2014 was the year that our team started to pick up speed. FRC’s Aerial Assist was a tough challenge, but due to our robot’s design, we were able to score. The robot used a pneumatic punch system that allowed for us to score and pass the ball to other teammates.
The objective of this game was to score points with an oversize beach ball by shooting it into the goals as many times as possible during the match. The alliance also gained points by assisting, or rather passing the ball from one robot to another. Additional points are scored if the robot shots the ball over the bar and another bot on the same alliance catches it.
Our robots design was the very key for us doing so well. We had a feed wheel system that was attached to massive claw-like structure on the robot. All the robot had to do was lower the claw mechanism and turn on the feed wheels. When scoring goals, a button on the controls would initiate the pneumatic punch to shoot forward from inside the claw and hit the ball into the high goal. During our first competition that season, our robot’s original design did not possess a lot of strength, so our robot was very damaged at the end of the competition. However, FRC graciously allowed us to rebuild part of our robot so we could make it to our next competition. This mechanical design was also incorporated into how our robot would operate in the 2016 FIRST Stronghold Challenge.
We did very well in our second competition, but due to the fact that our robot was damaged during the first competition, we were unable to score enough ranking points to be able to go to regionals. But all in all, our team learned a fair amount about troubleshooting and how to take charge when things didn’t go the way we planned it. We were able to succeed a lot more than we did in our rookie season, but little did we know that it was about to get a whole lot more challenging, and also much better in competition…