Team 1533 Triple Strange 2020 Robot: Decimus

We had a lot of fun competing at the UNC Pembroke district event. Hopefully, we will have more opportunities to play this amazing game.

Edit (by request, here are the pertinent details):

Drive - Swerve (no surprise there), NEO drive w/ 8:1 to 4" Colson Wheels, NEO 550 Steering

Intake - pneumatic 4 bar intake actuation, 2" mechanum vectored intake driven by a NEO 550

PC Magazine - 5 ball storage with top/bottom belt conveyor

Shooter - 4" Fairlane Roller wheel driven by 2 NEOs, Adjustable hood turret (Did we put a turret on a swerve drive? Yes we did!).

Climber - two 4-stage telescoping climb arms with linear spring extension and rope/winch retraction.

Pat Sajak (a.k.a WOF spinner) - 4" Compliant wheels mounted on first stage of climber (motor and gearing TBD).

Buddy Climb - folding forks that deploy out of bottom (main climb is used to lift both robots once buddy is loaded).

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.


I was so excited to see how the robot would do with auto-aiming. Hopefully I get to see that at some point.

Fabulous job at Pembroke.


Awesome bot. Team 7443 and our bot Kobe enjoyed playing with y’all last weekend. Our most consistent matches were with you. Wish we could of had the opportunity to play with y’all even more. Hopefully we can all compete again once everything settles down.

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A truly awesome shooter. Your performance at Pembroke was impressive in the extreme, especially the fast cycle times that were coupled with that shooting. Just sorry we didn’t have a chance to meet on the field. Hopefully, that can be changed, if nothing else then at THOR.

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Do you have photos/videos of this system in use?

We tested it on the practice field at our first comp. Unfortunately, the forks were not quite stiff enough to lift our alliance partner off the ground with enough clearance to be “obvious” (one of their wheels was close enough to the carpet that you would need the paper test to verify that they were not touching). I have videos on my phone of those tests, but nothing is posted publicly.

After the comp, we found some areas where we could make some easy improvements to increase the stiffness and solve the issues. We were planning on incorporating those and then taking some videos to show it off, but then we shut down for COVID. So… unfortunately, we don’t have anything to share with you.

Another great bot you guys had this year! I wish I could have seen more of you guys out there but as many teams at Pembroke did, we had some major kinks to work out on our bot that kept us confined to repeated problem solving in the pit. I appreciate the high opinions your team had about our robot despite the fact we were barely able to move from our defective parts.

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Good seeing you guys @ Pembroke, loved your bot!

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It looks to me like your climbing arms are 3 stage elevators, not 4. Am I just numbering them differently than you guys, or are there really 4 distinct moving sections?

I count:

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You’re count is correct. We refer to the fixed base as a “stage” and then the stage that you marked as “1” is our second stage, and so on. So, it is really just semantics.

I honestly don’t know whether our naming convention is correct or not.

Sorry for the confusion.

By the way, if you have ever been to England, you probably have experienced something similar with how they number the floors of their buildings. In England, the first floor is the floor above the ground floor. Here in the US, we call that the second floor… Not that that has anything to do with our elevator stage numbering, but I did think of that when I saw your diagram. Just thought I would share…

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What I’ve seen to be the most accepted convention is that that the number of stages in an elevator is the number of moving components - so, because what you called the first stage is fixed in place, that would be a three-stage elevator.


Cool, thanks for clarifying! We also ran into the weirdness with naming when we had no idea what to call the “base” stage. We ended up calling it the “0th” stage and only thought of “base” after the season.


Our shooter had a very similar design to yours but we added plates that connect the part that holds the motors and the hood because we were worried that the hood by itself would bend backwards. From what I see you do not have anything connecting the two in your shooter, did it cause any problem?
For clarification, the plates we added is the plate that has ASTERIA machined into it and the two plates on the other side.


It is not easy to see in the picture in the first post of the thread because of the angle that the turret is turned to in the photo that I posted, but we did add some bars to that add stiffening similar to your plates.

We found during out final shooter testing that there was a lot of looseness coming from the joints, especially the sliding mechanism for the adjustable hood. One of the students found that if he held the very top of the shooter hood while we were shooting, that the shots had a lot more power and consistency. So we added two bars that connect from the axle shaft of the shooter wheel to the very tip of the hood.

In order to allow the balls to pass through and also in order to not interfere with the vision camera on the turret, these bars are bent out into large half circular arcs. You can see them much better in this picture.

We are looking at possibly redesigning the shooter hood for 2021. We have not decided yet, but it is one of the items that the team has been discussing. We think there is opportunity to make a more rigid hood and also make the adjustment mechanism a bit more robust as well. We are considering switching from the servo driven hood adjustment to a pneumatic piston and limiting the hood to 2 positions. But that is still under discussion.

Let me know if you want more explanation of the re-enforcement bars on the hood.

Thanks for the photo and the explanation, I really like that you attached the reinforcements to the end of the adjustable hood. Do you maybe have a close up photo of the hood? I would really like to see your bearing setup in the adjustable hood.

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I don’t have a picture handy, but it is actually pretty straight forward: We installed standard 1/2" hex bearings on the shooter wheel axle itself. The curved bar is bolted to an angle bracket with a standard bearing pocket in it such that the curved bar assembly pivots around the axle of the shooter wheel. As you can see in the picture, the other end of the curved bar assembly is attached via another angle bracket to the shooter hood.

Since this was a last minute add-on to the hood right before our first competition, the parts were just fabricated by hand out of scrap material that was laying around in the shop. But they worked effectively to restrain the tip of the hood and really helped to make our shooter much more consistent and more powerful.

Edit, I found a picture where you can see that bearing and lower angle bracket reasonably well (it is a little hidden behind the camera, but I think you can see it well enough).

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