Mini Bot Warning

As our team was testing our mini bot design, we discovered a safety hazard from the potential for falling mini bots. While most FTC veteran teams are probably aware of how sharp/dangerous the tetrix gears are, we felt it necessary to post this safety warning for those who aren’t aware. Several of my team members discovered this as they were testing the mini bot. The robot was on the pole when something gave and the bot fell from a height of about five feet. Immediately, one student tried to save the bot from falling. When he grabbed for the bot, he grabbed the gears, and his skin was caught in between the gears, stalling the motor. The student only suffered minor injuries (bruised finger, and a few small cuts), but it could have been worse if the mini bot had both motors attached.

To solve our problem we now require adult supervision while testing the robot. We also tied a string to the top of the pole. This way, if the minibot falls, the bot will not crash to the floor and students won’t get their fingers or feet injured by the falling robot. So far it has worked very well. We never would have thought twice about testing the mini bot and potential the dangers.

We hope that none of the other FIRST teams have this same safety problem. Have a good rest of the FRC season, and we will see you at competition!

Our team requires adult supervision when doing anything involving the robot…

Excellent heads up on this. Reminds me of the videos of early M.I.T. walking robots strolling down their treadmills with a rope/cable to the ceiling just in case. We’ll be using a stout string tether to the pole-top and instructions NOT to try to catch the falling 'bot. thanks.::safety::

Completely unrelated but I caught a computer tower that was about to fall on our FTC bot. Close call.

Almost the exact same thing happened to one of our team members, he was also ok but got a large blood blister. More the reason for everybody to read this thread

When we practice with the minibot everyone involved wears leather gloves. We found out about the gears when someone pinched their finger while the motors were OFF.

It hasn’t been a problem recently though because our minibot switches off when it hits the target.