Most unique robots/mechanisms

I’ll start us off with Stryke Force 2015. No idea how it works but worth checking out for sure.

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I’m gonna continue with the 2015 trend, where I saw 2015 Simbot Sideswipe and their application of kiwi and their tote-stacker left me breathless.

Prototype Video

Video in action

If we want to go full gaming meta though, 469 in 2010 takes the cake:

Take a looksie.

I’m going to say team 3847 Spectrum’s shooter was really cool.

I saw some people go for 1 launcher wheel, and a few with 2, but they’re the only ones who took it to the logical extreme at 3. It’s a real shame that it never saw use in competition.

Here are a few of my favorite mechanisms.

148 in 2015 had a neat little detail in Robin’s elevator carriage. There was a plunger located at the bottom of the elevator that when pressed down by the carriage would actuate the front flap, allowing Batman to retrieve the stack. A super neat way to reduce the number of actuators on the Robin assembly.

118’s gear intake has a few really cool details. The first is the use of a rack and pinion system to effectively double the stroke of their elevator system so they can package a shorter pneumatic actuator. The second detail is how the pivot the pickup claw tube. They use surgical tubing and a cam actuated by the motion of their elevator so that the claw pivots into pickup position when the elevator moves into pickup height. You can see a bit of this in the first few seconds of their reveal video.

(Having trouble digging up a good picture of this one, you can see it in action in their reveal video, but this particular detail is hard to see.) 118’s 2015 tote intake used a clever PTO like system to pivot their intakes open and closed. The motors used to drive their intake wheels are also used to open and close the intake through a little pneumatically actuated arm. Normally, the pulleys that drive the intake wheels are free spinning relative to the frame. When this arm actuates into place, the pulleys are now locked to the structure of the intake, which causes them to behave like your standard motor actuated arm. This was a super compact way to package the intake wheel power + pivot actuation.


CIM-in-Wheel Swerve!

5124 also carried a tri-barrel shooter. As I recall it saw some use at a scrimmage but really didn’t get turned loose on the field.

I don’t recall there being another shooter in 2016 like 2771’s. And it was incredibly accurate, too.

Here is a good photo, thier whole gallery is worth looking at.

Team 86 & 21 from 2014 were really memorable for me.

I really enjoyed 246’s 2015 rotating arm on the back of their robot.
494 and 70 from 2015
469 from 2015 with their quad can grabbers.

2771 & 3357 from 2016 were really weird and also very effective.
Pretty much anything from 971.

From 2017 I would need to nominate 1523 (my old team) for having probably the strangest gear mechanism I’ve seen this year.

Team 2200 had a really cool gear intake that sucked gears in like magic. You can see it in action here about 15 seconds in.

2451’s can grabbers for the 2015 championship were hilariously fun to watch.

While being a mediocre at best game, 2015 did have a lot of neat mechanisms and engineering challenges.

I think that besides unique, they need to be highly functional for the game.
Some items I found impressive:
FRC330 2016 shooter, how to get 10" of pneumatic stroke in a 6 inch package.
FRC67 2012 “dump truck” utility arm. It could only take 3 balls, thus kept the team from accidentally getting a penalty, used gravity to help with the serializing process, and had the under-reach to help balance the bridge. It also helped them get over the beam that year, but was a bit slower than some other teams.
FRC25 2012, High CG as a feature when it would do the rare back and attack the bridge. Most other teams had a feature that would address pushing the bridge down. FRC25 just road a wheelie…
FRC254 2014 3 ball auton mechanisms. They were one of the few that went with a wheeled shooter that year, and their auton mechanisms were really unique.
Special mention for Alliance Unique play:
3322, 862, 3601 Auton in 2012: Best shown here in SF2-1
While there was discussion of 25 doing a similar move in 2006, this was discussed a bit, but then very creatively executed by this alliance in week1 at Kettering.

The strangest FIRST robot I have ever seen was FRC 276 2002 robot. The thing stretched itself across the length of the field! It wasn’t a very effective robot but it was certainly interesting.

This is a fun post with a great string, but I’m really surprised all of you are discussing degrees of “unique.”

There is no such thing as ‘most unique’ or ‘more unique’, “very unique.”

If something is unique, there is only one. Uni. means “one”.

Not trying to be a jerk. Hope you learned something.

adjective: unique
being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.
“the situation was unique in modern politics”
synonyms: distinctive, distinct, individual, special, idiosyncratic; More

I don’t think you are being a jerk. I think your being more of a grammar Nazi. :wink:

2451 with 2451 views. Not a mechanism, but pretty unique.

Joining the 2015 robot train, 1987’s conveyor belt robot definitely stood out from the crowd in the way how it never moved from its spot as it created a wall of totes on its scoring platform.

I was also a fan of 230’s electric catapult from 2016. Their strategy that year was effective and well executed, leading to a deep run in the Carver division that year, taking the eventual championship winning alliance to three matches in the division finals.

In addition, 3467’s 2014 robot had a pretty unique way of launching the ball, and was one of the few teams that year that had the design insight to implement two collectors on their robot. You can read about their design philosophy that year on their Behind the Design article on the TBA blog.

Lastly, I loved 1717’s robot from 2014 as well. Another interesting take on launching the large Aerial Assist balls and of course, another iteration of their legendary swerve drive.

I dont think anyone will ever build a robot like this again… :rolleyes:

3310 in 2015

Team 987’s turret arm from 2016 was really unique.

I’m also surprised that no one has brought up Team 2826’s 2015 autonomous. It’s easily one of the coolest and most unique things I’ve ever seen in first.

I’m going to add on a few more of my own:

2017: 114 (cool human player gear mech and swerve)
192 (almost all plastic swerve modules)

2016: there were a lost of interesting scaling solutions, there was one team in particular that used an inflatable bag to deliver a hook to the bar, I forget which team though

Team 842 had an awesome suspension system and surgical tubing grappling hook (also used by 5012)

2015: 2767 landfill tote claw thing and RC claw

1678 quad can grabbers that never saw the field

900/1114 crossbow

701 used a slingshot/crossbow launcher

2826 turret

2013: 1717 and 971 disk helix
Team 842 utility arm and climber

2012: 118 bridge manipulator (though its life was rather short)

2011: 118

2010: 67 after the buzzer climber
39 (mecanum wheels plus suspension)

2009: there was a team (or maybe several) that moved their robots around with propellers

2008: 148

2007: 233 telescoping arm (also used in 2005 2008 2011)

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I’m surprised that nobody mentioned 2826’s robot, Depthcharge, yet. Not only were they an effective robot, but they were one of the only robots I had seen to nail a multiple can (3!) + coopertition stack autonomous.

To this day, I consider it to be the most efficient / mind-blowing autonomous routine I’ve seen, besides 195’s two ball auto in 2016 and 254’s three ball auto in 2014.