Thursday, February 8, 2024

Open Alliance: Kickoff

We started our kickoff bright and early Saturday morning, tuning in to the game reveal livestream. After the livestream, we split into groups to analyze the game manual. There were five groups; Two groups for game rules and a group each for robot rules, scoring, and endgame. Each group read through and discussed the game manual, then created a PowerPoint presentation on it. Once all the groups were done, we presented our presentations to each other.

After our presentations, we took a break for lunch. Of course, the game analysis doesn’t stop during a break. Most of our conversations as we ate were still focused on the game.

After lunch, we moved on to an activity that’s become somewhat of a kickoff tradition on the team. In order to better understand the game, we play a match of that year’s game using our bodies as robots. We get 6 team members to volunteer and act as robots while the rest of the team makes observations on their dynamics. This year, since we held the activity after lunch, our “robots” had a lot of energy and maybe got a bit too into the competitive side of the activity, so, while lots of fun, we didn’t glean a ton of useful observations.

Next up, we separated into new strategy brainstorming groups. Similar to our game analysis groups, these groups discussed potential game strategies, then created a PowerPoint presentation on their findings.

For most our team members, after we finished up our strategy presentations, the day was over. However, for those on this year’s Robot Design Team, there was still plenty of work to do. The 2024 Robot Design Team is comprised of 6 veteran technical students and 6 mentors and is tasked with choosing the final robot design. As soon as strategy presentations had concluded, the design team started discussing our plans for the coming week. We first determined our robot priorities. We identified a floor, touch-it-own-it intake as a high priority alongside reliable speaker scoring. Next, we decided what we planned on prototyping in the coming week. We decided on five prototyping groups, consisting mainly of intake and shooter variations alongside one group prototyping solutions for the stage and trap. Finally, we ended the meeting making some decisions on what needed to be purchased immediately.

Overall, Saturday’s kickoff was a great start to the season and we here at the Robototes can’t wait for the meetings to come!