US FIRST Competitors

US FIRST Competitors

Post by Scott A. Mut » Sun, 03 Jun 2001 02:36:06



I was curious if anyone here was a competitor or mentor in the US FIRST
robot competition?

--

 
 
 

US FIRST Competitors

Post by Bob Housto » Sun, 03 Jun 2001 09:34:52


    I was not a sponsor this year but in the past I have helped 3 teams get
through a US FIRST competition.  I will not attempt to sponsor another US
FIRST team until such a time as I have a corporate sponsor that completely
sponsors the team.  US FIRST is set up and designed for teams that have
corporate "fat cats" sponsoring them.  Without a corporate "fat cat" I would
be wasting my time, my students time, and my schools money.  There are
plenty of good robotic competitions both rc and autonomous that are
configured so that it is not necessary to have a corporate "fat cat".
    Don't get me wrong its a great environment, but without the corporate
"fat cat" it is an exercise in futility.

bob

--
Bob Houston
1759 Cuba Road
Bridgeport, Texas 76426



Quote:> I was curious if anyone here was a competitor or mentor in the US FIRST
> robot competition?

> --


 
 
 

US FIRST Competitors

Post by Jason Tan » Sun, 03 Jun 2001 21:57:56


I agree, every team needs sponsors with adequate resources.  Several years
ago while I was still in high school.  We entered our team in the Canada
FIRST competition.  We had 10 - 20 small sponsors and 3 'mentors'.  Our
biggest mistake was designing and building the robot ourselves (as stated by
the rule book).  Don't get me wrong, it worked surprisingly well.  But there
were a great number of teams who basicly turned their entire operation over
to the sponsors and just sat back and watched.  Worst of all, the rules
about the design and construction to be completed by the students were
impossible to enforce.  So there were a small number of home-built robots
competing against several 'moon-rovers'.


>     I was not a sponsor this year but in the past I have helped 3 teams
get
> through a US FIRST competition.  I will not attempt to sponsor another US
> FIRST team until such a time as I have a corporate sponsor that completely
> sponsors the team.  US FIRST is set up and designed for teams that have
> corporate "fat cats" sponsoring them.  Without a corporate "fat cat" I
would
> be wasting my time, my students time, and my schools money.  There are
> plenty of good robotic competitions both rc and autonomous that are
> configured so that it is not necessary to have a corporate "fat cat".
>     Don't get me wrong its a great environment, but without the corporate
> "fat cat" it is an exercise in futility.

> bob

> --
> Bob Houston
> 1759 Cuba Road
> Bridgeport, Texas 76426



> > I was curious if anyone here was a competitor or mentor in the US FIRST
> > robot competition?

> > --

 
 
 

US FIRST Competitors

Post by Bob Housto » Mon, 04 Jun 2001 03:01:51


The only thing I want the corporate "fat cat" for is finances, and possibly
some access to engineers.  I am convinced that if I could get the financial
help and engineering "advice" the kids where I teach could, and would kick
but when up against the "corporate machine".  I really do not want to do
FIRST the way most of the top teams do succeed.  Yes the kids get a rush of
self confidence from finishing in the top "whatever".  The kids who get
financial support and engineering advice but who in fact design, build and
then learn to operate their own machine come away with a "rush of self
confidence".  The come away with knowledge, experience and the confidence
that comes from having met and conquered a challenge, regardless of their
final competition standing
bob
.

--
Bob Houston
1759 Cuba Road
Bridgeport, Texas 76426


> I agree, every team needs sponsors with adequate resources.  Several years
> ago while I was still in high school.  We entered our team in the Canada
> FIRST competition.  We had 10 - 20 small sponsors and 3 'mentors'.  Our
> biggest mistake was designing and building the robot ourselves (as stated
by
> the rule book).  Don't get me wrong, it worked surprisingly well.  But
there
> were a great number of teams who basicly turned their entire operation
over
> to the sponsors and just sat back and watched.  Worst of all, the rules
> about the design and construction to be completed by the students were
> impossible to enforce.  So there were a small number of home-built robots
> competing against several 'moon-rovers'.



> >     I was not a sponsor this year but in the past I have helped 3 teams
> get
> > through a US FIRST competition.  I will not attempt to sponsor another
US
> > FIRST team until such a time as I have a corporate sponsor that
completely
> > sponsors the team.  US FIRST is set up and designed for teams that have
> > corporate "fat cats" sponsoring them.  Without a corporate "fat cat" I
> would
> > be wasting my time, my students time, and my schools money.  There are
> > plenty of good robotic competitions both rc and autonomous that are
> > configured so that it is not necessary to have a corporate "fat cat".
> >     Don't get me wrong its a great environment, but without the
corporate
> > "fat cat" it is an exercise in futility.

> > bob

> > --
> > Bob Houston
> > 1759 Cuba Road
> > Bridgeport, Texas 76426



> > > I was curious if anyone here was a competitor or mentor in the US
FIRST
> > > robot competition?

> > > --

 
 
 

US FIRST Competitors

Post by Mark Y » Mon, 04 Jun 2001 16:50:38


I've been involved on and off with the Gunn High School Robotics team
(GRT #192) for four years.  They have great support from their teacher
and a few engineers, but the key to success for GRT has been for the
*s to step back and let the kids do everything.

It took a while, but the kids do pretty much everything.  They've got
a history of things they know work or don't work.  The "veteran"
students give pointers to the "rookies."  They call meetings, set
agendas, design/build the robot, everything including getting the
money.

They go out and approach companies in silicon valley and give
presentations as if they were a start up company looking for funding.
They are enthusiastic, they show videos, they tell stories about how
FIRST has changed many of their lives. One year they got over $40,000
in corporate sponsorship.

If you want some suggestions on how to raise money, I can point you to
the GRT student leaders. Like most FIRST teams, they'd love to help out.

Just because these robots are built by students doesn't mean that they
perform poorly. These students get a big kick out of knowing that
they are up against (and often beat) robots designed by professional
engineers.  There are plenty of FIRST teams like GRT, fully student
run that also perform really well.

mark



>The only thing I want the corporate "fat cat" for is finances, and possibly
>some access to engineers.  I am convinced that if I could get the financial
>help and engineering "advice" the kids where I teach could, and would kick
>but when up against the "corporate machine".  I really do not want to do
>FIRST the way most of the top teams do succeed.  Yes the kids get a rush of
>self confidence from finishing in the top "whatever".  The kids who get
>financial support and engineering advice but who in fact design, build and
>then learn to operate their own machine come away with a "rush of self
>confidence".  The come away with knowledge, experience and the confidence
>that comes from having met and conquered a challenge, regardless of their
>final competition standing
>bob
>.

>--
>Bob Houston
>1759 Cuba Road
>Bridgeport, Texas 76426



>> I agree, every team needs sponsors with adequate resources.  Several years
>> ago while I was still in high school.  We entered our team in the Canada
>> FIRST competition.  We had 10 - 20 small sponsors and 3 'mentors'.  Our
>> biggest mistake was designing and building the robot ourselves (as stated
>by
>> the rule book).  Don't get me wrong, it worked surprisingly well.  But
>there
>> were a great number of teams who basicly turned their entire operation
>over
>> to the sponsors and just sat back and watched.  Worst of all, the rules
>> about the design and construction to be completed by the students were
>> impossible to enforce.  So there were a small number of home-built robots
>> competing against several 'moon-rovers'.

 
 
 

US FIRST Competitors

Post by Jason Tan » Mon, 04 Jun 2001 23:03:30


Perhaps my sarcasm was missed when I said designing the robot ourselves was
a mistake.  Let me rephrase.

I enjoyed my two years as a chief designer and co-captain on the team.  Our
robot was conceived and designed AND BUILT entirely by our small group of
about 15.  Our robot worked very well and competed quite well.  Overall our
team enjoyed ourselves and met lots of people at the competition.

However, it would have been nice to see all the teams allow their students
to participate as completely as we did.  Doing it yourself enriches the
experience... and winning isn't everything.

Just clearing up my POV.

And yes, as co-captain, I was also partly responsible for making
presentations, documenting, securing sponsors, finding mentors and
organizing meetings... as well as design and construction.  Overall, the
experience drew my interest more toward robotics and computer engineering
(my college program).


> I've been involved on and off with the Gunn High School Robotics team
> (GRT #192) for four years.  They have great support from their teacher
> and a few engineers, but the key to success for GRT has been for the
> *s to step back and let the kids do everything.

> It took a while, but the kids do pretty much everything.  They've got
> a history of things they know work or don't work.  The "veteran"
> students give pointers to the "rookies."  They call meetings, set
> agendas, design/build the robot, everything including getting the
> money.

> They go out and approach companies in silicon valley and give
> presentations as if they were a start up company looking for funding.
> They are enthusiastic, they show videos, they tell stories about how
> FIRST has changed many of their lives. One year they got over $40,000
> in corporate sponsorship.

> If you want some suggestions on how to raise money, I can point you to
> the GRT student leaders. Like most FIRST teams, they'd love to help out.

> Just because these robots are built by students doesn't mean that they
> perform poorly. These students get a big kick out of knowing that
> they are up against (and often beat) robots designed by professional
> engineers.  There are plenty of FIRST teams like GRT, fully student
> run that also perform really well.

> mark



> >The only thing I want the corporate "fat cat" for is finances, and
possibly
> >some access to engineers.  I am convinced that if I could get the
financial
> >help and engineering "advice" the kids where I teach could, and would
kick
> >but when up against the "corporate machine".  I really do not want to do
> >FIRST the way most of the top teams do succeed.  Yes the kids get a rush
of
> >self confidence from finishing in the top "whatever".  The kids who get
> >financial support and engineering advice but who in fact design, build
and
> >then learn to operate their own machine come away with a "rush of self
> >confidence".  The come away with knowledge, experience and the confidence
> >that comes from having met and conquered a challenge, regardless of their
> >final competition standing
> >bob
> >.

> >--
> >Bob Houston
> >1759 Cuba Road
> >Bridgeport, Texas 76426



> >> I agree, every team needs sponsors with adequate resources.  Several
years
> >> ago while I was still in high school.  We entered our team in the
Canada
> >> FIRST competition.  We had 10 - 20 small sponsors and 3 'mentors'.  Our
> >> biggest mistake was designing and building the robot ourselves (as
stated
> >by
> >> the rule book).  Don't get me wrong, it worked surprisingly well.  But
> >there
> >> were a great number of teams who basicly turned their entire operation
> >over
> >> to the sponsors and just sat back and watched.  Worst of all, the rules
> >> about the design and construction to be completed by the students were
> >> impossible to enforce.  So there were a small number of home-built
robots
> >> competing against several 'moon-rovers'.

 
 
 

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