Robots that Changed FRC

The cim-in-wheel was 3928 in 2012, but easy to confuse the two. Unless Winnovation had one i’m not aware of.

Was Aren working as a mentor for that team at that time? That may have been my mental mix-up.

Yep, along with some other dope alumni

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This is a picture I have from the Midwest Regional in 2005. Fun to dig back through those old photos.


Someone (67, maybe?) had a passive, spring-loaded climb in 2010 that bought them several seconds of game play (and was super-cool).

In 2006 our robot was really not very good, but we were the first to implement autonomous ramming (to disrupt specifically 1126’s amazing auto)–and ever since the autonomous rules have been structured so as to make that either impossible or a great big penalty.

67 did have a gas shock powered climb in 2010 and its one of the reasons they were able to get a W on einstein.


I’m pretty surprised we don’t see more set-and-forget endgame mechanisms in any game where you have to complete a task up to ten seconds after the time ends or everything stops moving, whichever comes first. Having the mechanical switch where locking it into place triggers the stored energy to do its thing was an elegant no-brainer that most people failed to brain.

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The mechanism 67 had to use to compress their gas shocks was not easy to use.

Wave has looked at gas shock deployed end game mechanisms several times since witnessing 67’s climber in 2010 and every time we’ve abandoned it because of the force to compress as been more difficult than the benefit of the “last second” endgame would warrant.


Can’t find the post right now, but if I remember correctly 67 said that it took multiple mentors and quite a bit of time and leverage to successfully reset their gas shocks between matches.

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Yeah, we’ve contemplated it in a lifting mechanism for endgame off-the-grounding, and you pretty much have to winch it up like a crossbow. For the inconvenience, though, if you can buy ten seconds of play time, I’m surprised more high-level teams don’t do it.

Elegant brains not common.

Also, when your mechanism requires a lot of force to set, you’d better be careful or that elegance will brain you!


I’m told we have some of these still laying around. Excited to get my hands on them someday. Plus Aren is coming (virtually) to our next team meeting!!

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@Legator91 provided all the gas strut compression for that, he was a senior in high school at the time. They had a series of pulleys and a big crank.

IIRC 1625 also had a gas strut hang that year, but did it on the vertical bar. They modified a harbor freight winch to crank the struts down.

As allowable motor count on high power motors has gone up the complexity of engineering a last second hang mechanism vs just throwing another 775 / falcon at it has caused teams to move away from this type of mechanism. Gas struts are heavy and one time use. The supposed 10 seconds of time it saves you is in reality only 1-2 seconds because line up is still just as slow if not slower because you need to not miss and most of the time.


Yes, 1625 also had a gas spring in their 2010 bot. A few months ago I tried finding a video of it used in a match and failed to. 3928 tried to find a way to use one in 2013 but failed to come up with a mechanism that worked and was safe. They’re super cool from a “post buzzer actuation” standpoint but ultimately difficult to work with (as noted by resetting them) and difficult to implement in designs beyond the most straightforward applications.

The best video I can find with minimal effort:


You could do it with a regular air cylinder, a whole pile of air tanks, and a single-acting solenoid that starts the climb when the robot is disabled. That would fix the “safe” issue (mostly), but still requires a lot of weight and space that’s hard to justify.

IIRC 2910 did something similar on their climb this year


That robot was a bear to get running again…it’s also loud as heck. I can’t remember if we got it on video but we did manage to make the ball drive slam dunk a ball in the low basket.

I think FTC team 4042 has made a vastly improved version in the past few years.
I’d love to see some FRC team try and run this at a competition.

I want to say the 2010 gas spring climbers stole from 1717 2007, which had a gas spring robot raise. All three robots went up (though only two got the points). But if one spring failed to fire, things didn’t go so well…


1717 was a second year CA robot that didn’t attend champs. I don’t think the two midwest teams above even saw it. Also 67 used gas struts on their 2007 4 bar lifter, don’t remember if it was a gas strut assist or fully powered - it was a bit too thick for most teams to get on so it didn’t work very well.

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