Most Unfortunate Incidents

What was the worst thing that happened to you that you cannot believe that it happened?

2006, quarter final 3 in AZ(not 100% sure)
during autonomous, another robot hits us, our radio drops down on the main breaker and turns the robot off, and we lose !!!:ahh: :frowning:

2006 finals match 2 Connecticut regional. With five seconds to go our robot flipped over and our turret went flying. We joked that our robot knew that it was done.:yikes:

862 is 0-14-0 combined from the 2006 and 2007 Championships.

One time back in 2005 we forgot flip the switch to engage our robots arm, before a match.

Our 2003 robot in its entirety, typically moved about 2-5 feet before blowing apart one or both of its gearboxes.


At BMR, our robot had a potentiometer that controlled the outer link of the arm’s position… in classic titanic-style arrogance, we didn’t put any limit switches on the robot. When the pot became uncoupled, he mighty 1000+:1 reduction provided by two FP motors mounted to two AM planetaries mounted to a Kitbot transmission mounted to a second Kitbot transmission THEN to a 2:1 chain reduction… subsequently bent the four pieces of 1x1 extruded aluminum that made up the frame to a 20 degree angle before somebody remembered the disable button. :ahh:


Rear right drive sprocket cracked in the eliminations. We subsequently lost Buckeye. :frowning:

But I guess we made good on it this year. The way I figure, we’ve won zero regionals my sophomore/junior years (my first two years) and we’ve won three this year. So, I figure that’s one regional per year. :]


We were talking about this very robot last night with our team. We were alliance partners in Atlanta (after you beat us at Boilermaker). The “llama” is one of my favorite of all time robots - I was very sad when it did that lemming thing and died:( I hope the great Chicago fire of 2008 is your only unfortunate incident of this year…

Great Chicago Fire… love it… i think. :o

Well, don’t feel too bad about the '05 bot. Our operator (taylor) this year and I resurrected it about a year ago… and added limit switchest this time. It was so easy! :]

…But… unfortunately, it was REALLY late when we finally got the arm all running again… and unfortunately a tetra we picked up got hooked on a rollie chair… taylor looked at me, I looked at him… we were both thinking… YEAH! Pick up the rollie chair!.. and so i pushed the control stick forward…

And the motors ran… and ran… and ran… and suddenly my tired brain and his, at the same time, realized: If the chair isn’t moving, and the motors are running… something’s getting a lot of energy stored in it…

Shorly after that, the sprocket on the output shaft of the transmission resolutely said “No.” and EXPLODED!!! :ahh: leaving several large dents in the robot’s monocoque skin… and more startlingly, a 1/4"x1/4"x1/2" chip out of a cinderblock wall about 15’ behind the robot.

I didn’t say that one at first because it wasn’t an on-season thing… but everyone… there are lessons to be learned:

  1. don’t work on robots that late at night that have that high of a gear reduction in them
  2. wear safety glasses
  3. sprockets can explode
  4. AndyMark gear reductions are probably NOT the thing in your drivetrain that’s going to fail.

Well, thats it, and it’s nice to know you all are thinking about us BombSquad, because we think about you too… well, that and your floppy accumulator… :]


At the cost of a burned sensor this year…:smiley:

I think the worst one any of my teams has had was when 330 (2004), not fell off the bar onto the floor (which it did), but ran the lift with the lock engaged the next match. Some cleanup needed to be made afterwards–lift channels bent, and I think a cable or two broke.

Semifinals of Washington FTC regional. Exothermic teams 575 and 417 are teamed with a third robot in the semifinals. 575 and 417 won easily in the first match. In the second match, 575 and the third 'bot lost a very close match. We now come up to the third and final match, with Plan B and Captain Hook once again paired up to take on the same robots as in match 1. The winner of this match goes to the finals.

Due to a field error, the teams wait until the last possible moment to turn on their computers, because some robots (especially our 418 for some reason) have had their computers time out before the end of a match. In the excitement, the drive team from 417 forgets to turn their robot on, and as the announcer says “begin” the teams turn on their remotes, starting their robots (remember that the field software is down, so all day the matches are started by the drivers). The coach for 417 looks down and sees no lights and then bends over an flips the “on” switch. The referees rule that touching the robot is a violation of the rule against touching a field object during a match and disqualify them. They are out. When the match is restarted, 575 has to play one-on-two and loses.

In an incredibly gracious discussion later, a mentor for one of the teams on the other alliance said that all three other drivers should have touched their robots – causing the referees to face the possibility of DQing all four robots. Didn’t happen, though, so the #1 alliance did not go into the finals. Bitterly disappointing, especially as it was our only regional: the Oregon regional gives preference to Oregon teams and wouldn’t accept our registration, and we missed the Vancouver, BC, event due to mentor failure.

I remember that. That was scary. (We were alliance partners at BMR, good job btw, haha).

As a 269 member, the worst thing that happened was in second to last match of qualifiers at Toronto last year, we blew out a speed controller. We thought it was a motor and spent our time swapping it out and our elevator ended up not working in our last match. Collectively, it is a large reason we didn’t see the finals. Had I been a member this year, I would have considered their first missed match in who knows how long. Should be a fun team to watch in Archimedes though.

As a 171 member for this season only, I think the worst thing that happened was during practice, we had a motor rattle loose out of our toughbox and spin around wildly (the shaft didnt spin, the rest of the motor did, and tangle a bunch of wires. A little bit of loctite fixed the issue but it was a scary moment. If you look at the motor today, you’ll notice the nice spiraling shape of its wires.

In 2007 we faced 1114 and 2056 twice in the finals at both Waterloo and GTR with team 854. In Waterloo we won the first match, but then at the end of the second match 1006 Fast Eddie lost a CIM i think, and got stuck in red’s home zone which racked up 30 points in penalties. Because they were damaged the final match didn’t go to well and we lost. Afterwards 1114’s driver told our driver that we gave him the best defense he had seen, which really made us believe we had a chance.

Then in the GTR finals our team consisted of 854 (again) and 1241. Both robots did excellent but two bad things happened. In the second match 854 dropped their ramp (Loved your robot last year guys) and we drove up it but a ringer got caught on top and we couldn’t drive forward enough for 1241 to drive up, so we lost. Then in the last match 2056 hit 854 hard and it damaged their ramp, so when they went to deploy it…well it just didn’t deploy right away and time ran out.

At first i was very frustrated with the results of both regionals but hey we were still finalist and that was the year we finally won Chairmans at waterloo.

Palmetto Regional 2007, QF1-2. 1251/1626/1758 vs. 1618/1102/801. The former had stomped the latter in the first match to the tune of 264-0. (And, in the final qualification match, 1251/804/1436 had done the same thing to a lesser extent to 1618/1293/34 to the tune of 140-0.)

We just now made the brilliant realization that our opponents lacked a ramp on their alliance. We came up with a new plan: 1102 and 801 would get one tube each on the rack, then all three of us would give the fiercest defense we could supply. Throw in the ramp points, and we’d have to hope that they couldn’t get a row of six.

Somehow, nobody on our team noticed that our tower, which contained our electronics, came loose in the back. (Come to think of it, we’re still fighting that issue at demos.) The result can be seen in this video, ending where our main battery cable pulled out of the distribution block. We lost the second round 48-19, making me think we might’ve pulled it off if that wire had held. Unfortunate, but it led us to step our wiring game up for 2008.

2003 - Stack Attack - While in autonomous mode our robot goes up the ramp to knock the totes down. One tote falls on our robot corner first and happens to find the baseball sized opening in our polycarb for reaching the main breaker. The polycarb deflects just enough to allow the tote to trip the breaker and end our match prematurely.

2007 - Rack n’ Roll - In the semifinals of the Galileo division one of our alliance partners is pushed into the rack causing them to de-score a ring. We still would have won despite the penalty but at the last second, after both alliance partners had been lifted by our robot one of the operators nudged the controls and rolled off our robot costing us 30 points, the match and a chance to advance to the finals.

Such is life in the fast-paced, laugh-in-the-face-of-adversity, never-let-them-see-you-sweat, sometimes-you’re-the-windshield-sometimes-you’re-the-bug world of FIRST Robotics!

Championship semifinals on Einstein in 2003. Autonomous mode takes us up the ramp - and right up Wildstang’s wedged sides! We flip over backwards. Usually that’s not a big deal. Our arm could right the robot. But the force of the fall absolutely destroyed the sprocket in the arm, and we spent the rest of the match on our back.

We missed the next match, too, and Wildstang went on to win the Championship.

In one practice match at Western this year our robot first plowed into the wall and kinked the entire frame. We then preceded to slam our knock off bar into the little supporting bar at the corner of the overpass and bent the entire assembly.

Thankfully we had it all repaired by Friday.

Last year on Curie we had one oft he gears at the base of our arm simply snap when we got entangled in another robot. Luckily we had some delrin blocks that essentially locked the rotation in place so we had to turn the robot instead of just rotating the arm. We managed to still do alright without arm rotation. :slight_smile:

In 2006 our robot went up the ramp, and then promptly was driven backwards off the ramp and tipped over backwards. We bent the frame, but thankfully it was part of the upper frame and was essentially cosmetic damage, though it looks nasty. It’s still bent to this day.

We lost the championships last year for the same reason!!! well enough griping.

I also have countless things i have destroyed with autonomous. In our shop we have a metal railing that goes around our practice field that just fits the base of our robot and leaves all the electronics/ arms in the destruction zone. Well lets just say we turned the wrong direction last year and severed our gripper, thank goodness for PVC Arms. :smiley:

we had several issues last year where our gripper would get entangled with another robot and get smooshed up,destroying our ability to score (luckily we identified this problem early and build many spares)

This year, we sometimes randomly shear a roll pin that controls the shifting in the transmissions, limiting us to low gear (and a snails-pace 5 fps), and we have also had our ‘fingers’ pulled off of our robot to dangle around and poke things, destroying our ability to hurdle (we think we fixed this in CT- no problems since then (= )

most of our other failures exist in our chaining.

this year semis at trenton match 2 after losing match 1 our robot didn’t turn on because of battery problems and we weren’t given a rematch because we received a slight voltage reading.

Here’s one I just remembered…

One match in L.A. 2005, 330 was lined up to play, as were its partners. They had good opponents. Then things went haywire. The other tetra-placer on the alliance was barely outside the size box and wasn’t allowed to put their arm the rest of the way down (which they had to power up to do). They were disabled for the entire match. About 15 seconds in, the other partner went to dump a tetra into a lower goal and missed. It landed on their main breaker. It’s now a 1-on-3. Ouch.

Another team that year had problems with generating sparks on the field. We’re talking showers of them.

I love it when you have problems that are deemed impossible.
Such as your robot magically developing its own autonomous code. That’s a really handy feature.
It is especially great at ramming the robot so hard into the rack that one of the wheels mounts comes off. The really fun part comes when we ask questions from everybody who knew anything about the IFI system and were told that this was impossible. There was no autonomous code yet it moved by itself.
This video explains it better trust me look for team 1477 to go pinball around the course.

973 has had some pretty bad luck in years past.

Cal Games 2007, eliminations.

A team on the red alliance had an autonomous mode that would ram the other side. This appeared to be intentional, as it wouldn’t just go forwards, it would race forwards, turn, and race forwards again aiming for the blue alliance robots. One of the several times they hit just they snapped a weld or two on our ramps, forcing us to only use one for the match. That made it so we could only lift one robot, instead of two, and lost us the match.

Wasn’t the first time we’d lost a ramp that way, and if it had happened that way at a regional I would have been more upset. The other few times we had lost a ramp was from playing defense, not sitting helplessly in autonomous. However, Cal Games is just an off-season, so while I didn’t like what happened, I don’t worry about it.

Silicon Valley 2008.

Somehow we managed to break two wheels. I have no idea how, and last time I asked, no one knew. It wasn’t like the inside got chewed up, but it looked like it had dented from the outside…

Silicon Valley 2006.

Robot managed to develop its own autonomous…

Robot also managed to shoot one of its poof balls and hit the center of the top of the projected screen. The ball then fell onto a couple of refs heads… Anyone who’s seen how high up that screen is knows that its quiet a feat. :ahh: