FIRST Robotics Team 1317

FIRST Tips

Rookie Team Tips

1. DO have fun. Do not lose sight of the value of the process, but enjoy this learning experience!
2. DON’T play games while programming.

3. DO set deadlines and keep them: complete the robot by week 4 and hold two weeks for testing to avoid last minute crunch time.

4. DON’T complain, be a know-it-all, or criticize other people’s ideas. They may be springboards for awesome solutions.

5. DO take advantage of the mentorship available through other experienced FIRST teams by discussing your strategy and getting helpful tips.

6. DON’T forget to make a pre-game check list. This organizes the chaos before the round!

7. DO fail early and fail often. If there are possible mistakes in the design, try to find out early to fix it. Plan for the worst, and think of all possible solutions.

8. DON’T get discouraged mid-season. Don’t give up! There are many people who are available for support!

9. DO appoint a person to read all updates and the rulebook regularly.

10. DON’T be sloppy in your measurements.

11. DO keep the design simple; not too diverse. Do only one or two things and do them well.

12. DON’T do anything with the robot controller or operator interface without confirming with someone first.

13. DO order parts as early as possible. Keep good financial records.

14. DON’T take short cuts. Don’t skip steps.

15. DO think as a team member. Keep team communication a priority.

16. DON’T forget to make a strategy with your alliance partner(s).

17. DO build a robust robot.

18. DON’T forget to feed the crew on long work days. The team marches on its stomach.

19. DO get the community involved through service projects, demonstrations, open houses, and financial support.

20. DON’T make the robot too high off the ground. Keep the center of gravity low.

Safety Tips

1. Follow the safety rules! Make sure at the beginning of the season the rules are made and announced so that everyone has heard them.

2. Never fool around in the workshop or with the tools. Many accidents happen when people don’t use their heads. Think carefully!

3. Wear goggles and gloves EVERY time in the workshop. There are pieces of metal, sharp edges, and chemicals everywhere in the shop.

4. Organize tools/equipment so that they are easy to find. Not only does this speed up the building process, it also prevents you getting cut digging through the shavings on the floor!

5. Use a tool only if you know how to.

6. Put up signs in the workshop as reminders of these safety rules.

7. Don’t work by yourself in the shop! In case of an emergency, someone needs to be able to help you.

8. Make sure there is a first aid kit easily accessible in the room or close to it, perhaps hanging on the wall in the shop.

9. Wash your hands before you eat! Unless you like the taste of oil and metal in your sandwich.

10. Be careful not to overwork yourself. Many times when people get tired, they get sloppy. If you are tired, take a break!

Fundraising Tips

1. Be creative! Look for all the ways possible donators could help!

2. Be agressive! Sometimes proposals need to be followed up on.

3. Keep you sponsors informed! Nothing will be more rewarding to your sponsors than showing your success. Maybe you can host an open house for your team, or plan a demonstration at the company.

4. Make a point to thank your sponsors openly in competition and make sure you mention it to them that you did it too! They will be more willing to support you in the future.

5. Last of all, make a general proposal draft that makes the application for funds much easier year to year. That way as each year changes, you can fix the little details without writing up a whole new proposal.