2015 Most Innovative Robot Awards

In third place, we have Team 148 from Greenville, Texas. Their robot, Batman and Robin, was designed in two parts and tethered together. While one robot obtained trash cans, the other stacked from the human feeder station. Surprisingly, this was not the only robot to attempt this strategy. This team and their robot did very well at nationals, but they were eliminated in the semifinals on Einstein after their alliance partner’s can grabber broke, causing them to lose the crucial battle over cans. It is worth noting that the robot was modified after the release of this video; they now have another mechanism that removes the first two cans to stack their totes in autonomous.

In second place, we have Team 1657 from Israel with their robot, Stretchy and Fetchy. This robot stacks boxes from the human player station and scores them – without ever moving from their starting location. This innovative design seemed very impressive, but unfortunately did not go to nationals.

Finally, the grand prize goes to Team 2826, Wave Robotics from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Their 2015 robot, Depthcharge, had a very typical strategy: score a tote stack in autonomous, then back up to the human player station and score capped and noodled six stacks. However, it was their means of dealing with the cans to go on top that win them the award. Rather than collecting cans before each stack, they just pick up all three in autonomous and carry them around for the whole match. Of course, this means they have to use all of them, but they had no problem with that either. This team and their alliance placed second in the world. Here is the winning robot, before release, as well as before nationals.

Competition #2 at Shorewood

This weekend, we competed in our second district event at Shorewood High School. Our new lift threw us off a little bit, since we were used to rushing through making a stack. Later in the day, we started using our spare time to make sure our stack was perfect, which resulted in more consistent scores. In our last match on Saturday, we were paired with team 3663, who ended qualifiers as the second ranked team. This pairing resulted in the highest score of the weekend, 179 points (We had a couple other exciting matches, with qualifier 48 being one of our favorites). Our success in this match caused us to end qualifiers in 10th place, and we ended up being the captain of the seventh ranked alliance. As of today, we are ranked 63rd in the district, and will likely not advance to the district championships in Cheney.

Competition #1 at Glacier Peak

As you may know, we competed at the Glacier Peak district event this weekend. At the beginning of the day on Saturday, we performed worse than expected. However, as the day progressed and the drive team nailed down their routine, our scores increased. On Sunday, we performed very well in our 2 matches. In alliance selection, we were ranked 27th out of 33, but we were first-picked by the 4th seed alliance captain and home team, the Sonic Squirrels. Unfortunately, we fell over in quarterfinal match 1, and couldn’t quite recover even after scoring 81 points in our other quarterfinal match (a very competitive score for the weekend). We also created an autonomous program before quarterfinals. We now save some time in teleop by getting the trash can in autonomous. For the next competition, we plan to use our out-of-bag time to replace our lift motors to make our stacking process a little bit faster. We also noticed that most of our tipping was due to going too fast, so we plan to cut down the max speed of the robot since we don’t have to drive as fast as we’ve been trying to.

Build Update (3/4/15)

We finished our six hours out of bag. The robot is now able to make capped 5-stacks. We added a second lift motor to help bear the load of 5 boxes and a trash can, and we moved our lift and gyro sensors to the actual robot. The robot will compete at the Glacier Peak District Qualifier this Saturday.


Build Update – Bag and Tag

Finally, the infamous Bag and Tag has arrived! We made some really good progress, and thankfully, we managed to finish the robot on time. Here’s a video of our 2015 robot, Eric, in action:

Robot Specs:

Most boxes stacked – 4

Final weight – About 110 lbs

Height – 77 in

Width – 41 1/4 in

Length – 28 1/4 in

Autonomous program – Goes forward in to Auto Zone

Teleop play style – Straight to the landfill, collect and top-stack 4 boxes, grab a garbage can, get a pool noodle from the loading zone, and stick it on top.


Build Update (2/6/15)

FIRST off, we’re going to move these updates to once a week as we approach bag and tag. Second, we’ve added a link to the meal schedule in the “Get Involved” section of the website. We expect to add some days as we start to meet more often.

We’ve made great progress on the robot. The base for the lifting mechanism is in place with our 3D-Printed rollers. Here are a couple of pictures of the students working on the robot.



We also took apart more of last year’s robot and reassembled with new electronics so we can practice driving.


Build Update (1/30/15)

Taking advantage of our day off school, we got a bunch done. We added Molex connectors to the CAN cables on our motor controllers. We added another control board to the back of the robot and drilled many holes. As a result, we were able to get all of our electronics mounted.

Build Update (1/28/15)

Today was a very eventful day for both the hardware and the software teams. On the software team end of things, we dealt with some electronics issues. We made sure there was a difference between power connections (red and black wires) and motor connections (white and green) so we don’t ruin expensive things like last year:


The hardware team was successful as well. We began to add chains to the wheels, as well as placing a control board on the bottom. In this photo, we see our alumni-turned-mentor Lucas being distracted by the camera.