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Southwest Robotics, FRC #2129 - Ultraviolet

Team Handbook
Contents
Goals
DecisionProcess
Communications
TeamStructure
StudentExpectations
Fundraising/Budget
Safety
Season
Recruit
PreSeason
BuildSeason
Brainstorming
CAD
Fabrication
Software
Electrical
Timeline
Training
Appendices
AppendixI:StudentExpectationsContract.
AppendixII:HealthandSafety+MediaConsentForm.
AppendixIII:SafetyExam.
AppendixIV:SampleTeamRoles.

Goals

ThemaingoaloftheSouthwestRoboticsTeamistoteachandinspirestudentsinthefields
ofengineering,leadership,andmarketing.Weaccomplishthisnotonlybylearningtheories
fromprofessionalengineers,butalsobyapplyingourknowledgeinagroupthatdesigns,
builds,wires,andprogramsaworkingrobottocompeteintheFRCcompetition.By
creatingarobotthatcanscorethemostpointsintheFRCcompetitionandbepartofa
winning'alliance',ourteamissimulatingarealworldsmallbusinessthatneedsnotonlyto
createaningeniousproduct,buttosellit.

Decision Process

Weareastudent-ledteam.ByapplyingskillstoallaspectsofanFRCteam,studentshave
theopportunitytolearnaboutleadership,planning,marketing,andteamorganization
inadditiontoengineering.Althoughstudentsmakethedecisions,allinstructionsfrom
parents,teachers,oradultvolunteersareobeyed.

Themoreexperiencedstudentsshoulddirectandsuperviserookies.Anydisputesamong
theteammemberswillbebroughttotheteamcaptain.Iftheproblemstillisn'tsolvedthen
thememberswilltakeavote,inwhicheveryonehasanequalsay.Ifastudentstillfeels
thewrongdecisionhasbeenreached,theycanappealtotheTeamCoach.

Communications

E-mail

Thisisourmainmethodofcommunication;everyoneisexpectedtohaveanactivee-
mailaddressthattheycheckdaily.Anystudentswhocan'tregularlychecktheire-
mailmustfindan"e-mailbuddy"whocantellthemanyimportantinformation.E-
mailsareorganizedthroughtheStudents(studentsSWHSrobotics@googlegroups.com),
Parents(parentsSWHSrobotics@gogglegroups.com),andMentors
(mentorsSWHSrobotics@googlegroups.com)lists.

Theteam'se-mail(currentlycheckedbyRobertK.andTimF.)isinfo@swrobotics.com.To
e-mailindividualteamleaderspleaselookatthe"Members"sectionofourwebsite.

Ifyouwanttocontactallstudents,mentors,and/orparents,pleasesendane-mailwith
infotoinfo@swrobotics.comsothatitcanbeincludedinthenexte-mailupdate.If
informationneedstobesentimmediately,youcane-maillistsdirectly(theremaybea
delayifthee-mailisheldformoderation).

Website

Allteammembersarewelcometowriteonourblog.Ifanyonehasanyquestions
aboutupcomingeventstheyshouldchecktheEventCalendarande-mailrecordsbefore
contactingTeamCoaches.Pleasechecktoseethattheeventhasbeenconfirmed(turned
blue)ontheonlineEventCalendarbeforeattending.TheEventCalendarwillhavethemost
recentinformation.

Team Structure

Thisisaveryflexiblestructurethatcanandshouldchangeeveryyear;thejobsoutline
belowareonlyexamples.Weneedtofindtherightjobforeveryperson,nottheright
personforeveryjob.EveryoneneedstoclearlyunderstandtheirplaceontheSouthwest
RoboticsTeam,thereforeeveryonemustsubmitajobdescriptionaspartoftheirbiosection
onthewebsite.

Mentorsdemonstrateoften,butitisevenbetterifstudentsareencouragedtoteacheach
other.Mentorsshouldnotbetouchingtherobotortoolsveryoften.Mentorsshouldnotbe
overlyinvolvedinthebrainstormingordesignprocess;studentsmustbeallowedtolearn
fromtheirmistakes.Volunteershelpstudentsmanagetheteam.Theyfacilitatebutdonot
dictateteamrulesandpolicy.

Lettering

AllSouthwestRoboticsteammembershavetheopportunitytoearnaSouthwestHigh
SchoolRoboticsletterthroughparticipationinvariouseventsandworkathome.Students
whoaccumulateenoughpointstodemonstrateexeptioncommitmentandtalentwillrecieve
aletter.Studentswillbeawardedpointvaluesbasedonattendance,effort,andmerit.The
maximumnumberofpointsforeacheventwillbedeterminedbyitslengthandimportance.
Formoredetails,seethe"StudentAttendance"spreadsheet.

Studentswhoreceive200pointsormore(exactnumbersubjecttochange)willletteratthe
endoftheschoolyear.Theteamcoachcanmakeexceptionswhennecessary(forexample,
anystudentwhoviolatestheirstudentcontractmaylosetheiropportunitytoletter).

Fundraising/Budget

Mostmoneyisraisedthroughcorporatesponsors.Everyoneisencouragedtoapproach
anyonetheyknowwhohasaconnection.Mentorsusuallyfindpotentialsponsorsand
arrangeatimeforstudentstomakeapresentationwitharobot.Moneyisalsoraisedwith
eventssuchascarwashes,trashcleanup,ordinners.

AllmajorexpensesmustbeapprovedofbytheteamFinancialMentorpriortopurchaseand
allreceiptsmustbeturnedintotheteamFinancialMentorforreimbursement.

Season

Schedule

Mostmeetingsshouldbe2-3hourslong.TheschedulevariesalotsotheEventCalendar
isusedtokeepeveryoneupdated.Ifsomethingischangedafterbeingconfirmed,the
clubwillsendane-mailnotification.Saturdaymorningsworkwellforbothmentors
andstudents.Duringtheentireschoolyear,studentswillmeet1dayaweekafter
school.Studentsusuallymeet3-5daysaweekafterschoolduringthebuildseason,and
parentsareencouragedtocomeandsuperviseiftheyareableto.

Recruiting

Duringthefirstfewweeksofschoolitisimportanttogenerateinterestamongother
Southweststudentsthroughdemonstrationsandposters.Veteransshouldorganizea
workshop/demonstrationforrookies(andcollectnames/e-mails).Tosignup,students
mustfollowtheinstructionsinthe"GetInvolved"sectionofourwebsite.
Potentialpoliciesifteamgrowstoolarge:
Periodbeforekickoffis"roboticsclub",andonlyalimitednumber(35?)canbe
on"roboticsteam".
Largersignupfeewithmorestudentfundraisingopportunities(sellingraffleticketsor
candy).

PreSeason

Thereshouldbeoneorientationmeetingaftertheinitialinterestworkshopduringwhich
rookiestudentswillbegivenanoverviewoftheaboverequirements,shownonline
resources,andgivenforms.SometimeinOctoberstudentsshouldfillouttheirbioand
jobdescriptionandalloftheleadershiprulesshouldbechosen.CaptainsandLeadersare
chosenbytheHeadCaptainandapprovedofbytheCoach.IfthecurrentHeadCaptainisa
senior,thentheteamshouldvoteonaLieutenantCaptainsometimebeforekickoff.

Thepreseasonshouldbedevotedmostlytocreatinganewprojectandallowingtheteamto
worktogether.Initially,aseriesofworkshopstaughtbymentorsandveteransshouldgive
everyoneabasicunderstandingofengineeringtheoriesandhowtoapplythem.Everyone
mustpassasafetyexam.Beforeusingwoodshoptoolswithoutdirectadultsupervision,
studentsneedtobecertifiedbytheteamEngineeringMentor.

Aftereveryonehasbeencertifiedtobeginwork,theteamwillstarttheirnewestproject.
Bysettinganaggressiveagendaandcreatingmockbrainstormingsessionstheteamwill
bepreparedforthe6weekCompetitionBuildSeason.Havingteamsocialeventsbefore
kickoffisalsoimportantsothatteammatesgettoknoweachotherbeforethebuildseason.

Build Season

Brainstorming

Thisshouldn'tbeginuntilallstudentshavereadtherulesthoroughly;ifastudenthasno
interestindesignorstrategytheymayasktheHeadCaptainforanexemption.Atthe
firstbrainstormingmeetingeveryonewillberequiredtopassatestofthegamerules
beforestarting;anyonewhofailsshouldreviewtherulesagain.Mentorsshouldnotbe
veryinvolvedinthebrainstormingprocess;ifthereisanimportantflawinthedesignthey
shouldtalktoateamcaptain.

Thegoalofbrainstormingistodecideonafeasiblewinningdesignandstrategy;itisbest
tohavespecificsbutnotnecessary.Onthefirstdayofbrainstormingeveryoneshould
writedownalloftheirideasonPost-Itsbeforecollaborating.Theteamwillthendiscuss
therulesanddifferentstrategies.Thenallideasshouldbegroupedintoseveraldifferent
categoriesontheboard.Theteamwilldivideintodifferentsub-groupsforeachcategory
andeachsub-groupwillcollaborateandthengiveaprofessionalpresentationtotheteam
thefollowingday.Theteamshouldcometoaconsensusonthe3rddayofbrainstorming,
aftereachpresentationhasfinishedandallideashavebeendiscussed.

Fabrication

Themanipulatorshouldonlybebuiltafterdesignersareconfident(CAD/dimensional
drawings),partsarehavebeenordered,andallbuildersclearlyunderstandthedesign.If
possible,themanipulatorcanbebuiltuponanexistingdrivebase.Laterintheseason,an
newdrivebasecanbefabricatedwithnecessaryimprovements.

Testing

Bettertobreakitnowthanatcompetition.Lettingdriversworktogetherisveryimportant,
butdon'tbetooafraidtomakelast-minuteimprovements.Driverselectionisvery
importanttothesuccessoftheteamatcompetition.Themaindrivershouldbeselectedby
mentorsbeforethekickoff,duringamini-gameinwhicheveryonehasthechancetodrive
therobotandsc

Driversmustlistentothecoachatalltimes,workwellwitheachother,exercisegood
judgment,haveaverygoodunderstandingoftherulesandgameplay,haveadecent
ideaofbasicstrategiesthecoachwilluse,andknowhowtherobotworks.Coachmust
workwellwithdriveteam,beabletothinkquicklyandrationally,staycalmandlevel-
headed(nopanickingorscreamingatthedrivers),haveanexcellenthandleontherules,
understandgameplay,andhavesomepredeterminedstrategieslaidout.

Competition

Clearlyestablishteamroles.Gothroughcompetitionchecklist.

Training

Studentsdeterminewhattheywanttodoaftercompetitionandduringthesummer.
IndividualprojectsusingteamresourcesmustbeapprovedofbytheHeadCaptain.

Appendix I: Student Expectations Contract.

Appendix II: Health and Safety + Media Consent Form.

Appendix III: Safety Exam. ****MORE****

The Safety Exam


Machine Practice Exam

Appendix IV: Sample Team Roles.

Student
SubGrou
p
Example
Leadership
Opportunities
Responsibilities Notes ***MORE***
Managem
ent
HeadCaptain
Lieutenant
Captain
FormsPerson
Everyonelearns.
Everyonedoestheirjob.
Everythinggetsdone.
Lieutenant Captain shares
responsibilitieswiththeHead
Captain.TheLieutenant
Captainshouldbeelected
bytheteamwellbeforethe
buildseasonbegins,andbe
readytobecometheHead
Captainwhenthecurrent
HeadCaptaingraduates.
Construct
ion
Construction
Captain
CADLeader
DriveBase
Leader
Manipulator
Leader
CleanUp
Leader
Storage
Organization
Leader
Studentslearnkey
mechanicaltheoriesandhow
toapplythem.
Arobotmostlikelytowin
isbuiltonschedule

Program
ming
Programming
Captain
Collaboration
Leader
Studentslearnkey
softwaretheoriesandhowto
applythemusingC.
Createaprogrambest
suitedtocontrolourrobot
andscorepoints.
Collaboration Leader
documentsallprograming
sub-groups,inchargeof
makingsuresectionsofcode
createdbymultiplepeople
fittogether;thateveryone
isonthesamepage.Also
backsupfilesandkeeps
multiple
Strategy,

Scouting,

Rules,
&Drive
Team
Scouting
Captain
RulesCaptain
StrategyPerson
(drive)
Main(drive)
Manipulator
(drive)
Human/
RoboCoach
(drive)
Backups
(drive)
Representtheteamat
competitionandexhibit
graciousprofessionalism.
Ensureasuccessful
competition.
Maketherobotperformat
itsbest.

Electrical

Electrical
Captain
Sensors
Leader
Pneumatics
Leader
Electronics
Leader
Operator
Controls
Leader
Studentslearnkeyelectric
andpneumatictheoriesand
howtoapplythem.
Electronicsandpneumatics
workefficientlyandare
readyfortheconstruction
team.

Media MediaPerson
Website
Person
VideoPerson
PicturePerson
Collect,edit,andpresent
footagetoprojectteam
image.

Animation
Person
Importan
tStuff
Community
Involvement
Person
AwardsLeader
Sponsor
Communications
Person
BudgetPerson
Attendance
Person
LetteringPerson
SafetyCaptain
TeachvaluesofFIRST
toourschoolandthe
community.
Makesuretheteamhas
enoughresources.
Planahead.
Everyonestayssafe.
Everyoneneedstothink
aboutandpracticesafety,
buttheSafety Captain
inparticularisresponsible
formakingsureeveryone
understandsthesafetyrules
(seeAppendixI)andfollows
them.
PitCrew UncrateTeam
Runner
Representtheteamat
competitionandexhibit
graciousprofessionalism.
Ensureasuccessful
competition.

Spirit Mascot
PartyPlanning
Person
T-shirt,
Giveaways
Person
Positivelyrepresentthe
teamatcompetition.
Havefun!

MentorandVolunteer
Organization

Team Coach
(RobertK.)

Big Picture Specific Examples Notes


Theteam
practicesgracious
professionalismand
hasfun.
Everyone
learns.
Everyonedoes
theirjob.
Everythinggets
done.
Theteam
grows.
Organizeadult
non-technical
groups.
Settleany
disputes.
Write/review/
organizeall
outgoingclube-
mails

Sub-Teams Big Picture Specific Examples Notes


LogisticsCoordinator

Everyoneknows
abouteventsand
isgivenample
opportunityto
participate.
Eventsare
scheduledatatime
Organizeteam
paperwork(consent
forms).
Organizeteam
socialevents.
Organizerobotics
demonstrations.

thatworksbestfor
everyone,especially
keyparticipants.
Eventlogistics
gosmoothly
andeveryone
understandstheir
responsibility.

Tripcoordinator.
Triphead
chaperon.
Updateschedule
(onlineRobotics
Calendar&applyfor
schoolpermits).
Fundraising/
Budget
(FranzU.)
Teamhasenough
money.
Teachvalues
ofFIRSTtoour
schoolandthe
community.

Sponsor
communications
Organizestudent
presentations
Finances/budget.
Findscorporate
sponsors
Organizesteam
fundraisingevents
(carwash,selling
chocolate,etc)

Engineering(TimF.) Everyonestays
safe.
Studentslearnkey
engineeringtheories
andhowtoapply
them.
Awinningrobotis
builtonschedule

Safety
Organizeteam
workshops
Organizetechnical
mentors.
OrderParts

SECTION OF RANDOM STUFF/NOTES

Special thanks to Apple Robotics for sharing their team manual and letting us use it as a template.