DiscoBots 2587 - Build Thread 2023

Its been a number of years since the DiscoBots did an active Build Blog.
The team will follow the open alliance build blog format.

DiscoBots consist of students from high schools in Houston ISD (Lamar , Westside, Carnegie Vanguard)
This will be the first year with Westside High School, Tungsten (8150)
We will work closely with Bellaire High School (2585), also a Houston ISD school.
Progress will be updated on Onshape, Github (java) and social media.

Week 2 - Channelview
Week 4 - Houston

DiscoBots Website , DiscoBots GitHub , DiscoBots Youtube

Social Media: DiscoBots Instagram , DiscoBots Facebook , DiscoBots Tiktok, DiscoBots Twitter


Our core focus is keeping the mechanisms and plans simple and consistently reliable, especially since this year’s game will rely more heavily on the programming/driver aspects of the robot.

Drive: Pushing for our first swerve drive, we have a “mini-swerve” working.
If swerve fails , we might revert back to a kitbot or WCD drivetrain.

Intake: working on ground intake that feeds the arm. The ground intake should pick up (over the bumper) cones and cubes in any orientation, and have it ready for the arm to score.

Arm: we need to develop further ideas. Our ideal arm would only include 1 joint/place-of-motion that we would have to control. We are looking for linkages, virtual 4-bars, and other designs that avoid multi-jointed arms, elevators, and telescopes.

DiscoBots Charged UP youtube playlist. - all videos posted in 2023

We are also updating our channel in the Discord Open Alliance server.


Welcome to the Discobots Build Thread, Week 3 Update!


This year, due to the low barrier of entry, we did not find a reason to omit any scoring actions, therefore, our goal will be to use a narrow, charge-station-climbing robot, that can intake and score cones and cubes in all locations.


  • Drive
    • We are pushing for our first swerve drive, and almost have a “mini-swerve” working. Only a few sensor and programming problems before it’s ready to compete!
    • We have decided for a skinny but long drive dimensions for better chances of 3 robots on the platform.
    • Since we are a team over many schools, we also designed workaround swerve “dummy modules” for build/CAD teams.
  • Intake
    • We have decided to create a ground intake that feeds the arm. The ground intake should pick up (over the bumper) cones and cubes in any orientation, and have it ready for the arm to score.
      • This allows our arm to have less chances of breaking, and it will allow for a quicker intake experience.
      • It will also let us use the ground loading stations instead of the shelf, reducing distance traveled for a quicker cycle time.
    • This is a pending prototype:
  • Arm
    • The arm is where we are still less decided and need to develop further ideas for. Our ideal arm would only include 1 joint/place-of-motion that we would have to control. We are looking for linkages, virtual 4-bars, and other designs that avoid multi-jointed arms, elevators, and telescopes.
    • !


1/15 Meeting Recording- 2023 FRC Build Week 1 - Sunday Meeting - YouTube

1/15 Meeting Slides - Disco Sunday Meeting 1/15/23 - Google Slides

1/19 Mini-Swerve Testing - Swerve Drive Test MK4i - YouTube

1/22 Meeting Recording - Part 1 - 2023 FRC Build Week 2 Meeting - Part 1 - YouTube

1/22 Meeting Recording - Part 2 - 2023 FRC Build Week 2 Meeting - Part 2 - YouTube

1/22 Meeting Slides - Disco Sunday Meeting 1/22/23 - Google Slides

Please feel free to ask any questions about dimensions, theories, plans, etc!


https://youtu.be/yUTQ58SexhM 2587 DiscoBots is making awesome progress with their Dummy Swerve testing platform and also showcases their modified Everybot design



Welcome to the Discobots Progress Thread, Week 4!

  • Strategy
    • Here are our major priorities for now:
      • Ground intake that can take in and score both cones and cubes on the ground.
      • Arm that is able to score both mid and high with bothe cones and cubes.
      • Drive, swerve drive is the goal, and the code is getting really close.
      • Having at least 2 autonomous programs for different starting positions. Additionally, being able to use sensors like cameras to assist drivers.
  • Ground Intake
    • We have simplified our previous (week 3) intake design with some dimensions heavily inspired by Team Spectrum’s initial intake prototype.
  • Arm
    • We have made a major development in our arm design by testing out the everybot arm. This allows us us to use a lower-risk, high-merit method of scoring.
    • Parts of our arm has been produced
  • Drive Base
    • Our swerve drive is mostly ready. The only obstacle is some minor code problems.

    • We also have created a “dummy swerve” allowing us to test robot designs across our different schools.

  • Code
    • We have a Raspberry Pi’s and an Orange Pi’s setup to read Apriltags. This will let us easily position the robot for both autonomous and driver control.
    • We are working on installing our first driver-camera setup.
    • AprilTag Programming

We also made a thread jig to aid in the repair of our mk4i swerve drives. Still waiting for threaded inserts. Credit to Team 2363 Triple Helix for the design.


Welcome to the Discobots Progress Thread, Week 5!

  • Ground Intake
    • Our Version 1 ground intake works well to intake both cubes and cones. The main disbenefit right now is the need for 3 different positions (stowed, cube mode, cone mode)
    • This is Version 2, it intakes both cubes and cones in the same configuration, leaving only 2 positions for the intake.
  • Arm
    • Our team is pretty committed to using the Everybot arm for the robot.
    • One issue we have is that our team does not have this 90-degree gearbox, so we will be coming up with solutions soon.
  • Swerve Drive
    • The robot runs around satisfactorily. There are some issues with some of the modules, we think it’s most likely a hardware issue (neo motors stall, even with no load).
  • Extra Cool Activities
    • As our ground intake and arm are progressing, we started thinking about a system to shoot cubes from the intake to the medium and high nodes.
    • If our shooting prototypes prove this method to be bad, we also have some plans for an intake-arm cube handoff.
  • Code
    • Swerve code has some progress. Here are some logic diagrams, and a video of it working.
    • We also have some working apriltag configurations running on a spare robot.

Please let us know any of your questions/feedback, we are eager to discuss!

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https://youtu.be/ROqerZgwHgI 2587 DiscoBots showcases their Everybot ‘+’ robot and how their manufacturing process and modular design allows for them to get their final assembly quickly done on The Open Alliance Show.



Great to see your overview and I am looking forward to seeing how you guys do in district events.

I think this bot with some driver practice has a very high ceiling.

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Thank you very much. Will definitely keep you updated!


  • Ground Intake

    • The ground intake’s building is complete. It is a 4-bar linkage that runs on a Neo with 2 intake rollers that run on a 775 Pro. It can pick up cones from the floor (in almost any orientation) cubes from the floor (in any orientation) and is wide enough for easy capturing.
  • Arm

  • Swerve

    • Our swerve drive was transferred from the mini-swerve (practice robot) to the real, competition robot. It is coupled with a thick steel belly-pan (to reduce our center of gravity).
  • Code

    • Currently, we are working on path planners and odometry for our swerve to move reliability. Fortunately other components of the robot work, allowing us to easily score a low game piece using the ground intake. Additionally, we have designed our subsystems to be easy for programming. For example:
      • The ground intake only need to be set on “coast” for it to drop down, as it has free-spinning omni wheels that hit the ground, allowing for lower-precision-dependent operations.
      • Our everybot arm uses a limit switch for homing before each match for easy mid-match control.
  • Tournament Performance

    • We attended our first tournament, Channelview, in Texas. Although we had some troubles getting our swerve drive to fully work during the competition, we were still able to solve all our problems, eventually, at the tournament.
    • Additionally, we won the Engineering Inspiration Award at this event!

It was great playing with yall! I’d love to see some of the documentation you guys used for Engineering Inspiration if you guys are willing to share it.


We plan to update our website & youtube with our latest Outreach efforts.

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Discobots Post-Tournament 2 Update (Houston):

  • Drive Base:
    • Our team is still going very strong with the swerve drive. We use MK4i’s on an L2 ratio with 8 NEOs. This drive base, paired with a very rigid build and a 40-pound steel belly pan allow us to move our 120-pound robot around with great ease and excellent control.
  • Ground Intake:
    • Our team utilizes a quick, reliable ground intake to effectively pick up from the floor and score low. This intake has not broken, despite the hits it has taken, and is paired with a camera for universal usage.
    • This ground intake was instrumental for us to earn many wins at our previous tournament through making quick links on the hybrid nodes. We can independently fill up almost the entire bottom row!
  • Arm:
    • Our arm is an Everybot-arm placed upon a rigid, yet lightweight superstructure to be compatible with swerve. This arm has been a great source of points, allowing us to consistently pick from the shelves to score medium or high. We have consistently been forming high links in all our matches.
  • Code:
    • Our autonomous has been very reliable in scoring great points. We have various selections for great flexibility. Our most helpful path in this competition has been our path that scores a high cube, attains the mobility bonus, then charges (using gyro and PID) on the charge station (21 points).
  • Overall Results:
    • Overall, this competition has been great for the team. We ranked 6th in qualification matches, and became alliance captain of the 5th seed. From this, we advanced till the semifinals. Additionally, we also earned the Team Sustainability Award! Our combination of flexibility and consistency allows us to keep up with some really high points!

Discobots Post-States Update (Texas - Mercury):

  • Statistics:
    • Abilities: picked up from anywhere on the field, and scored anywhere, easily able to charge, and are adaptable to play both offense and defense.
    • Characteristics: 120lbs, 22 inches wide, resilient structures, minimal failures.
    • Ranking: Finished 20th at state championships.
    • Ground Intake: Scored about 6-8 low game pieces per match.
    • Arm: Scored about 4-5 game pieces high per match.
    • Drivebase: Swerve drive with minimal tipping (45 lbs steel belly-pan) and high mobility.
    • Autonomous: Multitude of options, including high node > mobility > balance.
    • Awards: Engineering Inspiration and sustainability award.


  • Accomplishments:
    • This was the first year our team implemented a swerve dive (Mk4i L2). The result was fantastic, and now we have an excellent foundation for the future.
      • If anyone needs help implementing an odd swerve configuration, like thrifty encoders, NavX, Rio1, etc, let us know!
    • Our team was able to get vision and camera mapping using Apriltags working! This will let us add much more control to our robot in the future.
    • We were able to coordinate our manufacturing really well. From making in-depth CAD, to finishing building within build season, our team’s mechanical development processes were done well this season.
    • We were able to improve our outreach and presentation efforts to win both the awards we aimed for, Engineering Inspiration, and sustainability!
    • We restarted and maintained our open-alliance activities.
    • All this was done by our team of whom are distributed throughout 3 schools, compete in other events like Vex & Combat Robotics, and are separated by wide distances!

  • Overall Results
    • Overall, we are very satisfied with this season, and are eager to expand/improve further. If you have any requests to the Discobots, whether it’s a call for help or a partnership proposal, please let us know! We maintain our open-door policy for all organizations and initiatives and want to expand our boundaries.


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