The 2016 FRC season was one of our team’s most successful years. The 2016 game “Stronghold” challenged our team’s mechanical and electrical capabilities. Our team dealt with multiple mechanical design constraints, such as changing designs two weeks before Bag & Tag. At the beginning of the build season, our design featured tank treads, but once it was built we realized it would not be effective, so we switched to a pneumatic wheel design with our own homemade suspension system.
With this robot, we competed in Arizona North and Colorado Regionals, and later World Championships. At Colorado, we were picked for the 3rd alliance and went on to win second place. In addition to becoming finalists, we were awarded a wildcard, which qualified us for World Championships. This was the first season we had made it to the finals at a regional competition, as well as, the first time our team traveled to World Championships, where we competed in the Galileo division.For this season, our theme was Dr. Seuss, which meant our pit was framed by truffula trees and our shirts featured the Cat in the Hat juggling wrenches, screwdrivers, hammers, etc. For one day of competition at the Colorado Regional, we used egg whites and hair gel to style our hair in a Seussian fashion.
During the 2015-2016 offseason, we participated in Rocky Mountain BEST (Boosting Engineering Science and Technology). During the BEST season, our veteran team members introduced the new members of our team to the basics of robotics. At competition, our robot was a finalist.
In the second half of the offseason, our entire team worked on a robot that would more closely mimic a robot for FRC, our primary competition. In order to do this, our veterans and new team members worked together to create a robot that could compete in a challenge that we created. Collaborating with a nearby team, FRC 2240, we created a game based off of Capture the Flag. We planned a competition against each other at the end of our six week build season. We created a robot with a CNC belly pan with a waffle-like pattern and a four bar linkage arm attached with a roller claw for grabbing the flag. We affectionately referred to this robot as WaffleBot.
This year we again hosted an FLL (First Lego League) competition at our school, which was run largely by our team.
This year the FIRST game was “Recycle Rush.” This year, our robot took two full weeks to design. Our drive train used mecanum wheels, all of which were individually powered, while our superstructure used a pulley driven with a bicycle disk brake. Additionally, our electrical board was made of carbon fiber and our programmers applied the use of PID for the first time. Our robot also featured two pneumatic “arms” used for grabbing trash cans at the beginning of a match. These “arms” were once used in a match in a sort of tug of war with another robot which resulted in us claiming the trash cans, and the other robot losing their own “arms”.
This season, we participated in Utah and Colorado Regionals, where we made it to quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. We placed better this year than in any previous year by being on the 3rd ranked alliance in the Colorado Regional. We received the Imagery Award at both regionals for our team’s theming, which consisted of hippie imagery and themes from the 1970s, including tie dyed shirts and bell bottoms.
At the beginning of this offseason we participated in Rocky Mountain BEST (Boosting Engineering Science and Technology), where our veteran team members introduced our new team members to the basics of robotics. Our robot won the Most Robust Robot Award and our team won Sportsmanship and Spirit Award after we helped another team build their robot from scratch, on the day of competition.
During the rest of the offseason, we built two robots. One of these was TacoBot, which had an 8-wheel West Coast drive base and ball shifters. TacoBot was small and fast, as well as affectionately named for the writing on one of the scrap wooden planks used to build it. In addition to TacoBot, we also built ChairBot, which was constructed to aid in outreach. ChairBot had the first mecanum drive base constructed in our team’s history. Its superstructure was simply a reclining chair.
In addition to these projects, we participated in an 8th grade career fair for our school district, DPS (Denver Public Schools) and hosted a FIRST event, FLL (First Lego League) at our school, largely run by our team.
The FRC competition this year was “Aerial Assist.” The simple nature of the competition allowed us to almost immediately decide on our design and start work on our robot. We participated in a practice competition, hosted by Cougars Gone Wired, FRC team 2996. We competed in the Colorado and Utah Regionals, where we made it to quarterfinals at each competition and won the Excellence in Engineering Award in Utah. Our theme this year was Star Trek, so we themed our robot after a starship and our team members after the crew. Team captains dressed in yellow, sub-captains dressed in red, and the general team dressed in blue.
We built a total of 4 robots during this FIRST build season. The first two were what was to be our final robot, a six wheel drive, east coast chassis, with a shooter that used a piston to push an exercise-like ball into two spinning flywheels, as well as a practice robot to match. However, during the practice event with Cougars Gone Wired in Colorado Springs, our final robot was destroyed due to a coding error related to limit switches. Our shooting arms’ rotating mechanism, tore through the frame when the shooter reached a locked position on the robot.
We rebuilt the robot before the end of build season, making this the third robot we built during the year. We arrived at the Utah Regional and performed very well, but during semi-finals, our robot was destroyed again. Another team rammed us into the field where our arm was caught and torn off. Due to restrictions of not being able to build anything regarding a final robot outside of competition and after the build season, we had to reconstruct a final robot during the first day of the Colorado Regional, making it the 4th and final robot we made.