VEX Driving

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These are comments from Chief Delphi about who gets to drive (both VEX and big robot). It's here for comments and consolidation.

1. Must pass the builders' or programmers' track curriculum. Each track involves building or programming 3-6 projects, which should take about 10 hours of hard work. 2. Must pass a test based on the rules from the game manual.

Ordered in my opinion of importance (a lot taken from a mentor of a very sucessful team)

1. Maturity ~ the ability to follow coaching instructions and not getting too emotional 2. Passion and dedication to win 3. Driving Experience

Good drivers can be trained with practice... the first two are not so easy to get.

Some teams choose based on qualities such as:

   * Work Ethic
   * Attitude
   * Leadership Ability
   * Maturity
   * Ability to Communicate
   * Team Involvement
   * Knowledge of Robot
   * Understanding of game
   * Ability to translate game knowledge into driving
   * Drivers: willingness and ability to follow directions
   * Coaches: ability to analyze the field, turn that into directions, and communicate that to the drivers in real time

I always say... I can train a monkey to drive a robot... Driving skill is often a secondary consideration.

We had the main driver who controlled the movement mechanism and anything which cannot be adjusted through driving. The most important thing is to listen to the coach and the other driver.

Then there is the auxillary driver who has the job of predicting what the driver wants to do and getting the arms/ legs/ movable objects where they can perform that function. The drivers should know each other well and have trust in each other to each do their best.

Finally, the coach should be somebody who is situationally aware and can quickly and effectively give suggestions based on where and what everybody else is doing.

I would think that the most important thing is the communication and trust that everybody who is part of the drive team should have in each other.

A few criteria for choosing drivers. This is mostly stuff that's already been said, but It's nice to have them in one place:

1: Desire to drive - Obviously the people who want to do it would be a good place to start. Narrow it down from here. Our team had p;enty of people who really had no interest in robotics, but the competition had criteria such as oral presentation and written reports as well 2: Previous experience - have they driven a lot of robots, RC cars, model airplanes, etc... before. It also helps if they are into video games. Our two best drivers had lots of experience with most of the stuff I just mentioned. 3: Skill with the particular machine - have a driving contest for those interested. See who does best. 4: Availability - The drivers need to be available to practice with the robot to really be skilled with it. Make sure their schedules are clear around the time of the competition. In an ideal world I was our top driver, but I had 2 other engagements on the same day as the competition and one of them was in another state. 5: Cooperation and attitude - Pretty self explanatory.

I strongly recommend you have at least five drivers (if possible) on your team so that at least one of them will be available. __________________