Competition season is under way!

I began my official robotics competition kickoff this past weekend. I started out by judging a competition. Wow! What amazing group of young people and mentors. The hard work, tears, excitement and time put into the machines and the presentations is absolutely phenomenal. Each team and student has a story, as a judge it’s our job to learn those stories. I couldn’t tell you how many students I personally interviewed, but I was impressed by all of them. Many of the students devote so much time and energy into their team. It shows!

This week I will change hats and put on my scouting mentor hat!  Looking forward to the tough competition, I will be focused on the robots.  I am excited to see how the competition will unfold.  Will our robot perform? Will we rank high enough and being in a picking position? Most of all we want to ensure everyone has fun.  My team’s job as scouters is to determine what teams have the best robot that will compliment our machine. We do this by creating a database of all the criteria we are looking for in a robot. We watch every robot in every match to ensure the we get as much information as possible.  At the end of the first day we have our scouting meeting.  We make a list from top to bottom of each machine and what they can do.  Then we look at how we want to play the game.  We rank the robots in order of who will compliment our robot the best. It’s not so simple when your looking at multiple items per machine to compare.  Finding the best robots is sometimes difficult. We have worked to streamline our process making it manageable and faster to create that list. Wishing all the teams luck that will be competing this weekend.