Brainstorming sub-groups each presented their ideas for this year's game on Monday night. In the end it came down to two choices: a light, fast robot with drop-down arms to herd the trackballs around the field, or a more complex robot that can lift the 40-inch, 10-pound trackballs to score bonus points.
Despite words of warning from the many veterans who met with disaster during their 2nd year when they thought, "We aren't rookies anymore, we can do it all!," our team decided to build a robot that can lift those jumbo trackballs. One of the stumbling blocks is our inexperience with CAD design; this year we must rely mostly on good old-fashioned graph paper. Exploring new engineering concepts (like pneumatics and an arm) is part of what makes FIRST such an amazing competition.
Not to say that winning isn't important to our team; if we put in enough time we can build this robot. We've ordered most of the parts we need and have an almost working drive base. We are a much stronger team this year (20+ new members!), much more organized, and armed with experience from this fall's build session. We are up to the challenge!