FIRST has provided us an exciting challenge yet again this year, named Aerial Assist. This year teams were challenged to build a robot that could pick up a large yoga ball, and hurl it into an elevated goal on the other end of the field. But there is a twist. This year, to encourage cooperation among teams, as they would need to in the real world, additional points are given to alliances who can pass the ball among their robots, accumulating “assist” points, before scoring their ball. In addition to this, there is an elevated barrier across the middle of the field that teams can toss the ball over, and have their teammates catch the ball for additional points.
In our 2013- 2014 FRC season we competed at the Hawaii Regional FRC Competition. There were not only teams from Hawaii and the mainland, but also teams from Australia, China, and Singapore. Competition was tough, but we managed to make it to the quarterfinals. In the end we went home with the Judges award, recognizing our outstanding characters as a club, placing just short of the Chairmen’s award. Next year we plan on further improving our qualities as a club, and continuing our outreach to the community.
Our robot was built to complete the basic tasks. It could pick up the large balls using a roller intake that extends outward by pistons. It can then shoot the ball using a catapult powered by surgical tubing and a “choochoo” mechanism. It was a consistent successful robot, until the intake was heavily damaged due to collision from another team, after which we could only shoot during autonomous, and otherwise acted as a push bot, passing the ball to a scoring robot, or defending against opposing teams.