pic: Team 1717's PenguinBot 2008


Team 1717’s robot competing at the Los Angeles Regional.

That thing competes like crazy. If you haven’t seen 1717 in action, watch them on TBA.

2 regional wins and finalists against 1114, 217, 148 with the Poofs at their side. They were on fire this year.

This was one of the most robust looking robots that i saw this year. i thought it was the most professional looking bot at nationals.

Could anyone explain how they got that fast of a forklift built?

I’m glad 1717 is getting some attention this year, as this isn’t the first time they’ve made an outstanding bot. If anything, their bot last year was even better (one of the best ramp bots of the year, and it could score a couple tubes), pity it didn’t attend the Championship.

We used two fisher price motors inserted into banebots 64:1 transmissions. This decision was reached by performing some simple tests coupled with a motor curve analysis.

We built a simple winch set-up that used the fisherprice motors with the KOP fisherprice gearboxes. We evaluated the motor performance under load lifting different amounts of weight. We measured the current under load and compared this with the motor power curves. We then decided on a “safe zone” in which we felt comfortable operating our motors. This was between max efficiency and max power.

We then used a basic physics analysis, W=FD and P=W/t, using the predicted load of the ball and lift combined. Using this information and the data collected from our tests, we were able to determine the most effective transmission and winch diameter combination.

We actually played it safe with 64:1. We could have used 48:1 which would have made it lift even faster and still been within the limits of our “safe zone.” We decided, however, to be conservative and stick with 64:1.

We ran this forklift up and down hundreds of times and played matches all the way through finals at two regionals and the championship and never had a motor problem. We bought 10 spares just in case and never had to replace a motor. The fisher price motors are really quite amazing if they are used under non-stall conditions and at the sweet spot on their power curve. Finally, our lift had a built-in ratchet that did not allow the motors to back drive.

Hope this is somewhat clear and informative


I’d have to say that this is one of very few robots I’ve ever seen who built to a theme (robot resembles a penguin) and didn’t compromise effectiveness or success. Btw, do you have a part number for the BB transmissions you used on the FPs?

I’m 99% sure they used the 42mm series of the 64:1 (We know it’s 64:1 from what Amir said).

How much is required to get these to work? Is it just changing the gear on the motor or a lot more work?

Well, to install a FP or other 540/550 series motor you just need to press the appropriate pinion onto the motor, dissemble the gearbox, and then reassemble with the new motor. To use them reliably there are some other steps as well.

From my experiences with the banebots, you absolutely need to make sure the output shaft stays in alignment. If not, the final stage of planets will be unaligned and seize up. I would also stay away from the higher reductions of the gearbox (256:1) as they can damage themselves under stall conditions.

From my experience and gained knowledge of banebots and FPs, I’d design to avoid stall conditions for both (especially with higher reduction transmissions) if at all possible.

I’m 99% sure they used the 42mm series of the 64:1 (We know it’s 64:1 from what Amir said).[/quote]

I can confirm that Adam is correct in that we used this product from Banebots:

MP-42064-550 64:1, 42mm Planetary Gearmotor, RS-550 Motor

Yeah, we brought many replacement fp’s for our winch to SVR and to Atlanta, but we never had to change them out. We had never used fp’s before, and we read all sorts of horror stories about them blowing on CD. They are great motors to work with if you use them properly.

I realize the thread has somewhat digressed, but I just wanted to point out how much I loved this bot and team. Working with them and playing against them in Atlanta was so much fun. One of the friendliest drive teams/coaches I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, and a phenomenally designed robot to boot. Seeing you guys coming up at the last second to descore our place in the Galileo elims was one of the moments this year I remember most :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, for winches, FP would be my choice (unless CIM’s are available obviously). On 269, we used FP quite often for elevator winches and robot lifting winches (in 07). I don’t recall ever blowing one, but they do get awefully hot sometimes.

Our 2005 robot had an arm on top of an elevator, and we lifted the elevator with 2 FP motors.

1717’s robot is by far one of my favorite robots this past season. It was efficient and consistent. I can’t wait to see what they cook up for next season.

Thanks for noticing our robot from last year. We were really proud of our lift mechanism and we wished that we could have taken it to Atlanta so that more people could have seen it. Our robot lifted for over 700 points at the San Diego Regional.

It had huge panels that were very easy to get on and could lift in less than two seconds. It not only lifted the other two robots but it lifted our own robot as well. It took 800lbs to compress it. The panels were composites made from a foam core with aluminum facesheets. These were hand cut, shaped, and glued together by students on our team.

If anybody is interested, here is a link which shows every one of our lifts both good and bad at the San Diego regional.


Wow, I agree with Sean, last year’s 'bot is awesome as well. Good luck next year. Hope you do well in Atlanta next year as well.

Team 1676 had the honor of being next to 1717 in Galileo this year at Nationals. One of the best teams that I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, they were gracious, confident, and their robot was of the highest quality. Nothing but good things to say about 1717.

Do you guys have any pictures you could post of the elevator and winch system , especially with the ratchet.