pic: FRC971 Spartan Robotics 2013 Reveal

Team 971 Spartan Robotics is proud to present our entry for Ultimate Ascent: Dash. Here’s a sneak peek video: http://youtu.be/XEMfjeMsD28

It is our most complex machine to date, and the students and mentors have been working tirelessly to make it all work. We’ll be competing at the Sacramento and Silicon Valley Regionals, and Championships if we qualify.

A huge thank you to our sponsors this year, without whom this wouldn’t have been possible.


-Robot fits inside a 28"cube in starting configuration, and never goes above 27" tall unless climbing
-3 piece sheetmetal drive base
-6-CIM belt driven 6WD, 2-speed transmission (18/8 fps)
-Over 250 unique machined parts
-Wheel tread attached using our original zip-tie tread attachment method which is now used on AndyMark performance wheels.

Intake and Hopper:
-Full-width intake collects and actively funnels discs into the robot
-Can accept multiple discs at a time in any orientation without jamming
-Open-side rollers allow for effective capture area larger than the front of the robot
-Helix hopper keeps discs organized linearly and transports them to the shooter
-The entire disc collection process takes ~1 second from touching the front roller to loading into the shooter

Shooter and Loader:
-Single wheel curved shooter powered by two BB550s with wedgetop tread
-Infinitely adjustable angle from 15* to 55*, powered by a zero backlash cable drive
-Pneumatically loaded from the helix for consistent entry at any angle
-Rate of fire better than 1 disc every 3/4 seconds

Climber (not pictured):
-Pneumatically released, gas shock driven 10pt climb
-Cable powered lift with four support points guarantees level lift
-True buzzer-beater technology allows the lift actuation to trigger up to 3 seconds after the match ends

Software and Sensors:
-Sensors automatically index discs. The shooter is automatically loaded once 4 discs have been collected
-FitPC for fast vision processing
-Unit tests for all subsystems including simulations of all mechanisms to speed up development.
-Custom high-speed gyro board and wheel encoders for fast and controlled driving in autonomous and tele-op

That is absolutely beautiful. Can’t wait to see some video.

I absolutely love that drivetrain. Seeing your 3 piece drivetrain in person and in CAD has really left an impression on me as a designer. Your sheetmetal work is always world class and i’m really excited to see this machine perform. Good luck this year!

Impressive robot! I love the rhetoric in the robot spec. description. Surely a great presentation! Keep up the good work.

I would also like to see some video.

Thanks for the compliments! Mike and Justin will be airing a preview clip on tonight’s FRCTop25 show at 9pm EST, so tune in if you want to see it.

Looks like a great machine, Evan. Can’t wait to see it in action. Good luck this weekend.

The LED array seems pointed at a right angle to the disk exit…am I missing something? Another great looking robot guys!

Fooled me too! Zoom in and you’ll see a 90* bend.

Right you are, Adam! Interesting use of winch type elevator for variable shooting angle…

Looks great! Sort of has a tank like appearance to it.

One question, the arms on the intake were cut and welded side to side instead of butted together. Was that to allow the intake to be as wide as possible?

For anyone that has an intake sticking out infront of the robot, just have a plan to repair it quickly if it gets damaged.

Last year we ran through 3 districts, MSC, Championship qualification, and one round of eliminations matches before we met a collision that broke the weld joint on our arm. If not for a couple of planned plates ready to rivet on we would have been completely screwed.

The farther you go, the higher the stakes…and the more agressive the defense gets.

I really admire your angle adjustment mechanism. Will definitely have to steal that concept for future use.

And I agree with Adam, the finish on your sheet makes it look like a tank!

Best of luck.

Can’t wait to see this bot in person tomorrow!

Congrats on finding the sponsors to get all these parts done! I know it wasn’t easy, but this picture is a testament to all the hard work and dedication in the 971 organization.

See you guys tomorrow!


It does look like a tank. When I first saw the CAD of the full robot, it looked “wrong” to me because of a lack of any speed holes. We went into the bag at 102 lbs, although that didn’t include the hanging mechanism.

The side welds are indeed to get the widest intake. It’s primarily due to packaging constraints of the rotation joint and driving gearbox.

Sound advice on repair preparedness. I believe there is a plan, although it may not be as well thought out as having brackets ready to go. With the side welds we can bolt the arm back together in a pinch, but it could still pose a problem. We’ll keep that in mind.

We do have some spare parts for the intake. We have another welded assembly, 2 extra frisbee scoops, and several extras of parts in other sections of the intake.

We have been very fortunate to have strong manufacturing support this year. With so many parts to manufacture, it was difficult getting it all accounted for. We also purchased some sheetmetal tools (press break, notcher, and turret punch) which allowed us to do rapid prototyping and make many of our own sheetmetal parts in house.

For those of you who missed it (or just want to see it again), here’s our sneak peek video that premiered on FRCTop25:

You guys consistently build awesome robots. I hope to see you at Champs this year!

Can you guys explain the fitpc vision?

I think you need to speed up that intake mechanism some more. Thanks for the video, it’s much easier to see how the robot works with that! Beautiful design as usual, I love the little details.