2010 Kit feedback for 2011 Kit

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KIPR Matthew
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2011 Kit Input!

It is that time of year again! As you tear into your 2010 Botball Kit and build your awesome robots, please make note any changes you would like to see for next season. I try to incorporate your feedback in getting the kits designed every year. I would love to hear about any new piece suggestions you might have. Hopefully the 2010 kit reflects the major changes requested in 2009. Post any comments or suggestions (good or bad) and I will work to make the 2011 kit even better!

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N.Sauder
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Need more screws.
The largest problem that we have run into thus far is that the smallest screws are virtually useless this year (I believe the new aluminum parts are slightly thicker than the VEX parts were). Because of this, we ran out of screws in the first two days of construction. More medium and long screws would be really nice.

mcsoccer11
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I agree with Nathan. Right now we're just stuck with a pile of small screws with seemingly no function. Also more lego pieces would be nice. We didn't build very large robots at all yet we have just about run out of pieces.

KIPR Matthew
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Good feedback! What did people think about the pop rivets from 2 years ago? Do you miss them? Were they helpful?

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PiPeep
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Thinner (Skinnier) Wheels. Those green wheels in 2009, while lacking traction, were great for turning. These fat wheels have both too much traction, and are big and clunky.

KIPR Matthew
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Ok. Did you like the fact that they slid, or that they were wheels and slid? Would a low friction skid be a good alternative, or do you like the wheels better?

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PiPeep
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Yes, our goal is something that skids somewhat easily. I guess that could work, but the big wheels in the kit are still kinda bigger than they need to be.

matthewbot
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Just a counter opinion I guess. I don't remember specific reasons, but I think our hardware guys at least prefer the big wheels and were happy to see that they returned, especially now that the starting box is so spacious.

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protoss808
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It will be great to replace the 8-32 1/2 inch screws with 8-32 3/8 inch screws for next year.

AdamF
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It would be amazing to have extender cables for sensors. Or just let teams make their own... these may even be more useful than servo extenders since our sensors tend to be farther from the core of the robot than the servos/motors. This year we are even specially moving the CBC out of the COG of our bot so the sensor wires can reach to the ports.

Also it would be great to have more lego. We have been getting away from the exciting mechanical solutions to difficult problems in the past two years for lack of pieces.

Adam Farabaugh
Hampton High School

PiPeep
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AdamF.firstPart++;
//Definitely! Our sensor cords were pretty stretched, although I still think some servo extenders are still needed.

AdamF.secondPart--;
//I rather like the metal pieces, and would be interested to see it move more away from legos

Also, ETSensor + Sonar seems like a bit of duplication. I know each is best for certain ranges & certain materials, but could we just have one or the other? (Preferably the ETSensor, as it works on soft objects) I'll try to write an article soon on finding cm values from the ETSensor, and release my calibration & utility code. (Currently, it is only available to CBCJVM users, and I need to port the code to C)

It seems like all the suggestions are for more parts, but I also feel as if we should spend some time deciding what pieces we would be most willing to sacrifice. Something's gotta give, and I feel we should tell Kipr what we would be most willing to lose, so that our favorite existing parts don't disappear.