jgraber Show full post »
Our team was definitely effected by the size difference in the copper bucket, and although I'm not sure what the tolerance is supposed to be for the game pieces (I should probably know being the coach) on game day I tried to use it as a "teachable" moment whereby I had the kids attempt to find a quick solution without getting discouraged. 

Depending on the real-world scenario the game is attempting to model, the expectation of fixed constraints varies. Obviously in a factory setting you have a high expectation of consistency but if you were designing a robot for say a mars roving mission, the range of environmental conditions would have to be incorporated into the design. 

From a teacher's point of view I try to instruct my students to design their robot based on the criteria and constraints they are given so my feeling is that in this type of situation, if tolerances are specified as part of the game rules, then they should be adhered to. In which case the burden falls on those who are constructing the field to comply. 

We also need to teach values like compassion and understanding (ethics) to our students, which in my estimation exceed the value of engineering principles in general (safety and integrity also belonging to the set of the ethical values), so I wouldn't make a "big stink" about the lack of quality control in front of my students regardless of my opinion of it. We realize that this organization is heavily dependent on volunteers and therefore we need to teach gratitude and be considerate of the fact that they probably have day jobs.

I would say to the kids that if this was in fact a real-world example, the people in charge of the particulars of the environment would need to be held accountable for the specifics of their own set of requirements and as a separate "division" of engineers we need to understand that we'll be held accountable for meeting and/or exceeding the requirements that were given to us.

So in a sense, both sides are right but for different reasons. I think ultimately the importance should be placed on what the kids can learn from the circumstances rather than who is ultimately to judge. 

Keep up the good work guys! See you next year!

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With regard to the wifi disconnections, from our own experience we noticed that the old rev 1 (?) of the cortex (with the flush wifi key) seems to perform worse in terms of maintaining its connection that the version with the raised wifi key (rev 2?). Maybe some other teams have noticed this as well. Originally we thought it was the difference between the old (black) wifi keys and the newer white ones, but it didn't seem to be the case with us. Maybe those who'v experienced dropped connections can tell us if they were using the older or newer version of the cortex and that could help in singling out the problem...  -Brian
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I've seen wifi connection problems with both flat and "turbo" raise key Cortex.  The raised key cortex as developed to improve wifi by increasing distance from EM radiation inside the cortex, so it makes perfect sense that the turbo seems better.   Generic rules and Returnable kits list show optional 18" USB extension cable to achieve even more distance.
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