Allen Qualifier Post Mortem

Tags: think and organization
Personhours: 25
Allen Qualifier Post Mortem By Karina, Bhanaviya, Jose, Ben, and Paul

Task: Plan for upcoming tournaments

So our Allen qualifier was a success! Iron Reign won the Inspire Award, which we are so honored to have been given. We did a detailed SWOT analysis to identify our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.


  • Preparation
    • Earlier preparation of the engineering journal
    • Productivity greatly increased under pressure
    • Everything was up on blog
    • Content was organized well
    • Functional robot
    • Judging box was prepared and had everything we needed
  • Judging
    • We were effectively able to communicate the reason behind our robot's unique shape
    • Good transitions between ideas
    • We were able to talk fluidly about our robot despite not having speeches prepared
    • Able to redirect judges to specific highlights
    • Storytelling abilities kept judges engaged
  • Robot Performance
    • We passed inspection the first time around
    • Physical build was solid
    • Focused on building/improving even throughout the competition
    • Great teamwork - everyone was coordinated and on task
    • Batteries were charged
  • Scouting and Pit Engagement
    • Good at queueing one another during pit visits
    • Demo worked better than at presentation
    • Scouters got to all the teams


  • Preparation
    • Workspace is realy disorganized which made it hard to find tools and equipment that we needed
    • No drive practice until the morning of the tournament since gripper was only mounted then
    • Not enough people for load out
    • Control Award submission
    • Missed items on the checklist for materials
    • Lack of rest
  • Judging
    • Redirected to topics that don't have a lot of substance
    • Not enough calculation based posts to talk about
    • Lack of driver statistics documentation
    • Hand off between different speakers could be smoother
    • Did not clearly discuss our focus on sustainability of the MXP
    • Robot demo did not work since chains fell off
  • Robot Performance
    • All drivers need to learn game strategy
    • Poor wire management
    • Compact design was also the reason behind the turn table knocking chains off of wheels' sprockets
    • Set screws came loose often
    • We had no autonomous at the beginning of the day
  • Scouting and Pit Engagement
    • Need to be more systematic about checking team's claims
    • Did not get video of all of our matches personally
    • Not enough people at the pits to represent the team
    • Unable to seed questions
    • Lacking in enthusiasm
    • Pits were a mess with backpacks thrown all over


  • Preparation
    • Taking up more afterschool and Sunday practices
    • Allocating more time to preparation in the weeks before competition instead of days
    • Preparing a pit design to optimize organization and places to put up banners
    • Create business cards for handouts
    • Post-event follow through: plugging in phones, charging batteries, etc.
  • Judging
    • Be more aware of what a judge is looking for/what award they are judging
    • Make our binder stand out - aesthetically and by creating helpful guides such as a robot manual
  • Robot Performance
    • Allowing time for driver practice
    • Making sure that everyone gets enough sleep the night before competition
    • Test grippers
    • Better collaboration with alliance partners
    • Control swivel mount on gripper
    • Fully automatic gripper with distance sensors
    • Turn-table needs to stay in position while robot turns
    • Completely CNCed robot (base - polycarb with aluminum sides)
    • Dampen swing on gripper
    • Make model for gripper before build
    • Articulations - more accurate presets specifically for elbow
    • Create a bill of materials with links
  • Scouting and Pit Engagement
    • Design pit layout ahead of time
    • Dress up our pit with tent and banners
    • Have a laptop ready with important info
    • Detailed accounts for each match we do/play by play
    • Have someone assigned to watch matches so that we can personally gauge other team's strength, weaknesses, opportunities for collaboration, etc.
    • Take the chance to talk to other teams
    • Make use of a scouting app


  • Preparation
    • Not getting focused until it is too late
    • Busy schedules
    • Not being able to prioritize
  • Judging
    • Rushing through important ideas because of the time limit
    • Judging panel is always an uncertain variable
  • Robot Performance
    • High performing teams
    • Time management
    • Acquisition of all parts
    • Enough time for modeling all the robot parts
  • Scouting and Pit Engagement
    • Sitting around looking at phones looks like disengagement even if we are researching stuff
    • Lack of robot data and statistics to present potential allies with might drive them away

Next Steps

We're at the point now where we are prepping for our regionals tournament. Thankfully we will have another opportunity to test out TomBot at the ____ qualifier. Between the work we do now and up until the regionals tournament, we hope to achieve a full autonomous with greater stacking capabilities.

Date | December 7, 2019