Team 5045 Presents: POLYBIUS

Team 5045 SpartaBot presents our robot for the 2018 FRC competition: POLYBIUS.](

  • Fast switch-and-exchange-oriented elevator and intake that supports all cube orientations
  • 4WD 6" omni two-speed drivetrain for agility on the field
  • “Choo-choo train” double-long ramp with an 11.5 degree incline that lifts two robots in 1.5 sec (see in action)
  • Limelight-assisted vision for automatic cube “weeble” alignment and intake
  • Pathfinder motion profiled autonomous routines for multi-cube switch delivery
  • Inertia-based actuating elevator for stowage at beginning of match

Check out our reveal video to see our robot in action.

We’ll be competing at the Rocket City & Bayou regionals - we can’t wait to see the other teams there!

awesome design! What do you use to release the ramp (~1:17)? Did you make those or are they COTS?

Thank you! We bought gate latches from Home Depot and bolted springs on to ensure they remained shut. They are opened with 1" stroke cylinders (McMaster) that are mounted to the frame and then connected with aircraft wire from the piston to the latch.

That’s a great robot name. Gotta give you props for that

Great robot and love the ramp design. Clean release system for the ramps.

Excellent video - can’t wait to see this bot in a competition!

Well, there goes name idea #4.
I’m surprised there haven’t been more teams with a double ramp off the back. It seems like a reasonable way to save space (depending on how your other mechanisms work together) and weight.

How well does the Limelight work for cube identification?

My early tests aren’t great. It seems like it’s very good with retroreflective tape, but not great with cubes. I question the merit of using lime LEDs to illuminate the yellow cubes. They seem to illuminate everything else as well in a very close color.

I’d be interested to hear your experience.


We came so close to building this exact robot but decided against the ramps and opt for a individual climb, everything else is basically the same. Great video and best of luck

We found it very effective, at least on our practice field. The latest update that enabled “click-to-calibrate” made it really seamless. Getting your hue as tightly toleranced as possible seemed to make the biggest difference.

With that being said, caveat lector: for our purposes, we’re only using the Limelight to automatically spin up / ‘ready’ our intake, so false positives aren’t a huge deal.

Another thing we tried was just turning the LEDs off entirely, but didn’t find that it made much a difference for accuracy. (Plus the bright green is handy for finding the bot :wink: ).


I’d really like to use it to help steer the bot on the far side of the field, so it needs to be pretty reliable. I’m getting some white LEDs to see if it helps with color highlighting.