North Texas Regionals 2018 Postmortem

Tags: think
Personhours: 9
North Texas Regionals 2018 Postmortem By Charlotte, Ethan, Tycho, Austin, Janavi, Abhi, Karina, Kenna, and Evan

Task: Reflect on The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of our performance at North Texas Regionals

Preparation

Strengths
Some of our team members put in a lot of hours of work the night before the competition and we were able to successfully prepare the robot for the robot games.

Weaknesses
Though it proved very necessary, the fact that people had to pull an all-nighter before the competition shows that we have a long way to go before we have perfected our preparation strategy. We need to work on limiting our last minute robot changes/focus more on the robot in the weeks before the competition instead of the hours. Also, with any changes we make we need to make sure that we are able to practice driving with them.

Opportunities
In the future, we must take advantage of after school practices in the weeks leading up to the competition,as we historically can't accomplish everything solely on Saturday practices.

Threats
There is a threat of laziness and the lack of high priority in the weeks leading up to higher level competitions. We must work hard not only on the night before the competition, but in the days and weeks leading up to it. There is a huge threat of time crunch.

Judging

Strengths
In the presentation room we had more of an air of enthusiasm than in our previous presentations, and while we can always have more energy, it was a step in the right direction. We got a sheer mass of information out in our allotted time and did so effectively. It was evident in the fact that we won 2nd Inspire and 1st Connect that we were successful in bringing our point across.

Weaknesses
We still have the problem of coming off as inactive or lethargic in the pits. It didn't help this time that some of us were running on a very small amount of sleep. During the presentation itself we ran overtime, as we always do, and barely left any time for questions. Also, in our time crunch we didn't get to show the full demo of our robot, which is obviously a very important aspect of the presentation.

Opportunities
We can practice our presentation to make our transitions smoother and our content more concise so that we can relay all of the information that we strive to.

Robot Performance

Strengths
After our losses, our robot started to perform a lot better and won a couple of matches. While the grabber system could perform better, this competition was a good opportunity to see what works and what doesn't.

Weaknesses
We lost our first three matches due to our lift not being completely tested and fixed. It got caught on the robot, stopped lifting, and had other performance issues early on in the competition. We had to do a complete replacement of the grabber, so there were still some parts that were not completely secure; we had to make many last minute and between match fixes.

Opportunities
We were able to prove that grabber v.5 works! And now we can move on and make additional improvement so that we can truly bring forward our robot game during supers. We are using our current model (the model from the competition) and working on mounting it to a conveyor belt to flip to either side of the robot. This competition proved the ability of the grabber and opened up the opportunity to make additional modifications with it.

Scouting

Strengths
This competition we were able to talk to other team throughout the day and form connections, that way even though we were in 13th place by the end of the competition we were able to explain that we lost our first three due to some minor changes but we won our last two games because we finally got our robot to work. This helped us get into the semifinals as part of the fourth place alliance.

Weaknesses
We need to make sure teams can follow up on their claims because some teams frankly just exaggerated when asked about their robot. We also need to take more photos for blog posts and the presentation. We needed to do more scouting this competition, while we were able to talk to teams we didn't do a very good job in keeping up with a spreadsheet of all of our data that meant by the end when we were trying to see what teams to talk to we had a hard time remember their stats or much about their robot.

Opportunities
We need to have better accounts of the matches, and we need to watch other teams' matches through doing this we can keep an accurate spreadsheet and know what each team is truly capable of.

Written on February 14, 2018