Scary FIRST stories?

For halloween 2014, let’s discuss the horrors that we endure in FIRST. Maybe your robots arm snaps off, or possibly your robot shorts out. For me, last year our laptop’s imaging went bad during compeition… so please share your stories!

Need I say more?


IRI 2013 Semi Final 1-2.

After no hiccups while climbing all season the cable on our autonomous climber just barely catches on the tower enough to support the weight of the robot for a brief second instead of sliding over the rung and letting the hook engage. The fall broke several wheels in our robot, bent several axles, killed a jag controlling our shooter which left the shooter dead in SF1.3, and bent the frame. Skip5.3 never drove like we did at IRI again and we never broke 100 points for the remainder of the season. What was worse was knowing we just needed to win one of the two remaining matches after squeaking out a win in SF1.1.

Also finding out 5AM the morning you leave for St. Louis you no longer have bus is pretty scary.

This was our first year, when we were at our first competition at gtrw, we had a practice match before everything began and our intake was hit by another bot and nearly torn off … we almost thought it was over before it even began …

THIS. Our bus was supposed to come at 8pm, they alerted us at 4pm that they would not be able to make it. Great start to a trip :confused: luckily team 1086 and 540 were able to fit us onto their busses!


I was about to say that.

It gives me chills to think of this one.

2004 during the Team Social at the Virginia Regional, A few others and myself on varying teams became ill. It was later diagnosed as Norovirus though the source of it is still debated about 10 years later.

When those of us first infected awoke on Saturday feeling like zombies but better, we were horrified to hear and see who else had fallen ill. All teams were affected. Some drive teams were completely sidelined.

The true horror is that with drivers and human players sidelined, we will never know who really won that year.:confused:

Our 2013 robot took a hard fall from the tower during a practice match at St. Louis.

We shattered our frisbee loader/shooter cover and bent/broke plenty of welds in our frame/superstructure. We also broke all of our wheels, and bent some pneumatics cylinders somehow. The repairs were completed just in time for the next match, including unwarping the frame with a special tool that used a car jack to pull the frame back to being square, but we found out on the walk to the fields that the power distribution board’s 5 V, 12 V, and 24V supply had all been damaged when the battery had crashed into it. After grabbing a spare board, I only had around five minutes to swap the board. We didn’t have enough time to connect everything, but we still made our autonomous shots!

At the 2014 Hub City Regional, we were informed by the FTA that the axles on our mecum rollers were too long and we would have to cut them if we wanted to play in our next match. There were about five minutes left until the match started, and it took us two minutes just to find some bolt cutters. We got into the queue just in time for the field to open and for us to put the robot on.

The day after kick-off, your sponsor calls you and gives 1 week to move out due to their management issues! The temperature is between -10 to -20 deg F and you have to move stuff onto a trailer!

At Championships this year, we looked up at the scoreboard to see that our next match was two matches from the last one posted. (The field was running a tad early but we were also kinda late). Me (coach), and our co-pilot began taking the driver station and robot out to the field in a hurry but then I realized we had the wrong bumper color on, so I handed the driver station over to my co-pilot who carried our massive driver station with both arms while kicking the robot to roll it down the tunnel to the dome. I hustled back to the pit and grabbed the bumper skirt, and found our human player. As we were rushing to the dome floor, I called my driver who was eating lunch and told him to get down there and he thought I was joking with him about how much time we had, so he took his time and walked down from the second floor convention center atrium.

We were never in the queue for our field, we went straight to loading the robot onto the field. Because of this, we were not able to pressurize our robot which was heavily reliant on air pressure for pretty much everything (huge design mistake, I know). So we didn’t load our bot with an autonomous ball but our alliance partner did. Our third alliance partner missed the match but luckily so did one of the opposing alliance members, but the two alliance members on the opposing alliance that were still there both loaded their bots with autonomous balls, so we were a bit nervous.

Because one of our alliance partners, who just happened to be the planned finisher, didn’t make it to the field, we had to change our strategy as they were announcing our team numbers and names. The original plan called for our human player to be in one of the boxes downfield, and the alliance partner that didn’t show up’s human player to do the inbounding. We yelled over to our human player just before they started the countdown and our co-pilot grabbed the sleeve of his shirt and pulled him behind the starting line just as they said yelled “ONE!” Meanwhile, our driver was taking his time getting to the floor so the co-pilot was preparing to do all of the controls. Our driver got there and saw that the match was about to start and he also made it inside the box with one second to go.

We won that match by a huge margin.

This still gives me chills every now and again :stuck_out_tongue:

But on a more serious note at the Groton District event this year my teams robot had one of the winch motors start blowing the magic smoke in our first qual of the competition. It’s a terrible sight to see anyone’s robot smoking, let alone yours.

Also that one time I almost lost 6 fingers to a belt sander.

Our drivers forgot to remove the safety device in our shooter before our second match at the Southington district. Needless to say, our entire shooter winch was destroyed (although we retained the #1 spot for like 6 rounds) and we weren’t able to shoot until right before elims. It was scary trying to build another winch in between matches, especially because it was such a unique piece.

Wait… Isn’t a safety device supposed to prevent things like this from happening. :slight_smile:

When the water starts coming into the field…and doesn’t stop. (Whoever shut off power to that tent, you the real MVP.)

Our driver got hit by our robots catapult an inch below the temple. The robot had run out of air to release the cataput so after the match was over we had a ticking time bomb of kinetic energy waiting to go off. Of coarse the only time our drive had his face over robot it decided to go off. Luckily he was ok, but we did have to disable our catapult for the next three rounds while the safety inspectors figured out what to do if that happened again, that put us back in the rankings. We went on to be the first pick from the team that we pick at our first districts. We went on to be finalists at the event.