Smoky Mountains

Team 3489 “Category 5” is excited to be competing at SMR and attending the Team Social Friday (thank you HVA RoHawktics).

Our robot “Saffir 2.0” has had a few improvements since Electric City:

  • Full width over-the-bumper vectored intake
  • Replaced 4 Cim drive motors with 4 Neos (more power; less weight)
  • One-button autonomous climb to High Bar (<7 seconds)
  • Auto-targeting using Limelight vision system

We can’t wait to see our old friends and make new friends!


An over-the-bumper intake should be a big improvement for your teleop cycle time. What kind of teleop Cargo scoring increase have you seen in practice? It seemed like you had you high rung climb working pretty well on Saturday at Electric City and it looked fast too. How much faster is the current 7 sec time compared to Week 2?

Welcome back to Tennessee for another SMR appearance. I think the last time 4020 played with 3489 in elims was 2014. It’s been a long time. For some reason, I have this recollection that an opponent robot ripped out important parts of the pneumatics for your shooter without a red card, causing us a far-too-early exit. Maybe there will be some way for our teams to play together this year.

Safe travels!

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Thanks Paulonis. I think we were climbing in about 10 -11 seconds at ECR. And yes, intaking cargo is now significantly faster. We don’t have exact numbers; our home practice field is very small. We’ll know when we get to the SMR practice field Thursday.

I remember that fateful match when our opponent ripped out our pneumatics & got off scot-free. It was tough for our students, but a good lesson in “life is not always fair”.

Who do you expect will be the toughest competitors at Smoky? 4020 of course, Robotz Garage and S.P.A.M.

4028 The Beak Squad just had a very nice run at Buckeye in week 4. 2614 MARS is perenially strong and already has two competitions under their belt, including a win in week 2. There will likely be others, perhaps like 3489, that have made significanant improvements to their robot and will take a step up over previous performance. SMR looks to be quite a challenge this year.

Very important question: where can we get the best barbecue in Knoxville?

In Charleston, the most popular places are not always the best places.

I’m an occasional visitor, not a local, so I haven’t had a chance to sample some of the more hole-in-the-wall places. My favorite in Knoxville is Archers. There are several locations. I wouldn’t turn down a trip to Sweet P’s, although for me Archers is notch above and is more economical as well.

Since you seem to be from team 4020, I was wondering if you could tell me what happened to your robot in SF. It seemed like a brown out but was apparently too serious to fix?

CAN problem - about half the robot not communicating. If you watch the video, you can see the driver eventually trying to drag the robot by two wheels to the hangar, then painfully finding out that only one climber motor was operational. Could not find the source of the problem (bad connection, break, device problem, other?) in the time we had field-side. We’ll dig in more today at the shop. Finding the problem might help us improve CAN robustness for Houston.

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