The 2012 Season

    This past year in Robotics has been a fantastic one for us-- we were finalists at the Milwaukee Regional Competition!

    The game last year was basketball (see here for more about the FIRST Robotics competition).  To earn points, our robot was to shoot balls into hoops at a range of heights on our side of the field.  A line of seesaw bridges in the middle of the field was used to cross between sides--  balancing multiple robots on the tipsy bridges earned teams extra points.

The Game

    We started off with a hectic build season.  After a variety of planning and prototypes, we decided on a robot shooter powered by two spinning wheels.  We'd control how far the balls went by changing the speed of the wheels:

Shooting Mechanism

Shooting Mechanism


    To pick up balls, we rehashed an old robot design:  Conveyors lined with toilet brushes that ran both directions to pull balls in and push them out.


Testing the Robot


    For driving, we used the same design as the year before-- a set of four mecanum wheels (see here for a diagram of how they work).  We were given the option of using a motion-controlled Kinect to drive our robot for a portion of the game... which we didn't end up using.

First Drive Testing (with motion control)!

    We also mounted a wedge on the robot to push the bridges down and let the robot climb up.
    Finally, Elliott the robot was born!

Elliott Testing!

    And we made it to the Wisconsin regionals, where we got into the finals!

 Our Vicious Co-Dictators were quite pleased.

Sadly, not one of our better matches

All in all, a great year!