pic: Team 1817's Black Widow

Our Completed robot named the Black Widow. 2 speed Transmission, Can go up ramp forwards, backwards and at an angle and picks up balls off the floor like a champ.

I like your bumpers! :smiley:

Aaah, “Black Widow”, the name of (regional) champion robots everywhere :wink:

Nice looking bot, how much can it hold?

no shooter i see, how many balls can u hold?

Are those bumpers legal? I think I see leading and trailing angles - to facilitate ramping, no doubt. Make alternative plans now in case you have to modify them.

I’m not seeing any ramps. There are inverse ramp looking things, but that could just be a optical illusion. Plus that would only harm them not anyone against them. But Gary is right, I’m not sure how much the inspectors would like that. But then again I could be wrong.

IMHO, those bumpers are illegal. Just fair warning.

aha! i see how it works now!! No shooter BUT, there looks like a window(?) motor on the top corner of your bot…which has that netting rolled up, so to dump you just apply tension to your netting and they all come out!! BRILLIANT!

Here’s the rule regarding “wedge” robots:

<R04> "Wedge” robots are not allowed. Robots must be designed so that interaction with other robots results in pushing rather than tipping or lifting. Neither offensive nor defensive wedges are allowed. All parts of a robot between 0 and 8.5 inches from the ground (the top of the bumper zone – see Rule <R35>) that might push against another robot must be within 10 degrees of vertical. Devices deployed outside the robot’s footprint should be designed to avoid wedging. If a mechanism or an appendage (a ball harvester, for example) becomes a wedge that interferes with other robots, penalties, disabling, or disqualification can occur depending on the severity of the infraction.
As a robot inspector, I’d say the surfaces that might push against other robots on Team 1817’s Black Widow are near vertical. No violation of <R04> here.

However, the bumpers appear as though they are not designed as required by <R35>, I’ve BOLD texted the portions of the rule where there may be a violation:
*<R35> The use of bumpers is strongly encouraged. Bumpers can reduce damage to robots when they contact another robot or field elements. If you choose to use the specified bumpers, you will have both a more robust robot and the traction advantage of a heavier robot. Bumper height has been specified so that robots will make contact bumper-to-bumper and so that the balls will be pushed rather than pulled under the robots. **Note
that robot wheel/tracks must be properly positioned relative to the bumpers to avoid trouble climbing the ramp. **Obviously harvesting balls from the floor or launching balls along the floor must be done through gaps in bumpers or over bumpers. As the bumper mounts are being designed, please think about carrying the robot. The bumpers do not make good handles. Please do not “lawyer” the bumper rule - it is meant to help.
If used, bumpers must satisfy the following constraints:
• Bumpers must be designed as shown in figure 5-1
• Bumpers must be removable so that they can be weighed separately from the robot
• Bumpers must weigh, in total, no more than 15 pounds including any fasteners that attach them to the robot
• Bumpers must not include sections that weigh more than 3 ounces per inch (i.e. no short bumpers with giant heavy fasteners)
• Bumpers must use a stacked pair of 2-1/2 inch “pool noodles” as the bumper material
• Bumpers must use 3/4 inch plywood backing 5 inches tall as the bumper structure to attach the bumper (“pool noodles”) to the robot
• Bumpers must be covered with a tough smooth cloth (1000 denier Cordura Plus® strongly recommended)
• Bumpers may extend outside the horizontal starting dimensions for the robot (as specified in Rule <R05>) by up to a maximum of 3-1/2 inches per side, *nothing other than pool noodles and cloth may extend more than 1 inch beyond the robot boundaries **
• Bumpers must be positioned on the robot so that they remain between 2-1/2 inches and 8-1/2 inches above the floor

I’d need to see the robot up close and personal to see if the bumpers violate <R35>.

I still see no infraction. The bumpers were designed within the rules. It looks as thought the robot has a stack of 2.5 inch pool noodles, the only difference is the bumper has an undercut in the noodle and wood. It does not say anywhere in there that the ends of the bumper must be square. Also i don’t see how any part other than the bumpers extends out further than the starting size.

Even so, if it is deemed illegal, all the team would need to do it cut that section off and leave the frame there exposed with no bumper, most of the hits will be to the side anyways.

David would appear to have the correct interpretation. Probably no problem with <R04>, but probably a problem with <R35>. This topic has been hit multiple times in the Q&A system (see here, here, here, and most directly, here: “The only cuts allowed in bumpers are vertical cuts, completely through the bumper, and perpendicular to the plywood. Bumpers may have gaps as shown in Figure 5-1 in <R35>.”).

That aside, it is a nice looking robot. Like Greg Perkins, I am impressed by your solution for dumping the balls back out. Very ingenious!


First thanks for all the comments. A few things about the robot, the idea for gathering and depositing balls using the same mechanism was partly inspired by Lone Star Regional Videos of 16’s 2002 Robot. My old team, The Robonauts, were paired up with them that year in the finals and I always thought that it was a good idea.

A few specs, 6 wheel drive, 2 speed transmission, does not shoot, but if a ball gets anywhere near that front beater bar, it sucks it up like a vacuum. With a limited budget, we could only buy 15 balls + 1 in the kit. It holds all 16 with some space for more. I’m guessing but if we really tried we could fit 25. But from my experience realistically gathering 10-15 at a time then scoring would probably be the best strategy. With our high gear on our transmission getting 10-15 balls on a floor scattered with balls then booking it back to the goal doesn’t take that long.

About the bumpers, in trying to put them together we tried to keep within the spirit of the rules by not using them for a competitive advantage, e.g. using them to help channel the balls, but rather using them to help protect our robot from impacts. The angles cut into them do not aide us in going up the ramp or gathering balls, they are there simply because thats how our frame is shaped. If they are deemed illegal then the bumpers will just have to take a visit to their old friend, Dr. Bandsaw and hopefully he will have a remedy for the problem.

Good luck to everyone and see **Y’ALL **in Houston.

BTW: The bumpers are made with 2 foam pool noodles backed with 5" tall 3/4" plywood and covered with a tough fabric.

I love the bot, Is that motor at the top-left a window motor connected to the screen for the adjustment of how many balls you can put in?


What if you could spin those two front rollers opposite dirctions and shoot balls out of the front? I’m sure it would get more complicated, but i’d just like to say this is quite inspiring.

When picking up balls the screen is lowered so balls are thrown up and over the ramp and into the storage area. When its time to score, then the screen is raised and balls dump out the front.

Hey Robonauts you guys have a great looking robot this year too. How cool would it be if we got paired to gether at LSR. The team started by Robonaut Alumns and the Robonauts. Hopefully our bots complement each other well.