What it should look like:
  • Week 1 = Ideas/prototyping
  • Week 2 = Prototyping/design review
  • Week 3 = CAD model/machining/finalize design
  • Week 4 = Assemble/troubleshoot any problems
  • Week 5 = Code/wire/program
  • Week 6 = Driver practice
Ideally, the team should be working for about 16-20 hours a week; how to distribute that chunk of time will be up to the team and their mentors. Every day, all the different groups should be talking with each other. The space needs to be distributed between the different manipulators as well as the electrical components. When distributing space for electrical components, extra space should be left in between the different parts to make sure each part can be reached easily once all the manipulators are put on. When designing the manipulators, there will be trade-offs on how much space can be given to each. In addition, you should include the sensors in your manipulator designs to save time in the long run.

What to do if your team falls behind:

Behind is really defined by the team; however, if the team is lagging by two weeks or more, something should be done to get up to speed. One method is making compromises, such as taking out parts that are more time consuming than they are necessary. In addition to that, build hours should be extended daily so members have more time to work on the robot. If brainstorming for ideas is the reason that the team is behind, just stick to the kitbot; it’s relatively easy to assemble so that will play a part in saving time as well.


  • Keep the design simple
  • Try your hardest to do a good 6WD. This will make you stand out from all the other teams. The kitbot is already set up for a 6WD with dropped center wheels.
  • Don't go all out on a design, make sure you work towards consistently earning a medium amount of points for your team rather than inconsistently earning a higher amount of points.
  • Finish the robot mechanically by week 4. Driver practice is 50% of how well you do at competition.
  • GET HELP FROM OTHER TEAMS. Veteran teams and mentors are the best resource a rookie team has to being successful. Don't be shy because they're always willing to help.
  • Mentors, mentors, mentors. A huge part of a rookie team's success is having mentor(s) who are knowledgeable in engineering, knowledgeable in FRC, or both. They will be seen as the authority figures so the team would have a strong leadership. These mentors and help from veteran teams are both very important.
  • Use the stuff you get in the kit. You paid for it, and it works.
  • Don't burn the team out. Work around 20 hours per week total and extend hours at the end. Be sure people get days off, especially if they are not needed on certain days. For example, a mechanical member can get time off after the robot is built while the electrical member programs the robot.
  • Have a working driving base by the end of week 2
  • For the first year, try to CAD everything, but ultimately, drawing parts is faster, especially if the part is really simple.

Build Logs

Build logs are notes that are taken at the end of every day of build to see how far the team has progressed, problems that the team encountered during the day, and where the team is at in the big picture.

What needs to be noted:
  • Progress on individual projects
  • Parts that are needed
  • Any issues surrounding personnel
  • What is planned for the next day and for the next week
  • If some compromises have to be made (This would be up to the officers and the mentors)

Who should take notes and have access to this:

Build logs should be written by the lead in charge of engineering and kept within the team, preferably between mentors and officers, because build logs sometimes contain sensitive details that teams don’t necessarily want to post on their website. If the team wants to show where they are at to parents, sponsors, or members that regularly read their website, they can consider putting some general progresses and such on a blog or something of that sort on their website.
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