FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Veteran Team Drive Base Option and Registration Progress

Sep 27, 2016 Written by FIRST Staff


Registration Progress

Written by Frank Merrick.

We continue to work towards resolution of our event registration issue. We have brought in an expert on the MySQL database management system who has identified some behavioral anomalies that were occurring prior to the crash. Whether or not analyzing these anomalies will lead to our being able to identify the ‘smoking gun’ is not yet clear. However, we continue to work very hard in identifying the root cause while simultaneously creating a back-up plan.

Our goal is still to be able to announce details on the whens and hows of registration by the evening of this Friday, September 30th. As we noted before, registration will likely be the week of October 3rd, and most likely the latter part of the week, so October 5th, 6th, or 7th, or in that range.

I apologize again for this situation. Getting this fixed is a top priority within FIRST at this time and we are engaging all resources necessary.


Kit of Parts -- 2017 Drive Base Kit Option

Written by the Kit of Parts team.

Your 2017 Kickoff Kit will again include a drive base kit! Maybe; it’s up to you.

Veteran teams are invited to choose a $450 Voucher from AndyMark (available 12/7) instead of receiving a drive base kit with their Kickoff Kit (all other teams will automatically receive the drive base kit). If you prefer to receive the drive base kit, you don’t have to do a thing (except make sure your registration fee is paid by the payment deadline in November).

To accommodate drive base kit production lead times, this option is only available until noon (Eastern) on Thursday, 10/6.

We’ll be collecting teams’ decisions differently this year. Instead of making the selection in the team registration system,* we’ll be using a webform. We will only accept selections made using this form.

Steps are as follows:

  1. Click this webform link.
  2. Fill in the form.
    • The Team ID can be found after at the end of the url that a “Lead Coach/Mentor 1” or “Lead Coach/Mentor 2” sees after clicking on a dashboard button, like “Manage Team Contact,” when logged in the team’s registration account. In the example below, the Team ID is 614361.
    • 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition Team Registration System How To Find Your Unique Team ID
  3. Click Submit.
  4. Do a happy dance.

If, after you fill out the form (but before the deadline), your team changes their mind about their selection, you can repeat steps 2 through 4. We’ll disregard any of your team’s previously submitted forms. For this reason, we recommend you delegate this job to one person so there aren’t multiple selections assigned to your team.

If a team does nothing by the deadline, they will be assigned the ‘default’ option of receiving the drive base kit as part of their Kickoff Kit.

We acknowledge that this system does not have all of the features we’d like.

  • Can anyone fill out a form with nonsense data? Yup.
  • Can rookie team fill out the form? Yup.
  • Are we doing the authentication on the back end? Yup.
  • Can a user lie about their name and address? Yup.

We know this is not ideal, and we beg that anyone tempted to troll this tool have mercy and not.

To help you make your decision, we can give you some general information about the 2017 drive base kit.

-          It’s similar to the AM14U3 from 2016, but will not include the bumper mounting kit.

-          Features are such that they enable a team to execute basic elements of game play.

-          Design is such that the drive base can be assembled and driving by a small team with limited resource within two days.

We recognize that we are asking you to make a decision about a partially defined product, which can lead to frustration. Our goal is to give you as much information as possible without revealing details about the game. For example, a drive base with significant ground clearance may imply some type of obstacle on the field that robots would likely have to traverse. If we revealed details such as ground clearance, we would be giving away too much of the game.

*If you’re wondering if this change is related to The Great Registration System Crash of 2016, it is. Once the system failed, we didn’t want the testing/tweaking of this feature to distract from our IT team’s efforts to bring the system back on line and retest.

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