Oh the places we go! Each year we go to seven or eight competition events. Two regional events held in March and April, four off season events held in May-July and two in the fall October and November.
We also go to a number of demonstration events where we do show and tell.
This means lots of movement of the robot and the roboteers. The robot not only is a pain to move (it's heavy at 120 lbs. and bulky) but comes with a 1/2 ton (no really, 1000 lbs.) of spare parts, tools, batteries, media material, etc. It's not like the VRC robots that can fit in the back of a PT Cruiser on a moment's notice. There is a lot of planning and coordination that needs to take place.
We try to go to two competitions each year, one in Philadelphia and another one farther away. The robot gets shipped in it's container. We need to take any spare parts and our needed tool set. In addition we take any updated components.
For one of the events we stay in a hotel and eat out. So there is additional logistics of setting up reservations, car pools to get there and working out dinner plans.
Off Season Events
We go to five or six off season events, to these we take the robot in addition to the spare parts and tools. So there are more things to transport. In addition, our possible sixth event, the Indiana Robotics Invitational, is (unsurprisingly) in Indiana and so is a four-day round trip. This requires all the logistics involved with hotels and eating out, plus lots and lots of driving.
For demonstrations we take the robot, control panel, batteries, and applicable presentations/posters. In some cases we also take along sheets of plywood/carpet to be able to drive the robot in grassy areas. We do around 12 demonstrations a year.
VEX Robot Challenge
Downingtown Area Robotics also is the host for the Eastern Pennsylvania Regional Competition. It's held in February of each year.