I just wanted to check in and provide everyone a status update. I am on vacation (we get and take very few on the Robotics Resource Center) so please forgive any autocorrects, mistypings, or slow responses, particularly to email… I’ll do my best.
The status update is that nothing much has changed. I hadn’t posted recently because I had thought we were very close to completing the process, but we here at WPI are still in a holding pattern as we await the legal counsel finalization of the team agreement.
Truth is, I know how very frustrating this is to everyone. For the many of you who may have looked me up, you know that I do compete in a lot of robotics tournaments myself (Regolith Excavation, Battlebots, FIRST, etc) as well as manage tournaments as part of my job. I take it seriously. If I didn’t, I’d be at the beach right now and not writing this message. However, there is nothing I can do but continue to to bug the folks on the other end to keep the process moving, which I continue to do.
Reality is, the delay centers entirely around then team agreement. There have been concerns in the past about it, particularly it’s vagueness in certain areas, and those were concerns many of you brought up. In fact, some folks brought them up during the rules review even though they are not part of the rules but rather the TA. From what I know, these concerns came to a head in some other challenges and it was decided it needed to be fixed moving forward. Is this a good thing? Absolutely. It just came at a very bad time given where we were in the release of our competition documents such that it had some of the greatest effects on us.
So the long and short of it is, we are waiting on the team agreement. To answer the age-old, “why can’t you post the final rules?”. It’s an order of operations issue. There is an order things must happen in and that currently prevents the final rules from being posted.
The draft rules were taken down to allow for a clear period designated for review, and to ensure the folks designing the ame were not getting all the competitor input last minute. Obviously, as you can all plainly see by the anticipated final rules posting date, it was never intended to be a long time without any rules on the web. I have a hard time, at this point, reposting a rules document that I know has significant changes. However, I have sent a copy of the rules to those who have requested it through email. If I didn’t, I apologize and you should just resend the request… It’s likely it just hit the spam folder and I didn’t catch it.
Even though it’s already come back to bite me, I will continue to be open with everyone about what is going on through out the entire challenge process. I’m not asking for sympathy or pity, but I do ask you to have an understanding that there is a lot more wheels in motion here than you may realize, and many more factors to account for before even small tasks can take place.
Should you be less demanding? No way. Trust me that I know that competing in this challenge is just one of many things in your life, after family, work, etc. Your busy, it’s a tough challenge, and it’s doesn’t need to be made any harder. I respect that. I only ask that you try to be as respectful as possible of our side of things. Believe that we are on your side and really do want to enable you to be as successful as you can be.