Kickoff Day 2012


Saturday January 7th, 2012:

“We were very happy to work with Whea and Konawaena while sharing our Stanford design thinking process and coming up with awesome strategies. Hopefully we will rock at competition and West Hawaii will be well represented this year.”

9th grade, Builder

Finally it’s here!!! Today is the day of the 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition game release and an exciting day for our second year team, Tiki Tech FIRST Team 3880! The day was filled with exciting ideas, working with other teams, innovating new solutions to the task, and setting a timeline with goals for the next six weeks.
The Tiki Techs hosted a local FRC kickoff for other schools from West Hawai’i. Konawaena and WHEA arrived to view the official game play video and share design thinking processes with each other for the new game. The day ran from 10:30 to 6:30 and we focused all of our interest in the basketball game theme called “Rebound Rumble.” We watched the video twice to ensure a good understanding and then brainstormed possible approaches to the sub tasks of the game and robot design through Stanford’s Design Thinking process. This way we were able to incorporate diverse ideas from three different teams and quickly come up with innovative ideas and new competitive strategies.

Some students had already read the rulebook, but since the rulebook is long and sometimes some aspects of it are complicated, we all took a rules quiz to build our understanding. Mr. Brown created the rules quiz and led the discussion to ensure the team’s accountability for detailed understanding of the rules. Copies of the rules book were made available to each team leader. A commitment was made by each of the students to personally understand the rules.

During lunch we played a Tiki Tech innovative thinking game called “Association-Disassociation.” This was a great opportunity for us to learn how to work with peers from other schools. To find out more about the game “Association-Disassociation” please refer to the ‘Student Experience’ portion of the Tiki Tech Team 3880 FIRST Binder or website.

Mr. Brown taught the group a segment on the Stanford Design Thinking ideals and an overview of the process. The aim was to educate us on how to think outside of the box to develop new and creative solutions to complex robotics problems. A simple technique that we used while design thinking was staying on our feet during the ideating process in order to ensure blood flow and produce creative ideas. This idea was hard for some people to get used to. However, the thinking process led us to achieve unique and desirable solutions.

We then separated into four groups representing different components of game strategy for “Rebound Ruble.” The four groups include: offense, defense, hybrid, and the teleoperated period. Separating into these different groups, we used the mindset of a Stanford Design thinker to solve different thematic questions of “How might we?” solve the challenge.


  • How might we gather basketballs quickly?
  • How might we shoot?
  • How might we keep the gathering process consistent?
  • How might we keep the shooting process consistent?

    Gathering Basketballs:
    One very popular and innovative solution for gathering the balls was creating and utilizing a vacuum-like cleaner suction. Even though a vacuum-like solution was the intent, there was a general consensus to utilize this motion with a conveyor belt.

    Shooting Basketballs:
    Due to the height limits, a cannon-like structure was designed to reach the three-point goal. This will allow for greater accuracy even though the overall design poses a major challenge for teams.


  • How might we stop other teams from scoring?
  • How might we block shots?
  • How might we stall other teams?

Although there were many ideas thrown around for defensive measures. One general consensus was to build a sturdy robot that could intimidate other teams. We also discussed some different net systems for “catching” the opposing teams thrown balls.


  • How might we score 12 points during the hybrid period?
  • How might we find consistency for scoring these points?

For the hybrid group, possible scoring solutions were made and strategies were developed based on the placement of the robotics at the beginning of the match. One thing that this group also took into consideration was the extra balls on the bridges and how to take advantage of possessing those before the teleoperated mode.

Teleoperated (End Game):

  • How can we balance two robots on the bridge?
  • How can we balance three robotics on the bridge?

Some solutions were to move the weight (possible an arm that was previously used to score balls) to the middle toward the fulcrum to sustain stability.

Also our robot can be built so that it can fold into a smaller shape to make more room for the alliance robots. The solutions of the end game group posed new challenge to the offense team, which was finding a way to score from the unstable bridge.

On to the build!