FRC 2996 Cougars Gone Wired 2023 Build Thread

Welcome to Team 2996 Cougars Gone Wired 2023 openalliance build thread! We’re excited to be joining this year!

Team Links
Team Website
Linktree with our social media
Blue Alliance Page
Team Documents and Training Materials
Manipulator Through FRC History
Common Drive Configurations
2021 / 2022 Git Repository Standards
Chairman’s Essays and Business Plans
Safety Presentation

About The Team
Cougars Gone Wired is an FRC team from Colorado Springs, Colorado, located at Coronado High School. We have 37 students this year, and 12 active mentors (some being FRC alums!) We operate out of our school’s engineering classroom, wood shop, and metal shop. We have access to a CNC Mill and Router, plasma cutter, and basic wood shop equipment. Our team is completely student-led, and each student is a member of a business and technical subteam. We enjoy inspiring our community in STEM and igniting a passion for engineering in our students. This is our 15th season as a team, and we are excited for Charged Up!

Team Organization

Team Organization
We are divided into business and technical subteams, with each subteam being led by a student Vice President (VP.) The team is led by a student Chief Executive Officer (CEO.)


Business Subteams

  • Awards - Awards works on the FIRST Impact Award, along with the Woodie Flowers Essay.
  • Finance - Finance manages the yearly budget, recruits and manages relationships with sponsors, and also writes the business plan for each season.
  • Outreach - Outreach interacts with our community by planning community outreach events, communicating with local robotics teams, and communicating with our school administration.
  • Website and Social Media - Website and Social Media manage our website and makes frequent posts on our social media pages.
  • Media and Marketing - Media and Marketing records, edits, and uploads YouTube videos, along with designing our T-shirts and creating promotional materials.

Technical Subteams

  • Electronics - Electronics is in charge of wiring the robot, including the roboRIO, sensors, motors, motor controllers, pneumatics, and batteries.
  • Manipulator - Manipulator is in charge of designing and building parts of the robot which controls the game pieces.
  • Mobility - Mobility is in charge of designing and building the drive train of the robot.
  • Programming - Programming is in charge of writing and testing code for the robot.
  • Systems Integration - Systems Integration is in charge of CADing the robot, and communicating with the other technical subteams to ensure that everything comes together.
  • Special Projects - Special Projects is in charge of building a full-size wooden field for scrimmage and drive practice.


  • Awards Presentation - Presents the FIRST Impact Award to judges.
  • Drive Team - Drives the robot.
  • Safety - Ensures that everyone is being safe in the pit and at competition as a whole.
  • Scouting - Collects data from matches and talks to other teams.
  • Spirit - Leads chants during competition.

2022 / 2023 Preseason
We started our preseason in August recruiting members and working on preseason projects. Our main preseason project was the construction and programming of a swerve drive base.

We originally had the intention of making a second robot with a hooded shooter and swerve for Colorado’s off-season competition (KCMT), but that never came to fruition due to time constraints.

Besides coding the swerve drive base, programming also committed to changing over to command-based programming, instead of timed based which we have used for the past seasons. They also began work on improving the accuracy of the shooter for KCMT.

Systems Integration and Manipulator developed a new ‘mantis’ (retracting) intake for our 2022 competition robot. Our previous intake was very easy to gain penalties off of and made it far easier for other teams to push our robot around. The retracting mechanism was originally going to be powered by one motor, but we discovered it did not have enough torque to retract and unretract continuously. Instead, we made the decision to power the intake using a winch. We opted not to use pneumatics due to time constraints and the fact that they were not present on our robot already.

Previous Intake:

New ‘Mantis’ Intake:

Kendrick Castillo Memorial Tournament (KCMT)
View recap video here!
The team attended KCMT, Colorado’s off-season competition from October 8th to the 9th.

On Saturday, we did not do well at all. Our first two matches were against world champions 1619, and throughout the day we suffered from an intermittent electrical issue which caused our roboRIO to reboot, leaving us dead on the field for most of the match. It mainly occurred when we were hit hard by defense. At one point, we were ranked 27th out of the 28 teams attending.

On Sunday, we begun the day by pulling out the RIO, and investigating the source of the issue. There were a couple of loose connections that were causing the roboRIO to lose power when we were being heavily defended. With that issue fixed, we were able to play the rest of our matches without losing connection. We were able to finish 5th place and were selected by the second-seeded alliance. Thanks to our wonderful alliance captain, Team 4293 Komodo, and our fellow alliance partners Team 9999 (4499) The Highlanders, we made it to the semi-finals!

What we learned:

  • Stay positive! Even when we were not doing well, we kept our hopes up, and carried those hopes into a positive finish.
  • Experiment! Improving our shooter accuracy required changing the velocity threshold variable from 30 to 200 RPM. Never would have discovered that if we hadn’t begun shifting around variables.

Robot Goal
Every preseason, the team decides upon a ‘Robot Goal’ for the upcoming build season. This robot goal guides the creation of strategy and the design of the robot as a whole.

2023 Robot Goal:

  • To have a multi-scoring auto by scrimmage, and to score 85% of game pieces we possess in each phase (auto, teleop, endgame.)
  • In each event earn at least 80% of the ranking points chosen by strategy.

Mock Game
Towards the end of the semester, the team holds a ‘Mock Game’, where over a three-day period, we go through a simulation of the first days of build season. The mentors select a game, and the team must decide on a strategy and begin prototype designs for the robot. This year’s game was the 2015 game, Recycle Rush.

The team begins by reading the rules, and then we decide upon a strategy. Our philosophy is that strategy comes first, and robot design comes second. Once we are done with the strategy, the team begins to decide upon the drive base, sensors, and manipulators.

What we learned:

  • Do not be afraid of math (aka avoid simple oversights)! The original drive base design was not large enough to fit a tote. If we had checked the dimensions of both beforehand, it would have saved time for more prototyping.
  • Communication is key. During the height of prototyping, it was easy to lose track of what every technical subteam was working on. VPs needed to ensure they were communicating between subteams effectively to maximize productivity.

Looking Ahead to Kickoff
As of writing, the team has one more meeting and then winter break! Afterward, we will return to school and also, head into FRC Kickoff! 2996 looks forward to sharing our journey, and we wish everyone the best of luck! See you at the Colorado and Utah Regionals!!


December 8, 2022

Yesterday, the team held our final meeting before heading into Winter Break! Subteams are wrapping up training, and are looking ahead to FRC Kickoff on January 7th!

Logos, Media, and T-Shirts!
Work has begun on ideas for T-Shirts and Marketing for this season. We usually don’t start on T-Shirt design until the build season begins, but it is never too early to draw up concepts! We’re hoping to develop our brand extensively this season for our 15th season as a team.

Our T-Shirts are designed in Adobe Illustrator, but the concepts were made in GIMP.

Disassembling the Field!
Special Projects has been working hard on disassembling sections of our wooden field from last season, in preparation for building a new field this season. They plan to meet before Winter Break to continue the process.

Command-Based Programming
At the beginning of the season, Programming decided to switch from timed to command-based programming for the 2022 / 2023 season. The switch was made because we have found command-based to be cleaner, and easier to pick up and learn. It focuses on what the code needs to do, compared to the extensive state machines that you would find in a timed-based project. With that, it has required a lot of work to learn, so programming has been meeting Tuesdays and Thursdays after school in order to learn command based.

As a project, programming members have been coding our 2011 Robot, Grab-n-Go, in command based. Grab-n-Go is a very simple robot, with a mecanum drive base and an arm with a claw, making it an optimal starter project for new programmers.

Here are links to our command-based projects if you’re interested:
2022 Robot Command Based (in progress)
2011 Robot Command Based (in progress)
Swerve (from SDS Template)

Christmas Party! (and team bonding as a whole)
A team tradition for many years, we held our annual Christmas Party yesterday! Members brought in snacks, and participated in Secret Santa! It is always a very fun sendoff into Winter Break and keeps the team close as we head into build season. Much of our pre-season is dedicated to team bonding, it makes the build season much easier when the team truly feels like a family.

Thanks for reading! We’re looking forward to Charged Up! and wish everyone the best of luck!


Battery reorganization
I, in my great ignorance last year, had developed a nonsensical numbering scheme for our batteries which had essentially become random number assignment. “Wouldn’t it be great,” my trusty Electronics teammate mused, “if people could once again be able to classify a battery as a competition battery or a testing battery only by looking at its number?”

We re-numbered all of our batteries and re-tested them at the same time, just to ensure their performance hadn’t changed from what we’d seen at KCMT. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of our battery log process, but perhaps its most unique aspect is the tool that sort of looks like a black box with a handle, to the left of the heat gun, which is an automotive-grade pulse tester that exerts a 130A load. (We bought it after realizing that it mimics the sort of load a robot exerts much more accurately than the Battery Beak’s little 18A poof.)

The new standard is basically the same as the one my predecessors used: the newest and best batteries now have the lowest numbers (e.g. 1, 2, 3, etc.); the less reliable a battery is, the higher its number is (e.g. 7, 8, 9, etc.). We also put a star on the competition batteries, so hopefully it will be a lot easier for every to discern what sort of battery they’re using!

A “miniproject” for the battery cart
Speaking of batteries, I 3D printed a little part to fix the latching mechanism on the door of our battery cart. (I had broken said latching mechanism a few days prior in an attempt to allow the door to close more smoothly. “This part doesn’t look important; I’ll just file it off!” I had said.) The part sort of guides the latching mechanism to go through the top of the door, as can be seen in the video. (not a rickroll)

The model is exceedingly simple, but I hadn’t touched CAD for almost two years, so it was a good exercise nevertheless.

Build season is coming up super fast, so I’m glad we were able to get these tasks out of the way while we still had the time!



Happy Kickoff everyone! There was a ton to learn about Charged Up, so here are some of 2996’s initial thoughts and ideas about this year’s game. On kickoff as with all Saturdays, we meet from 9 to 4. Those hours were filled with reading and understanding the rules and some initial strategy discussion. Here is a Google Doc with some of the major rules and elements of the game we found important.

We always choose a strategy, then design our robot around that strategy (aka, strategy comes first, robot design comes second.)

For strategy discussion, the team broke up into their business subteams and began crafting potential strategies. Subteams came back with mostly similar ideas:

Start autonomous in front of the co-op grid, and place a preloaded game piece (most subteams presented cubes, although some had the idea of cones as well.) Afterward, drive onto the charging station and engage. Some groups had the idea of also going to get another game piece from the middle of the field and then drive onto the charging station during auto.

Once auto is over, drive to the loading zone, collect a game piece (cube or cone), and then place it on the top row of the grid. We would focus on creating links, as that goes towards our robot goal for this season. Other ideas proposed were collecting three game pieces, bringing them to the community one at a time, and then scoring three at a time since you can possess more than one game piece in the community.

During endgame, we absolutely want to go for the charging station, with the goal of engaging. An idea proposed was a way to assist our alliance members in staying level on the charging station. (similar to 148’s 2018 buddy climb?)

This strategy was just our initial discussion, changes can, and probably will be made during our next meeting on Monday!

After that initial discussion, the team went back into business subteams and continued to come up with more ideas, since many of the ideas presented were the same, or variations of each other. We also found some Youtube videos of various industry-level manipulators that could be adapted for Charged Up:

We hope that everyone had a wonderful Kickoff! As we head into this week, we plan to finish up strategy and begin prototyping designs. Best of luck to all the teams!!


Check out this preseason recap video made by our media team!


Week 1 Update

Strategy Finalization

The team spent Monday’s meeting finalizing the our strategy for this years game. The team decided the following.

Place preloaded game piece.
Grab second game piece.
Balance on the charge station.
Be able to start from multiple positions.

Move in all directions.
Pick up cubes and cones from any orientation.
Place cubes and cones on all 3 levels.


Design and Prototyping


With this we decided on swerve drive base for this season.


We have split into 4 different groups. Two of the groups are working on intake prototypes and two of the groups are focused on end effector.

One of the intake groups is working on compression with compliant wheels.

The second intake group is working on a weed whacker style intake.

We are using surgical tubing as the material for the weed whacker.

The wheel based intake has been good for intaking from any position quickly but doesn’t orient it in the position we want it. The weed whacker intake is good for orienting it but doesn’t intake it fully into the robot. Another benefit from the weed whacker is that it can be widened and still intake cubes and cones with less precision.

The first end effector group is working on a 2018 style grabber.

We have learned that springs are effective in adjusting to cube and cone with the same end effector. We have also learned that stiffer wheels are better for keeping grip of the cones.

The second group is working on a free rotation style clamper like in Ri3D Redux.

This group is using pneumatics to clamp the objects then have free rotating axles to rotate the objects to the desired position.


Programming begun the season by working on an auto balance program to make balancing on the charge station easier.

They also have been working on vision detection using the Limelight and other cameras, with a focus on April Tags. We were able to get April Tag detection working with the Limelight, and are planning on using that this season.

Special Projects

Special Projects has been working on constructing prototypes of the charge station for programming use, along with beginning on the grids.

Construction Schedule:

Media and Marketing

Media and Marketing has been working hard on the T-Shirt design, pin and sticker ideas, and recording our weekly YouTube updates. Various concepts for T-Shirt have been created, here are some below:

Looking Ahead

The team will finish up prototyping this week, and move into finalizing robot design. We will work towards completing the CAD, and sending it to one of our sponsors, Vertec, a local machining company, who will graciously machine the parts needed for our robot. Programming will continue developing code for vision processing and auto balance, and special projects will continue on building our field replica.

Good luck to everyone!!


Week Two Update

We hope that everyone had a productive and fun Week Two of build season! We did have the unfortunate occurrence of a snow day on Wednesday, which has set us behind somewhat.

The Week 1 Update YouTube video is up as well. Check that out if you’re interested :slight_smile: (stick around until the end for a fun blooper reel, we have so much fun filming these videos)

Prototyping and Designs

With most of this section focusing on Manipulators, here is the Manipulator subteam’s design presentation with decision matrixes and photos: Manipulator 2023 - Week 1 Team Presentation - Google Slides


Taking inspiration from 4481, we began prototyping a turntable that would reorient the cones so the scoring mechanism can easily pick them up and score. This would allow us to manipulate tipped cones, and with our intake design (see in the next section), would prefer tipped cones over upright cones, although upright cones could be tipped with a simple bump against them. The table itself is driven by a belt attached to a motor on the outside of the table.


The intake has gone through numerous designs and prototypes through the first two weeks. Cubes can be picked up by all of the prototypes, but cones have been posing some problems. All of the designs, though, would have a retracting mechanism similar to our 2022 Preseason intake.

The design below can intake a cone, but the cone often gets stuck between the bottom roller and the bumper, or the cone just simply does not enter the robot.

The most recent iteration did show some more promise, although some of the same issues with the cone remain, just to a lesser degree. This design moved the compliant wheel roller closer to the front, and added another foam roller near the bumper, in order to guide the cone into the robot.

Telescoping Arm

The mobility subteam prototyped a telescoping arm that would allow us to increase our reach range on the robot. We hope to attach our scoring mechanism to the end of the telescoping arm so we can reach the top level of the grid and score. We’re still figuring out the max weight the arm can sustain, and continuing to work towards hardening the stability of the arm itself.

Scoring Mechanisms

All of the scoring mechanisms were designed to score both cones and cubes. We did not want to have two separate mechanisms to score cubes and cones, just one central mechanism. We decided on a top three and will finalize early next week to start CAD. The finalized designs are in Manipulator’s 2023 design presentation, linked above.

Media and Marketing


We did put out a poll about some various T-Shirt designs to the team last week, and have begun finalizing designs this week. The deadline for them is February 1st, although we hope to get them done before then. We’re working off of the concepts in the previous week’s update, but with some more feedback from the team.

YouTube Videos

Every week, two VPs are interviewed and featured in a weekly update video. The week 1 update is linked at the top of this post, and this is the schedule for the rest of build season:

  • Week 1 - VP of Special Projects and VP of Mobility
  • Week 2 - VP of Programming and VP of Finance / CFO
  • Week 3 - VP of Awards and VP of Systems Integration
  • Week 4 - VP of Website and Social Media and VP of Manipulator
  • Week 5 - VP of Electronics and VP of Community Outreach
  • Week 6 - CEO and VP of Media and Marketing


Awards has been coming along smoothly. The FIRST Impact Essay has entered its 4th Draft, and a script has been made for the Impact Video. The Executive Summaries are getting done, although some knowledge for them has been lost due to COVID and people leaving the team during that time. The Woodie Flowers Award is also looking very promising. Interviews have been conducted and the essay is coming along well.


Every year, Finance writes a business plan to keep us on track. Here is last year’s business plan as a reference. We find it important to have an extensive document that documents our history, tracks our finances, and shares our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT.)

Looking Ahead

That’s it for week two! We hope that something here was informative or helpful, and we wish everyone the best! Next week we will finalize CAD and T-Shirt designs, for their respective deadlines of January 30th (CAD), and T-Shirt (February 1st)

~ Riley B. VP of Website and Social Media, FRC Team 2996 Cougars Gone Wired


Week 3 Update


We have finalized our dimensions for this year at 34 by 24. We decided that it would be best to have a rectangle robot due to an arm outside the robot. In the past, our placing game robots have had stability issues and we wanted to minimize that by doing this. The mobility team finished the drive base and mounted the aluminum belly pan. (Forgot to take photo, so here is the cad.)


Currently, the manipulator subteam is working on 3 different subsystems that will be going on the robot.

We have had problems in the past where different things will get prioritized badly and we’ve run into problems with not allocating our hands correctly. This year we attempted to fix this by putting more experienced members in different groups and then splitting the newer members with them so we can develop their engineering skills and still get stuff done. Due to this, we have run into other problems with communications. We realized this during our leadership meeting at the end of last week and applied it to the meetings we had this week. This helped us a ton and we had tremendous progress in part to it.


The intake geometry has been pretty much finalized and we have been working on the geometry to retract it into the robot.



Due to our teams decision with our intake we have created a challenge for our selves inside the robot. A few members this week have been rapid prototyping in order to solve this problem.

Turn Table

This was the first prototype, we learned the biggest problem is that the is a lot of room for error. We decided to abandon it due to not wanting the risk of a cone getting stuck inside the robot.

Mandible Pneumatics

Our second rapid prototype was a mandible pneumatic orientor based off one of our original out of bumper intakes. This was abandoned pretty quickly due to a lack of momentum which made the out of robot one work.

The Crusher?

Our final rapid prototype was a crusher sort of pneumatic power orientor. The 2 arms with wheels which are on rails get push in spinning the cone into the same orientation every time.


The programming subteam has been working hard on game piece and april tag detection. The have gotten auto orientation with april tags done and are getting closer with game pieces. The subteam has also been refining auto balance.

Media and Marketing


We are coming close to the final design for t-shirts. We have had difficulty this year due to hardly anyone knowing illustrator. But we have had someone step up and learn it to his best ability in less than a month. I will upload pictures when back at school tomorrow.

Youtube Videos

Our week 2 update video was uploaded earlier today.


This week a few of our members went over to our main gym at our school in order to promote the robotics team and engineering program to incoming freshman next year.


Our awards team has continued to work on both the FIRST Impact essay and Woodie Flowers essays. The group working on the Impact essay have finished their 6th draft and had a mentor come in and gives some tips for editing it.

Looking Ahead

The biggest lesson our team has learned this week is that sometimes you need to fail in order to learn. Sometimes it wont always go as good as you want it to, but if you learn from the situation and apply it to the future stuff will end up working out. Week 3 historically is always the hardest but all the students have shown they can get through it and now we look forward into the final stretch.


Week 4 Midweek Update

We haven’t done a midweek update thus far, but a ton has happened early this week that we thought it warranted one.

Robot Redesign

Well, geometries did not work out at all. We believed we had our final robot design, but once the design was moved over to CAD, a glaring issue presented itself. The arm and end effector (not pictured in the CAD model below) would have struck the retracted intake. We decided that instead of spending valuable time reworking the geometries, that we would rather design a new robot with simpler subsystems.

The “new” robot will be a simplified design, with just our end effector, arm, super structure, and swerve drive base. The end effector will have a “wrist” on the end, to still allow for cone orientation. The robot will still be able to, and prefer to, pick up tipped cones.

This decision will pose a difficult problem for our team. Normally, we get much of our robot machined by our sponsor, Vertec, but it is now too late to submit a CAD to them to machine. This means we will have to fully machine the robot ourselves, although Vertec is still graciously providing aluminum. This also means we won’t have our robot be powder coated in red and yellow. It will be a very fun learning experience in machining, but will be a tall challenge that our team has never faced before.


The biggest change is the inclusion of a “wrist” on the End Effector. The wrist can turn 180 degrees in both directions, and due to the angle of the End Effector, will be able to pick up tipped cones. Programming has been working on a cone tracker so the wrist will turn automatically in order to make picking up cones easier for drivers.



End Effector

The previous End Effector, named “Tarkin” because “it better work”, did in fact, kind of work. We are though, redesigning the End Effector, this time using pneumatics. Not pictured in the CAD, is two compliant wheels on both mandibles.

Arm and Super Structure

The Super Structure has been moved to the front of the robot, and we are still going with a three stage telescoping arm. In order to counter balance the heavy weight on the front of the robot, we will be putting electronics and battery as close to the back as possible.

T-Shirt Design

The T-Shirt design has been finalized!

Looking Ahead

As we work ahead, we will continue to keep a sharp focus on how the systems will work together, and we hope to begin constructing our competition robot soon. This season will be unlike any we’ve had before, and it will certainly be a large challenge.


We would love to know more about how your cone orientation tracker is working! What camera are you using? Did you use machine learning?

Absolutely! Here is the branch in our repo with the code we were running: src/main/java/frc/robot · test/orient-vision · Cougars Gone Wired / 2023-Charged-Up · GitLab. The camera is a Microsoft Life Cam 3000. Let us know if you have any more questions!

Great work as always! You all are rocking it! Looking forward to seeing it in action in a few weeks.


Week 4 Update

Week 4 is in the books! It was a chaotic, yet very productive week.


The Manipulator subteam, in conjunction with members of other subteams who have finished their work (or are waiting for manipulator to finalize), has been finalizing prototypes and moving into constructing the final competition robot.

End Effector

We spent much of our Saturday build session testing the End Effector with both cones and cubes on the field elements. The End Effector compresses via two pistons and intakes the game pieces using two compliant wheels driven by pulleys. The back two compliment wheels are stationary and are being used for grip.

We learned that the cone can be dropped from 6-8 inches off the cone node, and still be comfortably scored with accurate orientation. The cone does slip from the end effector sometimes. The closer the cone is picked up at its base, the better.

We also discovered that the end effector can also “shoot” cubes without extending the telescoping arm. The shooting was inconsistent, and sometimes missed the top level of the cube node.

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Arm and Wrist

Nothing has really changed with the other elements of our manipulator structure. The End Effector is planned to be mounted at a slight angle, along with the wrist which will grant us greater movement with cones (check the week 4 midweek update for more details.)


Mobility began work on the second swerve drive base, and also on the bumpers for the year.


Programming got their hands on the first swerve drive base and began to program it. Since the base is not a perfect square, but rather a rectangle, it has posed some challenges to ensure everything is acting correctly. In times like that, it is very convenient to have two drive bases, one that programming can work with, and another that the mechanical subteams can work with to integrate the systems.

Special Projects

Special Projects has been moving along smoothly. One-half of the field has been completed, and the final details are being added. The other half is moving ever closer to being done for the Colorado Scrimmage on February 25th.


Awards are wrapping up writing for the First Impact and Woodie Flowers essays. They have now moved into editing and refinement, along with interviewing possible candidates for the First Impact Presentation. To select the presentation team, members are interviewed by mentors, as they would at competition, and are swapped between different groups to see who works well together. We find it very important to have a group that works well together and can work off of each other well.

Media and Marketing

Media and Marketing published the Week 3 YouTube update:

Looking Ahead

Week 5 will be focused on constructing the first robot, and finishing up the Scrimmage field. We’re counting down the days until our Week 1 Competition in Utah!


Colorado Teams (or other teams interested in attending), here is information relating to the annual Scrimmage that Team 2996 hosts! Let us know if you have any questions:

Scrimmage_Invitation_from_FRC_Team_2996.pdf (314.0 KB)


Week 5 Update

As of Week 5, we finalized our robot design and begun manufacturing our practice and competition robots.

Manufacturing and Robot Design

The team begun manufacturing our practice robot first. We did this so that any issues discovered on the practice bot can be fixed when we manufacture and construct the competition robot.

The team extensively used our school’s metal shop and engineering classroom to manufacture pieces of the telescoping arm and super structure.

Nothing has changed with the robot design, we are just in the process of manufacturing the robot.


Awards has completed the FIRST Impact and Woodie Flowers essays, and are in the process of previsioning and checking for grammar. We will continue editing the essay and finalize it early this week. They have also selected main and backup teams for the Impact Presentation.

Special Projects

Special Projects has completed the field for Scrimmage! We welcomed Team 2945 - Steel Mustangs, to our field to test it out. Special Projects will continue to improve the field, though, and hopes to have it painted by Scrimmage on February 25th.

Media and Marketing

Media and Marketing has been working on Weekly Updates which are published on our YouTube channel. They are also assisting with the FIRST Impact Presentation Video which is nearing completion.

Looking Ahead

Week 6 will be focused on manufacturing our two robots and preparing our comp robot for competition. We are looking, sadly, towards some nasty weather on Wednesday, which might cause a snow day, so we are working as hard as we can to ensure we can complete our two robots by the end of our President’s Day meeting (February 20th.)

“Carter is getting very tired of machining” - Christian, VP of Media and Marketing
“Yup!” - Carter, VP of Outreach


Week 6 Update

We have finished machining one robot and have begun assembly. The second robot’s machining is a majority done and we look to finish it next week.

Final(ish) CAD

More Machining

The team has spent the majority of this week’s time machining more gussets and tubes for the robot. While doing this we have tried to teach younger members of the team the processes that go along with it due to there being only seniors who know how to.

Adapting to the Situation

Wednesday was our planned day to start assembly but we, unfortunately, had a snow day that slightly delayed that process. We found out about it during the meeting Tuesday so multiple members decided to bring parts home to work on them there.


Our lead programmer got sick at the end of the week with covid, but the other members continued to work on auto path planning and auto-alignment.


Our Special Projects team finished the complete field this last Saturday and continued painting the different structures to get ready for our scrimmage on February 25th.

Fully Constructed Robot

Yesterday we finished the initial assembly of the full robot and we are working on wiring today.

Looking Ahead

Our schedule for the next week is pretty packed. We have our normal meetings today and Thursday. We host our annual parent and sponsor dinner tomorrow night where we provide dinner and showcase what we have done this season. Then Friday, we set up in our gymnasium for the Colorado Pre-Competition Scrimmage on Saturday. Our team is at Utah Week 1 so there is a quick turnaround.


Looking good, can’t wait for the scrimmage!


The Colorado Scrimmage will be livestreamed. Here’s the link if you want to watch! Twitch. The Scrimmage is from 9 AM - 5PM MST. Best viewing hours are normally in the afternoon.

This isn’t an actual competition, so there won’t be any match schedule or stuff like that, its just for fun! I will compile a full list of attending teams once everyone arrives.

We finished setting up our full field for the event last night!


Week 7 Update - Scrimmage Week!

This week was a very busy week for 2996. Monday and Tuesday were spent frantically wiring and programming the robot in preparation for our Parent-Sponsor Dinner on Wednesday.

Parent Sponsor Dinner

The dinner went very well. This was the first time we had actually tested our robot, no better time than in front of a live audience! Things worked okay, we couldn’t get the compressor to turn on so we couldn’t fully demonstrate the end effector. Food was graciously served by the Family and Consumer Science class, and we couldn’t be happier to celebrate the end to a stressful and strange build season.


We welcomed 22 teams from around Colorado to our field for the annual Colorado Scrimmage on Saturday. We were also happy to be interviewed by a local news channel (link) where we discussed the Scrimmage and FRC as a whole!

Scrimmage Attending Teams:

159 - Alpine Robotics
662 - Rocky Mountain Robotics
1339 - Angelbotics
1410 - The Kraken
1799 - Wired Up!
2036 - The Black Knights
2083 - Team Blitz
2240 - Brute Force
2945 - Steel Mustangs
2996 - Cougars Gone Wired
3200 - Raptacon
3648 - Sparta Robotica
3729 - The Raiders
3807 - Overland Blazerbots
4068 - Bearbotics
4293 - Komodo
4388 - Ridgebotics
4418 - Team IMPULSE
4499 - The Highlanders
4550 - Something’s Bruin
7737 - RaptorBotics
8334 - Titan Robotics

This year’s Scrimmage was the first one that was streamed on Twitch, and featured on the Blue Alliance as a preseason scrimmage! Thanks to all the teams that made it such a wonderful event! Huge shoutout to 4499 and Colorado FRC who helped us set up the Twitch stream and the FMS!

Scrimmage - What We Learned

Scrimmage allowed us, along with the other teams to discover issues with their robots.

The first issue that we discovered is that our swerve was causing us to drive “crooked.” One swerve module is insisting upon being around 45 degrees off center to the others, and it caused our drivers massive issues during the matches. Thanks to a programming mentor from 4499, we discovered that if we allow the robot to re-zero 30 seconds before the match, this problem would fix itself, but we aren’t sure yet.

We are already looking to redesign our end effector. Our current end effector is good at picking up cubes, but for cones we found it to be horrible. We are transitioning to a simple design that can pick up both cubes and cones much quicker. I’ll post a picture in the thread once its complete.

Lastly, we are keeping an eye on our telescoping arm. One bolt on the telescoping became bent after repeated use, and we are worried it may continue. We also had troubles with the gearbox attached to the Falcon that extended and retracted the arm itself.

This of course, all comes with a Week 1 Event where we head to Utah. We are going to extensively utilize the two days we have before Utah, and hope to have these problems solved before than.

Looking Ahead to Utah

Fixing the problems above will be crucial to our success at Utah. We want to at least ensure we can drive not crookedly, but are hoping to have the new end effector designed and working before we leave.

Besides the robot, we have been practicing our FIRST Impact Presentation extensively, and have finished our scouting system. For scouting, we will be using a modified version of 5417’s Scouting App and Scouting Analyzer. We decided to use their apps because both the App and the Scouting Dashboard is extensively customizable and we can change it easily without much experience with Kotlin/Java or Android Studio.

Even with the stresses that we are facing with once again redesigning a major part of the robot, we are still looking forward to Utah, and making connections with all the teams there. Good luck to everyone!


Quick Pre-Utah Update

New End Effector

After we realized the issues with our previous end effector, we went into a mad dash to redesign, and eventually, make a new end effector in two days.

The new design is a far simpler design that can pick up both cones and cubes. We determined at the beginning of the build season that speed was a must for this year’s game, and the new end effector is much quicker and more efficient than the previous design. We will still be packing the previous end effector just in case.

ezgif-3-df47db515a ezgif-3-ce5238354a

It also feigns the use of pneumatics, which we needed for the previous end effector, so that was a welcomed and unintended bonus of changing designs.

Onwards to Utah!

With that, we finished packing earlier today and will be leaving early tomorrow morning for the Utah Regional in Salt Lake City. Good luck to everyone at their Week 1 event!!


New manipulator looks great, I like the cone intake a lot! Can’t wait to see it at Utah!

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