Team Standards Update
As we said in this blog, for the first time ever, this season teams will be able to create a special flag, or 'standard' as we are calling it, to fly on the field during matches.
When we first posted the blog, we received lots of questions. We've updated the standards specifications to add some clarity. This update doesn't change any of the rules, but does help answer some of the questions we've received. You can find the updated specifications here.
We've already seen lots of great designs teams are planning, and I can't wait to see how they look in person. We're hoping many teams take us up on this offer to show their creativity, artistic talent, and pride! With the specifications document, you already know all you need to know to get this little project completed with your team before Kickoff. Because after Kickoff, uh..., you're probably going to be a bit busy. (Did I mention I know the game?)
Create, Create, Create
Speaking of creativity, a small miracle occurred on December 9th. The Kickstarter campaign to bring back the show Mystery Science Theater 3000 broke the record for most money raised by a film or video Kickstarter and ended up being the ninth highest funded Kickstarter in any category ever. If you don't know about MST3K, as the hipsters call it, you probably should. I enjoy it myself, even though it's fundamentally a show about a guy and two robot puppets watching, and riffing on, bad movies. Joel Hodgson, the show's creator, took something he liked and had skill with - creating puppets and props - and combined it with something he saw in his environment - folks going to midnight showings of bad movies to make fun of them - to make something new, and apparently, given the success of the Kickstarter, valued. He worked hard, created a great team that also worked hard, overcame obstacles, probably got a little lucky along the way like we all do, and ended up with something that's been popular for decades.
The robots FRC teams create are, at least in part, artistic objects. You ever see a team's robot that is, well, beautiful, just sitting there? Or see a smoothly functioning mechanism operating during a match that impresses you beyond the technical accomplishment itself? Me too.
Every team, no matter how well funded or well mentored, works hard and has obstacles to overcome to deliver their 'art'. I don't just think the art is worth it, more than that, I think we all have an obligation to deliver to our communities the tangible creations of our most productive, most artistic selves, in spite of the resistance, much of it internal, that stands in our way.
There's a great book on art and overcoming resistance, called "The War of Art", by Steven Pressfield. If you are interested in this kind of thing, I recommend it.