As we enter the first week of build season for the 2019 FIRST Robotics Competition season, many mentors and students alike are trying to get together resources and ideas for the robot they’ll be building this season. Unfortunately, not all teams have the same resources, but many will share the results of their testing freely to try and raise the floor. We’ll be covering a few of those today.
Spectrum 3847’s Blog
Team 3847, Spectrum, has been a long-time contributor to the pool of FIRST Robotics Competition resources, with their SmugMug album set of robot mechanisms from past seasons, and their open build blog. Their prototyping is published mere days after it happens, and as of today (Day 4) they’ve already published their day 3 build blog.
Their prototyping this year covers possible hatch mechanisms as inspired by some Robot in 3 Days teams, same as many other teams are testing. Additionally, their last blog post also covers a preliminary roller-bar design for cargo handling, with many teams also drawing parallels to the 2016 FRC season. Keeping track of this will give you insight into prototypes and designs you might not have known about or had the resources to test yourself.
John V. Neun, a mentor for Team 148, was well known throughout the 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition season for his humorous and insightful blogs into the process of his team, and overcoming challenges faced by all teams. Though he hasn’t started posting for the 2019 season yet, he’s gone on record to say he will be posting throughout the season.
Keeping track of this blog might provide you some insight into the process of what many consider to be a “powerhouse” FRC team, as well as demystifying it for some. They generally don’t publish mechanism or robot photos until after bag day, but that’s still plenty of time to iterate designs for those district teams or late regional teams, as 148’s first event is Week 2. At the very least, folks won’t be bored reading it.
Triple Helix’s Blog
Team 2363 is no stranger to publishing content for FRC consumption. Their Publications section on their website, as well as their YouTube channel, serve as a guide for not only future team members through parts of their build, but as reference for other teams. Their 2015 can mechanism actuating has been passed around as a de-facto standard for single-piston hatch mechanisms.
Team 95 has done something this season they’ve done in the past to much praise and benefit of the FRC community as a whole. Team 95 has opted to publish core parts of their build season (strategic analysis, mechanism design, etc.) These designs in the past have served as a springing point for quite a few designs in the FRC community, not to mention being a really interesting way to see how other teams processes work.
By following this blog, you gain a direct line of thought into the processes of another team wholly separate from your own. This lets you potentially cover ideas you didn’t think of as a team, as well as do the same to others to prepare on strategizing with them. Additionally, they openly share part numbers for mechanisms, enabling your team to not only go “this works how do we build it” but also “we got the part numbers that were used to build that too.”
How could we forget Good Guy Frank’s blog! The director of FRC’s blog (with guest editors) serves as a primary point of entry for rule updates, award reminders, and other matters that concern FIRST Robotics Competition teams. If you’re following The Blue Alliance, you’re likely following the FRC Blog. On the off-chance you’re not, that “Follow” button ensures you get updates via email.
In fact, a post about Round 2 of FIRST Choice, as well as the announcement that the FRC Question & Answer System being open went out just a day ago. Keeping track of this blog helps your team to say on top of rule changes and team updates, especially ones that might help you add $500 more to your robot (Team Update 1).
While this list is far from complete, we hope that it provides some guidance on resources to follow throughout the build season. Good luck, and we’ll see you at the events!