Throughout the past week, we’ve taken over our generously donated workspace, OSML, to begin the hard work of brainstorming and prototyping possible designs for our FRC Stronghold robot! While building the robot may prove to be challenging, the first step can be even more difficult: determining the design. Before there can be any assembly, there needs to be a layout. Because there are so many components of both the machinery, and the makeup of our team, it takes time to ideate and agree on what the robot should be capable of doing, and how to do it.
This weekend was utilized as a time to organize the team, as well as conceptualize potential final products. Newer members still exploring their team role were given tasks and we took stock of what materials were on hand as well as the best use for the huge pool of engineering talent. Groups were set up and, as the designs continued to evolve, our team leads got a better idea of next steps and assignments. FRC Stronghold presents a great many more unknown variables in the form of ever changing obstacles and audience participation. Design is THE hot topic and different methods to overcome each hindrance have been proposed. Team meetings are dominated by discussions about design, and while we approach all disputes with Woodie Flowers’ concept of “gracious professionalism”, figuring out how many of the barriers the bot will be able to overcome and prototyping possible designs are crucial to the team’s intended victory.