Silliest prototype ideas

Need some entertainment so here’s a thread for you to post your silliest prototype ideas. Whether it worked or not, it’s valid here. Here are some starters:

We needed a way of “consistently” feeding balls to a prototype shooter… so we stuck a wrench on a high reduction gb:

And we spent entirely too much time pneumatically actuating a piece of wood:

In 2016, @Maximillian made a grappling hook out of driveway reflector:


We have the idea to extend a hook on a tape measure to climb back in 2018. We nicknamed it our “Range Finder”


uhh this was assembled at 2 AM on our 2016 robot between our last regional and champs and gave us a shot between the batter and far defenses. Used hex wrenches as piviot points, and gaff tape as retaining rings. Worked incredibly well and allowed us to shoot from any legal place on the 2016 field.


A mentor pitched the idea of using an inflatable balloon with a hook on top to climb this year. He also bought everything himself to prototype it!


I should have taken a picture of my pvc pipe and string prototype for a telescoping arm. It got the idea across, but it was sketchy

We try not to have photo evidence of the stupid stuff Wave does for reasons.


This year, we briefly explored whether it was possible to chip-shot balls into the high goal using pneumatics to eliminate the variation that worn balls get. We prototyped using cylinders we had lying around the shop, some wood and lexan scraps, and a chopped-up Diet Coke bottle to cradle the ball.

Edit: Imgur link: Imgur: The magic of the Internet



A team tried this in 2016, and I recall it working well enough that someone tried to argue that it should be banned with the argument that fans are a pneumatic device.

As far as I know, the conclusion was that they aren’t.

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We couldn’t be bothered to use more than two bolts on the policarbonate support
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Also at the beginning of the season we didn’t have batteries so we used a laptop charger to power a window motor


we used a balloon, coffee grinds, a coffee filter, and a compressor to pick up gears in 2017. was truly inspirational and was 50% of the reason I quit frc for a year.


2019 Ball picker upper (didn’t make the cut but was a cool concept)


Back quite a few years now, one of 330’s early ball-shooter prototypes was surgical tubing, a slider of some sort, and the team-version tetra-loading-station from the year before.

It was AIMED high. Tell that to the student who was expecting it above his head, and got it below the belt… the idea didn’t make it much past Day 2 as I recall.

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My team did the same exact thing for this last year and we actually made it work to my surprise. The idea came from our build captain seeing it a couple years ago which is actually what made him join the robotics team (To my recollection of his story).

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From what I heard our 2004 robot climbed that way

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We spent about 75% of our resources in the 2019 build season trying to develop a method of forklifting an alliance partner onto the HAB and then using them as a counterweight to lift ourselves up. We finally gave up after bag day and pivoted to a suction plate system which worked incredibly well for us.

Link to a post from our 2019 Reveal Thread that contains a video:


I love to see that someone else had this idea (and actually built it)! That solution was one of my first thoughts to do for HAB 3 at Kickoff, but we decided against it for reasons I don’t remember.

It was definitely a lot of fun to try and package and I’m positive we could have accomplished it if we placed that higher on our priority list, but I’m pretty proud of how far we got considering that “forklift another robot” was almost dead last on our priority list, meaning we felt we had accomplished everything else on the list prior to trying it. I think that robot is still my favorite robot we’ve built, although our benched 2020 robot is pretty close.


Cube grabber, just bad really bad