Team 51 - The Wings of Fire 2023 Robot Reveal "Phoenix 2.0"

Team 51 - The Wings of Fire are proud to present our 2023 Charged Up Robot - Phoenix 2.0


  • 26"x26" SDS MK4 Swerve Drive
  • Field-Centric Symmetrical Telescoping Arm
  • Double Sided Floor and HP Intake and Scoring
  • Automated Preset Scoring and Pickup Positions

Competing at:

  • Week 2 - Lansing District Event
  • Week 5 - Livonia District Event
  • FIM State Championship - TBD
  • FIRST World Championship - TBD

I’m not usually a fan of reviving old threads, but I am incredibly proud of our team’s accomplishments this year and wanted to share a little bit of our story.

Like most teams, the 2020 and 2021 COVID years served as a bit of a reset for our team. Not only did we lose a year and a half of talented students, but our lead WFA Winning Mentor decided to enjoy a well-deserved retirement and step away from the program after his 20+ years of leadership. On top of the knowledge loss, we also found ourselves returning to our build space that had become an active construction zone as our school underwent improvements causing us to lose build time during both the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

For the 2022 season, we decided to take some risks and start building the “new Team 51”. Led by a core mentor group of mainly 47/65/51 Alumni, we decided to pursue swerve drive again for the first time since the early swerve pioneering days of Team 47. While we achieved some moderate success (barely qualifying for both the MSC and World Championships), we knew that we could achieve more and really wanted to push ourselves to that next level.

We started our 2023 season with one goal, “Be a factor at States and Worlds”. We built upon the lessons learned from our 2022 season, refining our drive train hardware and software and putting a much heavier emphasis on prototyping than we had in the past. We created 7 different prototype intakes before finally deciding on the “111 Style” intake, a more refined version of one of our early prototypes. We dedicated significant time and resources into CADing, embracing our CNC and 3D Printing capabilities more than we ever had before. We prototyped multiple iterations of a buddy climb before finally deciding against using it after seeing how easy triple balances were during the Week 0 competitions. At the end of the build season, we were proud of the robot we had created and were excited to see how it would compare to the competition.

Fast forward to the competition season, and we had one of the most successful years in our team’s history since our late '90s / early '00s Chief Delphi (47) and Husky Brigade (65) teams. We would go on to have a 51-19-1 record, winning 4 Medals, 3 Judged Awards, and never qualifying lower than 4th at any event. We made our first FIMstein appearance and would go on to finish 2nd in the FIM District Rankings and finish 4th in EPA for the state of Michigan and 41st in the world. We would also send our first ever Dean’s List Finalist to the World Championship!

Lansing District Event:

  • 1 Seed Alliance Captian, Finalist
  • Excellence in Engineering Award
  • Dean’s List Semi-Finalist

Livonia District Event:

  • 4th in Qualifying, 1st pick of 2 Seed, Finalist
  • Creativity Award

Michigan State Championship:

  • Consumers Division: 1 Seed Alliance Captain, Division Winner, MSC Finalist
  • Innovation in Control Award
  • Dean’s List Finalist

World Championship Johnson Division:

  • 4th in Qualifying, 4 Seed Alliance Captian, 4th Place Finish

We could not be prouder of this team and their accomplishments this season! The 2023 season was one for the history books for our team and we hope to continue to build on our success for the 2024 season and beyond.