A huge part of being successful in FRC is knowing what resources you have available to you and working within your limitations. For example, if you are a team that only has access to some hacksaws and power drills, you may want to utilize as many COTS (consumer off the shelf) products as possible to minimize the number of parts you have to machine. The same goes for knowledge! If you are a newer team who has limited experience designing FRC robots and has struggled to even field a completed robot in the past, maybe opt for a simple “specialist” robot that does one thing well instead trying to do everything.
Here in Georgia, we have some pretty unique resources available to ALL teams, that many people don’t even know about! Utilizing some of these resources can help you build more successful robots and be more competitive on the field!
We are super fortunate to be home to FOUR full sized practice fields that you have *almost* unlimited access to! The fields are spread out all over Georgia in Atlanta, Marietta, Columbus, and Albany, and you should most definitely schedule some time to visit one before each of your competitions! Bring your practice robot or use some of your out of bag time to test out you robot on a full field to see how it does. Spend some time perfecting your autonomous code or just get in some much needed driver practice. Spending those few hours on a DE field could give you the experience needed to get picked, or even captain an elimination alliance! To learn more about the DE fields and sign up to get on a field, visit the DE page of the Georgia FIRST website here.
Novelis Aluminum and Water Jetting
Did you know that as part of a partnership with Novelis, every Georgia team has access to free sheet metal to use on their robot or related builds? Even better, did you know that you can get it water jetted or cut for FREE at a handful of locations around Georgia? That’s right! As a Georgia FIRST FRC team, you can design custom sheet metal parts using 0.061, 0.084, or 0.122 gage 5xxx series aluminum and get it machined for free! To utilize this service, check out this website for locations and file preparation requirements.
FRC Survival Guide
While this is a bit of a personal plug, it really is a resource that all FRC teams, young and old, should know about. If you don’t know me, I am an alumnus turned mentor of FRC Team 4468. Starting from back when I was on the team, some teammates and I got in the habit of saving and compiling some of the resources that we used most often. Over the years, it turned into a pretty long list of all of our favorite resources that we shared internally with our team, and after some time other friend teams starting asking if we could share it with them. This past summer, we decided to scour the interwebs in search for any great resources we may have missed, made the document look a bit prettier, and ultimately shared our guide with the FRC community! The FRC Survival Guide really is the one stop shop for resources about any and all things FRC, and is something that I personally keep on the desktop of my computer to reference on a weekly basis. If you are looking to learn about something in particular, or just want to broaden your knowledge of different aspects of FRC, definitely check it out. You can download it here!