very elegant solution.    However as a real
>world solution - maybe not so much.  I guess you could say the same for
>a two wheeled robot with skid plates.     If the kids feel passionate
>about customizing a solution that is only relevant to the robot game
>then I'd think that they should be rewarded for their ingenuity.  On the
>same token if a kid feels strongly about applying a solution that has
>more real world applications (even if it is not the best solution on the
>table), then I would think that they should be rewarded as well.   For
>example, I had a 5th grader last year who wanted to build a winch to
>lower the solar panel onto the house.  The mission took 30 seconds to
>set up and only worked about 1/3 of the time.  This was definitely a bad
>solution on the table considering that the solar panel mission was only
>worth ten points.  However from a pure educational perspective, the
>child demonstrated the application of a simple machine in a very real
>world scenario.
>
>David Levy
>3rd year Coach : Team 90 - Super Nanobot  Extremes
>
>Frank Fenneran wrote:
>> Thanks for sharing Marie.  It is very helpful for this rookie coach.
>>
>> As it relates to Vector 67's methodology, I heard some coaches talking
>about
>> the prevalence of break-off and push-and-leave attachments this year.  The
>> opinions were split...some liking the approach (push an attachment out and
>> leave it) and some against it as inelegant and "messy".  Obviously it is
>> well within the rules to do so, but what is the opinion on the approach
>from
>> this group?
>>
>> -Frank
>> Brainstorms 6515
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: vadcfll championship tournament
>> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Marie
>> Kobayashi
>> Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 9:24 AM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: [VADCFLL-CHAMPIONSHIP-L] Vector 67 Climate Connection Game Plan
>>
>> Hello All!
>>
>> We received a number of requests for the mission summaries, and in
>response
>> to Desh's suggestion I'm posting the pdf attachment to the listserv.  I
>also
>> reprinted the previous description for completeness.  There were a couple
>of
>> notes that I added to the summaries to explain some of the attachment
>> functions.  In reviewing the summaries, I noticed that the first four
>> missions included photos that my son took before they added the agreement
>> attachment to the robot prior to the start.
>>
>> In general, I think Vector 67's solution can be an encouragement to all
>the
>> teams because they relied on a basic robot design with basic programming.
>I
>> guess it was a strength that Vector 67 had very simple solutions.  For
>> example, they came up with their solution to deliver the drill with a ramp
>> in about five minutes.  I was personally a little skeptical that the
>flimsy
>> break-off piece that pushed the ramp would work, but the consistent result
>> proved it out.  They probably didn't get a lot of design points for that
>> mission.
>>
>> We saw many solutions at the regional and state tournaments that were more
>> elegant and technically cool.  It seems that Vector 67 happened to find a
>> simple combination of missions and attachments that worked this year.
>>
>> I hope this helps all of your teams in some way in developing a strategy
>for
>> the table next year.  We hope to see many of you again!
>>
>> Duane (and Marie) Kobayashi
>> Team 6767 - "Vector 67"
>>
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