Best Robots of 2006


Now that all the comps are over and we aren’t gonna see much more of teams’ ‘06 bots (except for some off-season events maybe), I still didn’t see that many robots. Therefore, I wanted to know about other bots are out there that I didn’t have a chance to see and are completely awsome:
Which teams’ bots did you think were simply amazing, almost flawless; bots that were so effective overall that you wish you thought of their design. Please post reasons for your picks and maybe even a special feature on the robot that impressed you. Also, I know that there were tons of great bots, but I meant for this thread to have the best bots. Keep in mind that its almost impossible to see every regional and get to see every bot.
Here are my pics in no particular order…they are all here for different reasons (I’m sure I’m forgetting some):

25:Their robot was a piece of art. Their ball feeder to their shooter was simple and effective. It was one of the best engineering solutions to this years game. Also, they are so strong and fast, I couldn’t believe it. Their drive train also is strait forward and very effective, not to mention their handy brakes. Their overall design was so clean and professional looking. They also used the camera really well (as several teams did) in controlling their huge turret, which I thought was a sight to see. Their robot seemed to be teasing how effortlessly it could shoot balls into the 3 point goal.

The triplets: Their robot design was so solid and sturdy, nothing on the frame of their robot seemed to break, not even when they tipped. Having their robots looking so intact and ready to go to me seemed like a miracle, especially because they went through three regionals.
I loved how when they would human load, they would start loading their balls up their ball chute, ready to be shot by their four spinning wheels. When shooting, balls seemed to glide out of their robot–very smooth. Their accuracy and sturdiness was amazing, and they were almost impossible to move. Another feature I fell in love with on their robot is their automatic aiming system, where their camera would take over and aim the robot. Their autonomous modes were devastating to the other teams; in Newton when 1503 used their autonomous mode where they would go straight out and then turn 90 degrees toward the goal, they were never thrown off course, even when hit multiple times.

322:This robot has to be the fastest robot I’ve seen all season. They were so good at hoarding all the balls from the field and can turn on a dime. Their robot seemed so well built and they can turn on a dime. Also, they can turn on a dime.

254/968: Though they didn’t use a turret or a camera to control their robot, they were scoring powerhouses nonetheless. If you let them onto the ramp for a few seconds, the match is over. I loved how fast balls would fly out of their robots into the goal, it was incredible. Not only were they were effective at scoring, but they were also some of the fastest bots on the field. This was demonstrated at Silicon Valley when 254 would fly back to the other side of the field to get on their ramp in the last seconds of a match.

111: Wild Stang’s robot this year was very effective. They were fast, and could score very accurately. Their camera-controlled turret was very sensitive and aimed their turret very accurately. Some things of their robot were eerily similar to ours, like how they got the balls to their shooter and their shooter and turret set up. I loved their wheelie bar to support themselves when going up the ramp. This was because their robot is wider than it is long. I’m guessing this is so that more balls can be collected. I’ve never seen a robot wider than it is long, and I couldn’t believe I didn’t think about that to collect more balls at a time. Very effective.

195:I loved how effective their robot is when in autonomous mode and using various sensors. Their contraption to release the balls from their robot lowers so smoothly, I thought it was done very nicely.

I know there are so many other great bots…but I’m not gonna name all of the ones I think were good…I want to see what bots you think were the best!

1901 - Just a rookie team this robot looked very professional, and the mentors and students understand what FIRST is about. And as the days progessed at FLR they looked better and better. Their robot was really simple, and could play some mean defense.

1126 - These guys aren’t their division champs for nothing. There turreting shooter, along with there ball collector are amazing. Add in an experienced drive team and you have a great robot on the field.

217 - Once again if you had time to stop by a teams pit the Thunderchickens should have been on that list of teams to stop by. Always willing to show you things on there robot, and always a solid team. This team proved to be a great team again this year, with there turret and loader, it was a great machine. This team kept it simple by loading off the human player, and only going with a few balls instead of 30 or 40 to shoot.

( I know there are more teams i’m missing. I’ll think of some of the ones that aren’t mentioned soon and post them too)

1523 “M.A.R.S.” - one of the best engineered catapults i’ve seen in FIRST, it was better than half the shooter wheels I saw

494/70 “Martians” - brilliant use of omnis. Period.

190 “GOMPEI” - forget the turret and tracking, the hopper on this bot was a peice of work. Look at video from BAE to see what I mean

1625 “Winnovation” - I have to mention them just because of the absolutely scary autonomous mode. The accuracy was just downright impressive.

254 “Cheesy Poofs” - Amazing driving at SVR. With the two speeds, they could dodge almost every other bot on the field. I have video of them getting on their ramp at the end, and remaining parallel to the ground the entire way up. Also one of the best alliance partners, they kept 71 from tipping multiple times in the Newton elims. 968 deserves a big shout out also, but I didn’t get to see their bot as close, since they weren’t at our regional.

EDIT: I just have to say that I’ve only mentioned robots here that i got to personally see up close. 254 is at our regional every year, and the rest were in Galileo at champs. There are many MANY robots i would like to mention, but these are a cross section of those that impressed me personally.

322 was the only corner goal scoring robot I saw that other people would really defend by blocking the corner goals the whole match. They would score so much per match , be so quick, so effective, such a tight turn radius, that other teams would actually have to plan on how they could block the corner goals for the entire match. Leave a one second window, bang 35 points… 5 seconds.

To me, it’s almost as simple as looking at the team list for IRI. I’m am looking forward to playing with and against every team there… It’s going to be so exciting.

My favorite out of the robots that haven’t yet been mentioned has to be 233, the Pink Team. This robot’s 6-wheel drive was pretty much immovable, and their camera-controlled turret ensured spot-on delivery of balls, every time. The “Archimedes screw” was a great way to store, index and feed balls with just the one mechanism. The aesthetics were very well done - if you can stand the colour pink, that is! I had the pleasure of seeing 233 dominate its way to winning the Boston regional, and it was an extremely nerve-racking experience to have had to face them in the Archimedes finals.

We can go on and on about who had the best robot in 2006, because it is our opinion. So, I will go ahead and list a number of teams who I think performed the best.

  1. Team 25 - Undefeated for 2 regionals? Championship finalist? If you haven’t stopped by their pit and stared at their robot for half an hour straight you have missed out big time.

  2. Team 254/968 - These two teams have amazed me over the years. I wish if I had the resources to build a chassis like them. Get them up on that ramp, you are done for the match.

  3. Team 1114/1503/1680 - Known as the triplets, these 3 Canadian teams are my role models when it comes to collaboration, team organization and teamwork.

  4. Team 217 - Thursday at championship when I walked into their pit, Paul and the students were on the ground working on the robot, the turret+shooter was off the robot. But, it only took them a day to snatch the championship gold away from everyone. What else does this team need? They already have the national Woodie flowers, and Championship gold under their belt. One of these days we will watch them get the championship chairmans.

  5. Team 111 - I participated with a Motorola team (108) for 4 years as a high school student. During the process, I was introduced to many engineers and students on team 111. They never stop amazing me. I haven’t been able to find a weld that looks nasty on that robot since 2003 (2003 was the first time, I looked at their robots in person). I appreciate the fact that engineers like Al, Dan take their time out and talks to me about FIRST, team organization. That is how a mentor should be.

  6. Team 233 - Do I even have to say anything about the pink machine? Not only they have amazing robots every year, their members are very friendly. Mrs. P and the crew has never refused to take Tytus and I along anywhere they go. It was fun hanging out with you guys all 3 nights at the championship.

  7. Team 1902 - A little history behind this team. Team 1083 (Emoticons) fell apart after 2004. The mentors (George Wallace, Dan Richardson, Mike Walker) was starving to taste the competition and hence the birth of team 1902. Not only they had a very good robot that dominated during the competition, they were the Florida Regional Finalist, went undefeated at lonestar Regional in Houston (Thanks Matt for correcting me), and were the Archimedes Division Finalist at the championship.

… I am sure I forget a lot of things I wanted to point out… wait no I didn’t…

  1. Every single FIRST team that participated this past season had the best robot. Every one of them spent 6 weeks to keep the team together and build a robot to compete. They gave their best to it. So take a moment to congratulate yourself and thank your team members.

not to be bias or anything but here at 1902 people would often ignore the shooters on our alliance and just the block the two corner goals so we could not score

They where so fast! It was amazing watching them at West Michigan, they tied us in wins/losses but beat us out with their higher Q-Pt’s and where the #1 seed. The only down part of them being the #1 seed was that they get the First and Last picks, other than that they were great. There really isn’t enough I can say about their robot, besides its fast, goes everywhere, and they will make you pay if you leave them alone.

469: One of the few teams who managed to pick up balls from the floor and have an accurate high goal shooter, I was extremely impressed with the design of the Las Guerillas robot. Their use of the camera made them very consistent in scoring most of the balls in autonomous. When 469 loaded up and went to shoot, the balls would come out like fireworks and accurately score. Also, great manuverability allowed them to play some mean defense too. Not to mention dominating the highest scoring match ever. Great job guys.

Can’t wait to see everyone at IRI!

599- not just because its my team, but we were undefeated in LA besided the final round. We also were able to shoot on the ramp and off the ramp in competition before 986 was able to. We also had an all hand built robot with no machines other than handtools on the thing (school got rid of metal shop). I think we had a great robot this year. Too bad senior prom was the same weekend as Nationals, or we may have gone (3/4 the team was seniors who all had senior-itis and didnt want to miss prom).

986/254 - They did the same things we did, just with shifting gearbox and a cleaner looking machine. Great robots, both in function and looks.

987 - High Rollers were great at Arizona. I was very disappointed when they lost in the finals. Eh, i was disappointed a lot from the results at Arizona, but High Rollers looked great, and definitely on my top favorites of this year.

Triplets - Function and a lot of PR on CD. They worked great, and the compliments about them throughout the competition season were well deserved.

330 - You guys were great in Arizona, great in LA as well. It was a great year being on your alliance in elimination in both places. Hope we team up at competions in the future. You guys always make make great robots. I was a little suprised when i herd that you guys did not get that far at Nationals. But at LA and AZ, you guys ruled, except for the cracked tranny in the finals of LA.

All Team- 6 weeks and a functioning or semi-function robot is a huge accomplishment. I think there are many i also missed from my short list. It was a great year for a lot of teams and seem to me like a very fun game compared to the past (i only have Triple Play to compare it too). I hope everyone had a great time like i did, and hope well for next year.

Before 968 decided to shoot from the floor, maybe. 254 had shot from the floor in earlier regionals (Portland and SVR), though.

Here’s to some GSR teams.

  1. GSR champions. They had incredible drivers that could sneak around any robot and get on any ramp they wished. And when they got on the ramp, it was all over. They had one of my favorite gathering systems. Just one roller that lauched the balls up into their, otherwise human-loaded, hopper.

  2. More GSR champions. Wow. Autonomous demons. They just had “one of those autonomous modes”. 10/10 everytime regardless if they were hit. Outstanding for a second year homeschooled team without a sophisticated machine shop.


At the Colorado Regionals, I really liked Team 159’s (Alpine Robotics). It was really cool when our captain chose them for our alliance in semi’s. The only thing I didn’t like about their bot was the panel they had to take off to get to their transmission. I believe it was held in by a lot of screws that needed the allen key for every single one. But despite losing semi-finals, me and my fellow driver cheered like crazy for them when they got the Chairman’s award.

In no particular order–

1114 and company–fantastic, almost immovable drivebase. Great shooter from range, and close up. Very efficient human loader. Only “weakness” was floor loading capabilities, which were still very sufficient. Had imho possibly the best auton of the year–it either made darn near every shot it took, or didn’t take any shots at all, leaving them in position to score all their balls after auton.

469–AMAZINGLY fast and accurate shooter. Simply deadly. With a turret no less. You’d better hope you can outscore them, cuz you’re prolly not stopping them. Same with 1114

217–Fantastic autonomous. Also one of my picks for best auton. Great turret, very nice ball sorting/delivery system to eliminate jams, and good drivers. Their competition results just about say it all.

111-Probably the best auton of the year. Even when hit they managed to correct and make most of their shots. In addition to this, they had a ton of different paths they could take before shooting-making it much harder to knock them off course in the first place. If they managed to get up on you early during auton, you were in trouble. Very nice ball delivery system to keep from jamming, while still retaining a wide pickup zone to facilitate loading. Had they been able to human load, they would have been even better.

987–Great all around robot. Good turret and ball pickup, combined with a solid drivebase and good driving/strategy. They were a force on Newton. Another team that could sink you during auton.

70/494–Very much like 469 in function. Two scary teams.

25–Speedy, with a good turret. They couldn’t hold as many balls as some others, but they usually made all of them count. Another excellent ball sorting mechanism, that was very simple.

Agreed. The High Rollers defintely deserve a spot on the list of best robots of '06. When we had seeded first at the LV regional, we chose them as our first pick, they were definitely one of the best bots there. We then chose team 8 as our second pick to have a very formidable alliance, and went undefeated through the elimination matches. The High Rollers had an excellent robot, and were wonderful to work with. :slight_smile:

I thought they were the best robot during Arizona. There are many instences where the best robot isnt the first seed. This is all my opinion as well. I just thought the best functioning robot by itself was High Rollers at Arizona. Im glad they won LV regional, but i think they should have had Arizona. Yet again, i thought my alliance won that controversial match, but its all good, its not about winning. Dont take my opinions in offence, its just my 2cents.

This is true. I mean, since your partners in the qualifying matches, you might get put with some teams whose robot maybe doesn’t quite match up with yours, or whose robot may have been broken in their last match and isn’t really ready to go back out onto the field. But hey, anything can happen in the qualifying matches, and losing one match can make all the difference. As long as other teams recognize your strengths, there’s a good chance that you’ll be picked for the eliminations.

But I agree with most of the teams people have mentioned. 987, 111, and the Triplets all had really good robots, and our team was lucky enough to be able to face them (well, one of the Triplets).

#1: 25
Fast, accurate, deadly. That’s pretty much all that needs to be said about the most dominant bot this year. 25 dominated New Jersey, #1 seed, undefeated, champion. 25 dominated Las Vegas, #1 seed, undefeated, champion. 25 dominated Newton, #3 seed, #1 pick (Declined), Champion. 25 dominated PARC, #1 seed, Champion. 25 dominated Monty Madness, #1 pick, Champion. And Championship finalist, after losing the best match of the year, aint so bad is it?

#2: 469
Las Guerillas were amazing yet again. Fastest firing rate of just about any bots. Accurate are range, deadly up close. Ground loading, human loading, turret, defense, etc etc etc. They were #1 seed in Detroit, teamed up with 217, and emerged champions. The combination of 1114 and 1503 managed to stop them in the finals at GLR, but it was impressive none the less. They were the #2 pick in Curie, and made it to the semi-finals.

#3: 254
It is impossible to seperate robots performances from their drive crews. So, I will not lump 254 and 968 together, nor the triplets or Martians. I’m putting 254 ahead of 968 because they proved their dominance at 2 regionals, and, imho, faired slightly better through the Newton qualification matches (and were ranked higher because of it). Champions at PNW. Champions, as they always have been, at SVR. #4 alliance captain, the 2nd pick of team 176 (they, like 25, declined) on Newton, and Newton semi-finalist. Another amazing year and bot for the Poofs!

#4: 968
RAWC rocked. Period. Champion in Los Angeles. Newton Champion. Championship finalist. Wow. Who could forget the “A-Bomb”? Along with 25, and 195, they created one of the best alliances that I have ever seen in FIRST, in any of my years of involvment. Simply brilliant.

#5: 1114
3 Regional Championships in 1 year in the alliance era!?! #1 pick by 1503 at GLR, #1 seed at Waterloo, #1 seed at GTR, Champion at all 3. #1 selection in Curie by 494, and made it to the Curie finals. They could pick up from the ground well, but we even better with the human loader. Accurate on the ramp, from half court, or anywhere in between. Fast firing rate, and nearly impossible to move. The simbots were breathtaking. They are the story of 2006.

#6: 217
The Chickens ruled autonomous. 10 for 10 in the center goal almost every match, regardless of defense. Champions in Detroit, semi-finalists at GTR, and of coure, Champions of FIRST. #1 pick on Archimedes, the all GTR-Alliance managed to beat out super-powers like 233, 25, and defending champion 503 on the way to their first ever Championship.

#7: 1503
Ummm…2 teams had 3 Regional Championships this year!?! TOGETHER!?! 1503 and 1114’s identical designs proved to be lethal when combined, winning Great Lakes, Waterloo, and Greater Totonto. They were the #1 seed at GLR, and 1114’s (who was the #1 seed at both) first pick at the other two. Members of the amazing #2 alliance on Newton, picked by 987, they played against the 25, 968, 195 alliance as well as anyone, but drew the short end in 3 matches.

#8: 233
Pink’s machine was beautiful, as always. Fast, deadly, memorable. Pink definately wasn’t afraid to play defense either. The spiraling loading system worked like a charm, the turret was always on target, and they rained in point after point. #1 seed at UCF, made it to the Semi-finals. Champions in Boston. Finalists on Archimedes. They had more wins against the 296, 217, 522 alliance more than the deadly #3 Newton alliance did!

#9: 111
And the bot wasn’t even their biggest success this season…Chairman’s was.
They won both of their regionals. They were in the #1 Newton alliance. They were Newton finalists. They handed 25 their first loss of the season during the qualification matches on Newton. Deadly in autonomous, deadly on defense. Fast, accurate, and once they added the pnuematic brake, nearly immovable. Wildstang did it again!

#10: 987
They absolutely blew me away. An amazing robot. Accurate, quick, agile, powwerful. #2 seed and Newton semi-finalist. Who knows how far they could have gone had they not run into the brick wall of the #3 Newton alliance? Simply amazing robot.

Other 'bots of note (no particular order):
494, 70, 1680, 121, 1038, 703, 11, 71, 79, 1523, 1902, 322, 195, 296, 1126, 229, 330, 33, 1731, 343, 118, 365, 341, 177, 176, 69, 20, 1625

I forgot to mention team 1523. Their catapault design was awe-inspiring. It was so consistent and smooth. During the design process this year, we thought that a catapualt wouldn’t be accurate enough to get balls into the goal, this robot proved us wrong!