Today, we began our 2024 Build Season. We started at 8 AM where we prepared for Kickoff by setting up the South Commons area for our team to collaborate, and shortly had our traditional annual pancake breakfast, as our team began to arrive and get prepared for a long day of strategizing and planning.
Next, the captains introduced themselves to the full group and provided some general information about how Kickoff was going to proceed, as well as some important information about the upcoming season, such as lettering requirements. We then took our large group team picture.
As we restlessly began to wait for the event and game manual to be released, we went over some necessary information about how to productively and safely practice “gracious professionalism” on our team. We were then presented with some technical advice on how to proceed with developing our robot this season, developed by members of an experienced FIRST team.
This year’s game is called CRESCENDO and is presented by Haas. In essence, this game is played by scoring notes – foam disks located throughout the game field – in speakers and amps, which are various “goals” located at each end of the game field. Scoring enough notes in an amp will “amplify” the value of notes scored in the speaker. A team can receive a Coopertition ranking point if both teams hit the Coopertition button in the tele-op phase, lowering the threshold for a melody bonus. At the end of the game, robots can place notes in a trap for extra points, and can also climb a chain. Two robots sharing a chain can earn a harmonizing bonus. A final bonus can be earned by a human player accurately tossing a note onto a microphone on the game stage. The higher-scoring alliance wins.
After breaking into small groups, we began to read the rules of the game and work together to properly understand the mechanics of the game, and how to play it. We then broke for a quick DIY-sandwich lunch, before we gathered as a team to discuss the rules, and to strategize how we were going to play the game. After deciding on components, small groups worked together to develop possible designs for certain mechanisms of the game. We then assembled again to present these ideas and then self-assigned ourselves to which groups could CAD and develop the physical prototypes for each potential design.
After this, some people began to head out, while others stayed back to begin work on their prototypes, help clean up the South Commons, or even begin early human player practice, as we began to wrap up the start to a hopefully very successful 2024 Build Season.
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