Team Lessons Learned:
- Always purchase twice as much as you think you will need. Always.
- Measure twice, cut once.
- Make sure you tell everyone what you are doing. Communication is important.
- Team spirit is actually really important.
- Mentors sacrifice a lot more than you think.
- Prototyping is an absolute necessity.
- Righty-tighty, lefty-loosey is crucial.
- Robotics is preparing us for working in a company. Everyone has a place in robotics.
- Keep things the same for all hardware and accessories, either standard or metric–but only one! This helps in so many ways.
- Programming is important to learn.
- Everything (and everyone) counts. Even the small jobs are important.
Student Quotes 2016:
- “I’m pretty sure I know what I’m doing…”
- “One thing I learned this year was the importance of having strong business partnerships. We lack in this area as a team, so we ended up struggling to find adequate resources to build our robot. But the partnerships we did have were very valuable. Examples of these partners are FRC team Code Orange, the Argosy Foundation and Willick Engineering. These organizations made this year possible for us. After seeing the potential our team has, next year I will invest much more time into developing strong business relationships with sponsors as well as other FRC teams.”
- “This year was my first year in FRC. I had NO experience with any of the tools or machines needed to build a robot. X-Bots’ mentors and my teammates taught me how to use the mill, the lathe, the drill, drill press, the chop saw, the buzz saw, the grinder, the solder, welding, Dremel, and the riveter. The one thing I learned from experiencing all these tools is that you have to prepare things before you use them for the operation to be more safe and effective. This is to prepare things before you use them for the operation to be more safe and effective. This is difficult since I tend to like to jump in and start doing things. X-Bots has helped me think ahead and give thought to the general project as well as specific details. Slowing down, processing ideas, and then executing them in a detailed manner has helped me not only stay safe and successfully help build our robot, but also it has helped me in my daily life. I am much more able to plan things out as well as take the time to do the extra work needed in order to obtain my goals.
- “X-Bots also taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to even if it is a bit intimidating at first. Joining X-Bots was difficult thing for me since I didn’t know anyone there and had no previous robotic experience. I was even scared to use the machines at first since severe injuries could occur. It really pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me a bit about risk taking. I feel more confident now as a student since I succeeded in using the tools and fitting in the team (making new friends). I know that I’ll be quicker to try something new because of my positive experience at X-Bots!”
- “I learned that when you have a potentially good idea about the robot to not just keep quiet because you don’t know how to make it happen, or you are scared to fail. Voice your ideas and it can actually change things, and it can benefit the robot to be something even better.”
- “I learned it is good to be patient and kind with one another. The whole year even though we had tight deadlines, a lot of stress at times, and a lot of hard work ahead of us, none of the team ever lashed out in frustration or anger. Everyone knew how to keep their cool, and be encouraging, patiently helping each other out no matter how much stress they were under.”
- “Working with many dangerous large machines in Willick to make parts and prototypes out of metal, wood, and Plexiglas teaches you to be careful, and always aware of other people’s safety. Now the team has many new skills with machinery. Working with these kinds of things also give you a new reasoning filter, more perspective and attributes to pay attention to when thinking of dynamics and functions of a part or proto type, which brings better ideas for the robot, and less trial and error prototypes.”
- “Nothing is ever certain. We can make a blueprint and have a solid final plan of exactly what we want on our robot. But as we progress through build season, new ideas always pop up and our robot ends up looking much different (and cooler, I might add) than we expected it to. Even robotics competitions are full of surprises, good and bad. Our robots are never guaranteed to work smoothly and there are always malfunctions. Robotics has taught our whole team how to be flexible and to expect the unexpected. Those two things are important life lessons.”
- “The importance of re-thinking procedures and not just following the first thing that comes to mind is important. The Best Option is usually the one that takes time to get there.”
- “Don’t exclude team members just because they are young or novices. Often they do some of the best out-of-the-box thinking.”
- “The biggest ‘take-away’ I learned this season is best summarized by a quote from Samuel Johnson, ‘Great works are not performed by strength, but by perseverance.’ This year, X-Bots faced some serious challenges, being a rookie team with almost no resources. Even throughout the season, we found ourselves with countless obstacles such as broken robot parts, programming errors, lack of materials, etc. Instead of giving up, or simply accepting ‘fate’, we were able to overcome all of these problems and even learn from them. From this experience, I have learned challenges and problems are nothing to fear; in fact, we learn from these obstacles and use them to our advantage. Looking back at this season, with X-Bots as the Regional ‘Rookie Inspiration’ and ‘Highest Rookie Seed’ winner, I realize we learned and accomplished so much more from the difficulties in our season. Each time we failed, we tried again and improved with even more success than before.”
Student quotes 2018:
- “Last year was an interesting one for me as a member of Xbots. As it was my second year in FRC, I had the confidence of a veteran but still the knowledge of a rookie. As a result, my desires for the team were great, but my means of accomplishing them were not. The most valuable lesson I learned last year was that sometimes, it’s better to not try to be good at everything but rather focus on one thing, whether it be in a robotics competition or just everyday life.”