I very much agree with Randall's point that for rookie teams, start with a good reference design. This allows them to jump into the programming and solving the missions and not getting tied up iterating on the basic robot design. I believe that they will ultimately learn much more and get a much greater sense of accomplishment. On my web site www.masteringlegorobot.com
, I've put brick-by-brick instructions for building the Sea Monster robot, which consistently placed at the VA/DC FLL Championship over six seasons. I was motivated to document the design after watching a number of rookie teams really struggle in the regional competitions, where some robots couldn't even complete a single mission.
My two cents; given unlimited time I would love to have my teams figure
out every design aspect of their robots all by themselves. However,
given the time constraints I prefer to bring them my stack of books and
encourage them to look online for ideas. I consider it research and
often refer to the meme that architects have three thousand years of
bridges to which to refer when they design new bridges. I do not
consider it a good use of their time in reinventing the wheel. I have
often seen my teams meld the best ideas of more than one design in
creating their robots.
For all-rookie teams, I see nothing wrong with taking the basic LEGO
Tribot and modifying it with new attachments for the competition. Just
The Robot Engineers #6461
9th year coach.
> On Sep 14, 2014, at 11:59 PM, Frank Levine<[log in to unmask]
> Hi all,
> I was wondering where the line is between 'kids do the work' vs 'starter
> robot' is? I have seen several suggestions (both here and on the
> interwebs) that this/that robot is a great robot for rookies, etc. While
> my team has been trying to make a decent robot from scratch, I have taken
> many of the suggestions that I have seen from the internet and made what I
> think is a decent driving base. Is it appropriate to hand that base over
> to the rookies and let them go from there? Will the judges frown on a
> coach doing some of the initial legwork to get a base started? What's the
> difference between that and finding a starting base on-line? Ideally I
> would love to see them make it from scratch, but today's building session
> has me thinking that this may be a bit of a stretch.
> Frank Levine
> "The Construction Mavericks"
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