The Drive Team is the team that accompanies the robot to the game field.
Formerly known as the Field Crew, the Drive Team consists of the driver, manipulator driver, coach, and if it applies, human player. The media person is not included in the drive team as they have no interaction with the robot other than photons.
The driver is responsible for driving the robot during matches at competition. Driver must be able to work closely with them manipulator driver to successfully control the robot during the matches under the guidance of the coach. Drive must also work closely with the mechanical and programming teams in order to know how to set up the robot at the beginning of each match for any one of our many autonomous programs. After the robot is set up, the driver had to work to complete a strategy with the alliance partners, but the whole drive team also had to think quickly if something did not go as planned. In these cases, the driver had to have back up plans so that the driver, manipulator, and human player would all be working together to complete the task that the coach had decided was the most appropriate strategy. Must be very quick in thinking and make on-the-spot decisions that will affect the possibility of the team scoring a point or whether or not the team wins the match.
Drivers are notoriously known for being avid computer or game system players.
The manipulator driver controls the manipulator of the robot. Whether this involves kicking balls or grabbing a pool tube, the manipulator driver needs to be able to listen to the driver and know when the moment is right to make a move with the manipulator.
Often times the manipulator driver is the sole person who the final match results may depend upon.
The coach assists the drivers during a match by directing game play and strategy on the field. The exact role of a coach really depends on the drivers.
The coach should be able to control what the drivers do as well as the other alliance partners. A coach needs to be someone who can give precise commands to the drivers, while not being dominating when the drivers do not require assistance. The amount of control needed varies from driver to driver. Before each match, the coach would meet with other alliance members to detail a strategy to win.
It also important of the coach to communicate with the other alliance member's drivers or coach. This is important when the team needs to have a robot be moved out of the way so a goal can be scored or when something crucial happens to the team's robot and the team needs help. Examples of this could be when:
- Robot is tipped on it's side
- Chain is broken
- Robot is stuck
When communicating with other alliance partners, the coach needs to be quick, specific, and influential. The coach should also be able to think fast in the event something goes awry, the coach's job also entails finding the best alliance with the scouting data collected and to represent the team during alliance selections.
The human player manipulates game elements or field elements depending on whether or not the game requires a human player.
Often times, coordination is a needed skill for the human player as game elements may be moving quickly. Game elements may also need to be placed on the robot or onto the field at a swift pace. Communication with the coach and the drivers is essential to making sure the human player's tasks is put to its best use.
Some of the tasks carried out by the human player include:
- Checking stats about the robot while in queue (like pressure), and making sure the robot is ready to go
- Loading the robot onto the field and positioning it correctly
- Help the drivers know what was happening on the side of the robot they could not see
- Keeping an eye on the clock
History of FRC Field Crew
Field crew members are listed by the years that the team participated in FIRST Robotics Competition.