We made many mistakes throughout the course of the build season. As a rookie team we had trouble getting started, but through determination, trial and error, and valuable mentors we worked through the numerous roadblocks we faced.
Rule Book Consideration: We ran into multiple problems of which the root cause was an inaccurate or erroneous interpretation of the rulebook. In hindsight, we should have had multiple people looking over the rulebook and inspecting our robot prior to competition.
Tool Literacy and Organization: Keeping a tool manager would have proven immensely beneficial to preserve a consistent workflow throughout the build season. We determined that it would have been best to utilize the workshops available to us further, as well as referring to shop teachers as mentors to avoid causing any unnecessary mistakes. Not to mention the school shop isn't a bad place to do some recruiting!
Programming: Having only one programmer could have been a potential issue. If our only one were absent from any events we would have been lost; not to mention the plight of our programmer needing to be present at every event to get the robot up and running. Having another programmer to help with code, or even just act as an extra pair of eyes/stand-in for the original programmer is a necessary safety net for next season.
Recruitment and Active Team Members: Recruit! Recruit! Recruit! Any robotics team could always make use of new members. Towards the end of the build season, we began to feel the crunch and a few extra hands could have provided some much-needed relief. To remedy this we could expand our social media presence and advertise the team and competition around our school/community.
Time Allocation: This whole competition has taught us valuable lessons in time management. After a period of time, we developed a set schedule and stuck to it. We ran into the problem of not having enough time to test the robot prior to bag day. Absolute adherence to a more regimented schedule would be advantageous to the program. Now that we understand the basic workflow of the season we can plan with greater depth and set new goals!