pic: 1058 PVC Pirates 2016 Robot: Low Expectations



Hanging around at the Reading District Event.

Low Expectations features:

10wd for tackling all the defenses minus the Sallyport and Drawbridge from the neutral zone.

Intake for manipulating the CDF and Portcullis

Scaler packaged in the back for easy scaling.

Extensive use of Riv-Nuts to make everything quick and easy to remove with one tool.

At our first two districts we received the Judges Award, Engineering Excellence Award, and won both events. We are excited to be attending our third district in Boston this weekend.

Riv-Nuts are new to me. Could you show an instance where you used these in particular? I googled them and they look very cool. Love the robot by the way. Congrats on you awards and banners, and good luck at your next events!

I don’t feel so stupid now! I too have never heard of a Riv-Nut, but they do look useful! Have there been any problems with using them and the roughness of the game?

Riv nuts are also referred to as nut-serts

they work like a pop rivet, but instead of leaving a mushed stub on the opposite side, it leaves a threaded hole.

Like Devin said they are similar to a pop rivet and installed similarly. An album of some of our assemblies is linked here.

They are new to me this year but 1058 has used them occasionally in the past. With a more compact design this year we started using them on our drivebase since getting a wrench on the inside of the drivebase was tough with the electronics. Once we started using them we started using them just about anywhere we would have used a nut.

No issues so far this year with how rough the game is. We’ve broken wheels and bent axles but the Riv-nuts in the drivebase are still intact.

They are really nice because with three allen keys we can take apart most of the robot and have less hardware than normal.

Very very cool. Those pictures were exactly what I was looking for. I’m sure these would have come in handy in MANY situations over this past season for my team. We use bolts with lock nuts a lot; pretty much whenever we don’t use rivets. We have the wrench issue a lot, so this would help in those hard to reach places. Thank you for sharing this, I’ll have to ask our mentors to get some!

When we were building our robot’s intake arm, an experienced mentor from 2177 and (I think) 2526 recommended that we use rivet nuts. He said that he usually recommends them to teams that are starting to become more competitive and advanced, where a chassis of c-channel, nuts and bolts is a little too easy.

I’ve been on 1058 for ever and have also used riv-nuts at work a lot. They’re sometimes called nut-serts as well. They are super useful but there are some precautions to take. Similar to rivets they have an intended grip range so keep an eye on that. Additionally they are fairly sensitive to hole size so make sure you’re using the correct drill. Lastly NO LOCTITE! The major risk with riv-nuts (which is almost completely eliminated with proper installation) is that if they come loose they can turn and that makes removal of the bolt a real challenge. Also you now have a useless riv-nut you need to drill out and replace. As Brendan said though they’re really useful, eliminate a lot of wrenching, and make for nice compact assemblies. We really like them!

One of our types of 1/4-20 rivet nuts require a Q size drill bit. We invested in a letter drill bit set after trying to figure out if any of our standard drill bits would work. I can say from experience that they don’t like to work with a hole that is even a 16th of an inch off.

Riv-nuts are fantastic and every team should use them wherever they can. They make almost any situation into one where you can blindly install a bolt with tool access on just one side. No more losing / dropping nuts or anything like that.

You HAVE to install them correctly or they will spin in place uselessly (you can fix this usually by just tightening it more). But if you do they are very strong - 2791 would actually lift their entire robot from 4 1/4-20 eye bolts screwed into rivet nuts!

I have never run into any issues with Loctite and these, just don’t use too much Loctite (a TINY amount of blue only) and you’re OK.

If you want to cheat, you can actually use rivet nuts with a long enough grip range in a manner similar to rivets and fasten two plates together by installing a riv nut through both of them. Then you can bolt whatever to the two riv-nut assembly.


Oh, and fantastic robot 1058! It was awesome competing with you guys at Rhode Island; you were clearly the best ball cycler at the event, and picking you nearly guaranteed a capture.