The answers to these questions will be continually updated as information is made available to us. For general information on COVID-19 policies at Georgia Tech, please visit http://health.gatech.edu/coronavirus. If you have specific questions regarding RoboJackets, please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/NnMm1GN9g3WjvVoD8.
Please note: this page is currently not updated and will be changed soon to reflect more concrete guidelines for returning and new members.
Changes to normal RoboJackets operations and action items for leaders are italicized in the answers below.
Q: Can I participate in RoboJackets virtually?
A (September 9th): Yes. All RoboJackets team meetings and trainings will be held online due to COVID-19. This means that even if you are attending classes remotely, you can join RoboJackets and participate. Please note that all meetings are scheduled in Eastern Time (Georgia Tech’s main campus time zone), so if you are attending remotely, you may run into timing issues. Training sessions will be recorded and posted on YouTube (RoboJackets Training YouTube channel), and team meetings may be recorded at the discretion of the project manager. Please contact specific team leadership if conflicting timezones is a concern of yours.
Q: Will on-campus room reservations change?
A (June 25th): We do not know at this time. Some small rooms and spaces may be limited to individual study and other rooms may have capacity limitations. See the “shop” section of this document for information on SCC rooms.
Q: How can we continue team socials, training, and all other on-campus activity in the fall (Outside of the SCC)?
A (June 25th): All of these activities will need to follow campus guidelines on social distancing. Per SCC guidance, all meetings, socials, training, and outreach events that would normally occur in the SCC must be held in a virtual manner.
Q: What will core look like in the fall?
A (June 21st): We will continue online cores into the fall. We will consider switching back to in-person or hybrid if it is safe to do so and the guidelines allow.
Q: If training will be online, would it be possible to record everything and keep them as a permanent resource? Could it be public?
A (September 9): Yes, all training sessions will be online and will be recorded. The recordings will be posted on our RoboJackets Training YouTube channel.
Q: How is RJ-related travel going to work (carpool, testing, etc)?
A (July 1st): There will be no RoboJackets-sanctioned carpool and we will disable the carpool bot. Any carpool to the shop must be hosted under each individual’s discretion. As for general trips for testing, because they are planned and scheduled within Slack it is RJ-sanctioned, and therefore we will be placing a cap on the number of people per vehicle. We do not yet know what this cap will be.
Q: What is the policy for anonymous notification of COVID positive members to the rest of the SCC?
A (July 1st): We will have a form for this case. The only information we need is that they tested positive and the days they were in the shop. Aside from that, it must stay completely anonymous, unless the individual opts to provide that information
Q: If members decide they do not feel safe, how will we ensure they do not feel excluded from the org?
A (July 1st): Ensuring all members have the opportunity to work remotely should be a priority of team leadership to keep an inclusive environment. Pressuring anyone to do anything they are not comfortable with will not be tolerated.
Q: What will change financially for team leadership due to COVID-19?
A (June 21st): There are no major anticipated changes regarding SGA money because that primarily comes from the student activity fee, but that is subject to change. Due to the state of the economy, there’s a real possibility of less sponsorship money, but there is no solid info on those numbers yet. There will be no changes in other sources of money, unless there is a significant reduction in membership, in which case our dues may take a hit. Overall, we expect to have less money this year.
Because most of our projects are funded almost entirely out of SGA, we don’t believe there will be any significant changes to the funding to complete our projects. That being said, please prioritize your budget, so if we receive reduced SGA funding, we can cut what we need to. However, because most of our sponsorship and dues money go towards travel, please look into ways of reducing costs for competition and travel.
Q: What happens to our unspent FY20 money?
A (June 22nd): FY20 money will not be rolled over for use in FY21. Please make sure that your team’s budgets and bills reflect this.
Q: Will team dues be reduced?
A (June 21st): Unfortunately, there are no circumstances under which we can lower dues, because we already charge the SGA minimum for Tier III competitive organizations.
Q: What is happening with General Interest?
A (September 9): General interest was held online. The recording of the presentation is available on our RoboJackets YouTube channel and on our Join Us page.
Q: What will shop operations be like when we return in the fall?
A (June 25th): According to a draft of guidelines released by Dr. Cunefare, RoboJackets will be limited to a capacity of 11 people in the shop at any given time. Specifically, 4 in the Mechanical Room, 2 in the Office, 4 in the Field Room, and 1 in the Electrical Room. All doors must remain open at all times. All team members accessing the shop are required to wear masks and other necessary personal protective equipment (PPE). The mask may temporarily be removed if the required PPE for a task does not allow for the use of a mask. The CMA will work on a reservation system in SUMS. Members are not allowed to wait in the CMA prior to their reservation time. Certain tools cannot be used while other tools that are not a safe distance away are also being used. Sanitation of work areas before and after use is also expected. There will also be an increased daily shop cleaning schedule for the entire SCC. It is in each team’s best interest to figure out how many people will be absolutely necessary physically at the shop and what work can be completed remotely. We will communicate any updates to this policy as more information is provided from the SCC and Dr. Cunefare. Leadership is also encouraged to stay active in the SCC slack to keep themselves informed on the guidelines.
Q: Can we check out tools or robots from the shop?
A (June 21st): If SCC guidelines allow, then the Shop Manager will implement a system for this.
Q: How will the Makerspaces we work with and The Hive be operating?
A (June 21st): We do not know how these groups will be operating. Please contact the individual makerspaces for this information.
Q: Will we still be able to run machining training?
A (June 21st) : There is an SCC group assigned to this issue. No plan is currently in place, but assume training will be heavily limited and machines may require sanitation after each use.
Q: Where does the 150 sqft designation come from?
A (July 13th): This comes from maintaining a 6 foot square around each person which gets us to 144. That number was rounded up.
Q: How are we controlling/tracking which members are in the shop?
A (July 1st): We will be monitoring the amount of people in the shop through our attendance system. In addition, team leadership must be present at all activities taking place at the shop to ensure guidelines are being followed and enforced.
Q: Are we going to restrict certain subteams to certain days to ensure member access and accountability?
A (July 1st): Note that the following plan is subject to feedback: We will implement an RSVP system for going to the shop that requires the amount of participants to be stated ahead of time. Teams who would normally have a meeting on that day have priority. If they do not need the shop, other teams may RSVP for that time on a first come, first serve basis. If two teams would usually meet simultaneously, their team leadership should discuss whether they want to split available slots or implement an every-other-week trading system.
Q: Can we require self-screening for members coming into the shop?
A (July 1st): We can and will strongly suggest self-screening for our members; however, we are unable to enforce it
Q: What is the SCC/RJ policy going to be if people who have been to the SCC test positive to COVID?
A (July 1st): We do not know what the SCC’s policy would be under these circumstances. The RJ policy will match the SCC policy once we have that information. This would most likely involve some form of shop shutdown.
Q: How to minimize necessary contact with screens (sign in to RJ, CMA SUMS)?
A (July 1st): The SCC policy includes disinfecting all work areas after use, and this applies to the CMA SUMS monitor as well. For the RJ shop, we will use QR codes for signing in and out of the shop to reduce touching.
Q: How will we complete unsafe tasks that introduce non-COVID related risk with our robots with the 6ft expectation?
A (July 13th): If you have to be within six feet to perform a task, you must wear a face shield in addition to a face mask.