696 2022 Robot Reveal - Sanddrag

Team 696 is proud to present our 2022 competition robot Sanddrag! (Practice bot named refrigerator, long story).

Robot features

  • 2.5 second traversal climber
  • four-bar ground pickup intake
  • fully variable shooter and hood for auto-targeting within 4-22ft from the goal.
  • SDS mK4 drive base

Naming history
Since 2002, our head mentor/teacher Mr. Black (@sanddrag) has been committed to developing team 696 from a drill press in a closet to a full-fledged machine shop today, with three Haas CNC’s and fiber lasers, among other industry-level equipment. Due to some more recent changes within the team’s workflow and structure, however, Mr. Black chose to step down from his position as Team 696’s teacher/lead mentor. As a team, we decided that dedicating our past few months of work in the lab to @sanddrag would be the best way to say thank you for everything you’ve done for the team.

The name “refrigerator” was actually a finalist pick for the comp bot’s name until returning members had this naming idea and vetoed the refrigerator vote down to the practice bot.

-Team 696


really cool rotoclimb! i love this climbing way and am so glad so many teams are doing it~


I’m truly honored you guys. That climb is absolutely stupendous! What you have accomplished this year, with the various challenges you’ve faced, is nothing short of remarkable.

For me, being a student, mentor, and then lead teacher of Team 696 was the highlight of my life for 17 years. Moving on to greater ventures definitely was not an easy decision, but it makes me so proud to see my former students continuing to work hard, carry on the legacy, and accomplish amazing feats both with the robots and personally.

Now go get that soda!

Till we meet again…

For those wondering about the name, I was browsing some used auto listings when making my CD account back in the day, and I came across something like this.



I couldn’t stop watching their climb video for about 5 minutes

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I couldn’t either, and I’ve been there in person for all of them


Love this


Absolutely my favorite climb, nothing could be better than this. Gold medal

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THANK YOU for pushing the limits on that traversal climber. You’re really showing off what’s possible when things are optimized. Excellent!


First of all, I just want to say, what an impressive traversal climber. It is very smooth, clean, and effective. I do have some questions on how you got it there. At the end of the video, your robot oscillates a bit, is this the motors trying to actively reduce swing? Or are they just in coast mode and your robot is naturally swinging a bit?

If you are actively reducing swing, are you going to release your code eventually, I would love to see how you did it.


I watched the climb you posted on Instagram like 40 times. Its crazy fast. How long does it get attached to the pole? I was hoping you’d pull it out at Ventura.


Can you take some photos to let us know how climber is working,thanks

I’ll send some more pics here later, we’re in the process of a redesign to accommodate field building tolerances.

At the end of the video, your robot oscillates a bit, is this the motors trying to actively reduce swing? Or are they just in coast mode and your robot is naturally swinging a bit?

The motors are in brake mode throughout the climbing sequence. There’s so much leverage and momentum just by the robot swinging it might appear that the motors are in coast mode, though. We also don’t use any active feedback and it’s a fairly elementary code sequence, kind of like:

  1. Run full power until sensors x and y see a bar
  2. delay x and release cylinders
  3. Run full power until sensors a and b see a bar
  4. etc
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I don’t mean this in a bad way, I’m just curious, but what happened to your climb? (my team found that the “real” bars are super slippery compared to the practice fields)
Do you and your team plan to change it for the future?

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We didn’t correctly account for the spacing tolerance between climber bars so we literally ended up ripping our climber apart. We have some revisions being worked and tested on right now.


Congratulations on going undefeated at Los Angeles and winning the Excellence in Engineering award. Both were well earned. The performance this weekend was flawless, and those buzzer-beating climbs were exciting to watch. Nice work guys!


Is that the usual +/- one inch that FRC arena rules apply to everything?

Congrats team 696!!! As Mr. Black said a flawless performance! I was always on the edge of my seat watching Sanddrag sink the last minute shots not knowing if it will have enough time to climb. Excellent work and good luck in Houston!!

  • A very proud 696 Alumn

696 did NOT disappoint. Quickest traversal I’ve seen live. Well earned win at LAR.