pic: 1281 works out before finals at the Waterloo regional

1281's shooter wasn't working well at all, so Simbotics (1114) requested that we play defense with our solid drivetrain. We lowered the centre of gravity with a 35lb plate appropriated from the waterloo weight room.

A little bit of history:

The inaugural Waterloo regional was held in 2005. That first Waterloo regional was known for its hard defensive play and was highlighted by team 1241 cutting off the entire top half of their robot and attaching a vice for added ramming weight prior to the elimination rounds. 1241 went on to win the event by creating space for two superior tetra cappers in 1305 and 68, and effectively shutting down opponent cappers. It was a memorable moment in FIRST history, and truly a testament to the competitiveness of this great regional.

Fast forward to 2006: Already known as an effective defensive stalwart, 1281 is picked by the top alliance of 1114, and 1503 - two of the three Niagara FIRST triplets. Not only does the top alliance have extreme offensive power (A Niagara FIRST triplet has singlehandedly scored 84 points in a match), but now included a defensive robot capable of all but guaranteeing the regional win.

I can honestly say, there were some hairy moments during the final where 1281’s modification was worth its weight in gold. 188 and 610 were used to parking ourselves in front of the ramp, and even when rammed from the sides, usually all that was needed was a minor correction to continue scoring. This was not the case when 1281 came barrelling through =P.

Once again, it’s stories like these that make FIRST such an incredible experience.

Congrats to 1281, 1114 and 1503 for winning the Waterloo Regional!

Hard to tell how secure the mounting is from the picture. There is no rule that would prevent this but an inspector should and I hope did question whether the weight would come flying out of the robot in a severe hit. BTW, it needs to be accounted for in the BOM.

Once we put L-brackets on the vertical posts above the weight, it could not be moved or rotated at all in any direction.

I assisted Tristan (lead inspector at Waterloo) when 1281 was inspected before the eliminations. We carefully considered the safety of the bracing scheme used to attach the large weight, and ultimately decided it was OK. The team did remove the two vises shown in the photo here – weight exceeded the limit by about 2.6# as shown, and as previously stated the vises could not be made secure enough in time for competition. I think Tristan made the right call in allowing 1281 to pass inspection with these modifications. [BTW, Al is right – we should have made them add the large weight to the BOM. If the total BOM cost had been close to the limit, we’d have considered that more carefully.]

Congratulations to 1281 for finding a quick way to improve defensive capability and help their alliance win, and to the entire winning alliance for a fantastic performance at Waterloo.

Just to follow up here, Richard and I weren’t prepared to allow only the zip-ties and the clamping action of the vises, but a team member pointed out to us that there were also several support brackets holding the weight in place (they’re not clearly apparent in the image, which wasn’t quite the final configuration). We also stipulated that, if used, a secondary means of attachment would have to be added to the vises.

Tristan and Richard,
Just as I suspected. I had to ask as I have seen interesting methods tried for adding weight. Not all teams come in for inspection or ask the inspection team for assistance. For those that might read this, your inspection team is there to help you run. Ask them for advice and assitance, they should gladly come to your aid, help you find a workable solution and work with the referees and FTA to make sure you can continue to participate.
Nice job guys, see you soon.