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!