Team ?'s Prototype Shooter

It’s a pretty nice shooter isn’t it?

Too bad it isn’t ours…

A few weeks ago, we were in our shop and made a gut-wrenching discovery:

Our prototype shooter was VERY susceptible to variations between different balls. From one ball to the next, the shot distance would vary by up to SEVERAL FEET. A perfect 10 makes out of 10 attempts swish shot with one ball would cause a different ball to shoot right over the backboard.

We had a problem…

A very generous team actually loaned us their completely functional prototype shooter so that we could compare ours with theirs.

The video above is a clip from some of our testing with this other team’s prototype.

Co-Opertition at its finest!

That’s the FIRST spirit! Coming up with ideas and helping other teams so the competition is even more exciting! It’s Co-opertition!


We’re not sure how ours will behave with different balls at the competition, although it seems to be working pretty well with the different condition balls we’ve been using in the shop (we saved some new ones until just a couple days ago). I notice one big difference though…we are not attempting to “swish” the ball, we are instead aiming for a straight shot into the backboard, with enough backspin to make it drop into the basket. As long as we get the height right, the length of the shot is not very important.

So what did you conclude could be done to improve consistency? Or is there not truly a good answer yet?

I would be temped to ask the identity of the team, but frankly, the identity does not matter. This sense of benevolence should be felt, seen, and emphasized in all teams competing under the FIRST banner.

This is indeed a very nice action.

I am, however, interested to know what differences did you notice between your shooter and their shooter? A heavier shooter wheel? Different motors? More arc travel? Some magical compression spot?

  • Sunny G.

I’m guessing the difference between the two shooters was one was a double wheeled shooter (wheels on either side of ball) and the other was a single wheel shooter (wheels only in contact on one side). And i right? and i am guessing the single wheeled shooter was more consistent. May i ask who the team was?

I think it’s compression. at 1" we found the balls varied wildly is range. Take the compression to ~2" and it evens out.