Get a team up and running Part 1

Sep 2, 2011   //   by sam   //   Getting Started in FTC, Tutorials  //  No Comments

So you have a team setup, but don’t know where to start? Here are some helpful hints (and directions) from our manager last year, Aaron.

Make a list of goals
If a team starts working on the robot right after watching the kick-off video, then at the end of the season maybe they will have built a really cool quadruped robot. However, (unless the challenge is to make a quadruped robot) the team will

Starting to list ideas
Starting to list ideas

not have a competition ready robot. Instead, take some time to brainstorm useful features for the robot, and write them down on a list. After the team agrees what should be on the robot, divide the list into “Must have” and “If we have time, this would be good to put on the robot.” This list is now a list of goals for the season. Feel free to add, subtract, and rearrange the items on the list as the season continues.

Keeping things in order

Similar to a list of goals is a Gantt Chart. It has all the tasks that need to be accomplished and also has dates by which the tasks need to be done. They take a long time to make, are hard to share with the whole team at once, they can get large and unmanageable, and a lot of times can end up not being followed. However

Gantt Chart
Gantt Chart

they are used a lot in business, and if you can use one successfully (or not successfully), mention it to your judges. Many of them use them at work and will be very impressed. Check out or Gantt chart. It has columns for: Task, percent complete, notes, start time, end time, entire length of time, and the calendar. At the very top (not shown in picture) there are dates, and the bars stretch between the dates.

To Be Continued…

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