The Real 217 Robot for 2010


Boy, could I use some help in that area. There are adults cough who are not crazy about going to the dentist, even though they should know better.

Thank you for the awesome slideshow. It looks like the team had a great build season.



I’m still trying to figure out how the nanodrive works… I see 4x IFI traction wheels, and 4 duallie omnis, but they’re all inline. I can see something shifting down in the drivetrain when strafing but cant quite make out what it is or how it works… Guess I’ll have to wait to see it in person on 217 and 148 come championship.


Look at the 148 video. There’s another duallie omni at right angles that drops down; they show it clearly near the end while their robot is elevated.


The traction wheels are each paired with an omni-wheel that is packaged into a module. The Omni wheel axle acts as the axis for selecting between traction or Omni (Omni wheel is fixed, traction wheel travels up and down). The pneumatic cylinders are extended to apply force between the traction wheels and the carpet when additional traction is needed. The center Strafe wheel is also on an actuator to either extend or retract. The strafe wheel is retracted while traction is applied and extended when traction is retracted.


Was this a result of further testing of the IFI Vex robots form last year? I would love to learn more about this drive setup at FLR.


I apologize in advance for the long post …

So I wanted to explain this year’s collaboration between 217 and 148 a little bit further. But first, some statistics:

  1. Drive base - 9 wheels (5 omni + 4 VEXPro Traction Wheels). 5 CIM motors (both 217 & 148). Traction wheels and 5th wheel drop down using pneumatics.

  2. Kicker - FP with AM Planetary geared so the output speed is approximately 38 RPM.

  3. Arm (we call it TACO) - FP with AM Planetary (same gearbox as kicker but with a larger chain reduction)

  4. Ball magnet - Window motor

Now, on to the collaboration …

First off, for those contemplating collaboration know this: true collaboration is hard, especially when the two teams are over 1,000 miles apart.

Prototyping & Design

Both teams are relatively large with 148 having around 30 students and 217 with almost 50. We performed design and prototyping at the same time.

Both teams prototyped all sorts of kicker designs, ball intake designs, hanging arm designs for a better part of three weeks.

At the same time, two different design teams (one at FANUC Robotics in Michigan and one at IFI in Texas) broke up the design into chunks.

I was in Michigan the entire first week leading the design efforts for the ThunderChickens and we did a lot of the concept work for the kicker & arm that both 148 & 217 prototyped. At the same time, John led the concept team at 148 and the team did a lot of the concept work for the drive train geometry (primarily to get over the hump).

When I returned to Texas; Don Bartlett, Mike Beem, and Andy Hatzillas from FANUC RObotics and Ed Debler continued to lead the 217 design team (consisting of approximately 10 students) through detailed design of the Arm, kicker cam, and kicker.

In Texas, John led the 148 design team (consisting of 2 students) with the detailed design of the drive base and arm tower.

I was the conduit between the two teams, constantly on the phone with ThunderChicken prototypers and designers when in Texas and constantly on the phone with John when in Michigan. We uploaded SolidWorks models nightly so both teams had the latest files each work day … it was exhausting.

We decided to leave a big “hole” in the front for where the intake system would reside.

Both the 217 and 148 prototype teams spent countless hours validating the arm & kicker designs and trying to figure out the intake design. The intake design had one requirement (besides following all the game rules): be able to control the ball during full reverse and the “death spin”. A simple request, but a difficult challenge which took both teams 3 weeks.

At this point the lines of responsibility are very gray. I can honestly say that we discussed all of the designs and ideas so much between the two teams that every design is a 100% shared responsibility between the two teams.

Sure there were specific designs that made it to the final robots, but the final end product is a 50-50 collaborative design between 217 and 148.


The manufacturing division of responsibility was very clear: 148 manufactures all sheet metal and 217 manufactures all turned (aka using a lathe) and milled parts. Sure, there were some exceptions to this, but 95% of the parts followed this rule.

In total, the ThunderChickens and their sponsors manufactured over 60 unique parts (multiply that by 5 or 6 for total parts manufactured) and the Robowranglers and their sponsor manufactured over 70 unique parts (again, multiply that by 5 or 6 for total parts manufactured).

I personally want to thank all of the outstanding students and mentors on both teams: The ThunderChicken mentors whom I have grown very close to over the last 10 years and the Robowrangler mentors whom I am just getting to know.

One last thing: great things can come from FRC for mentors. My participation in FRC has brought me much closer to my brother, Mike Copioli, and allowed me to meet someone who is like another brother to me; JVN.

This has been a very emotional year for me, personally, and I look forward to the competition season.


Mr. President,
Shouldn’t you get back to work! :]
Your ThunderChicken Pit Crew(Kayla, Jenna, Kate, Missy, and Hayley)


You make me lol!

Now…when can I get my riveter back (at least I can dream that maybe I sorta kinda might have had a small part in assembling this awesome monster)…


I noticed 1 definitive difference between Armadillo and Mia. Mia is using at least some Jaguars (possibly exclusively) while Armadillo is using exclusively Victors.


Alex dont worry hopefully 2228 217 and 3181 will be paired up. I look forward to competing against this beast at flr.


1:40 Krunch T-Shirt! I feel so cool now! hahaha seriously an awesome robot. Knowing that there is a second of its kind scares me… I guess I’ll have to wait until nationals to compete with it!


As a mentor of a fairly new team, I want to let you know how your work inspires countless others. I don’t know you, but I want to thank you for sharing with us the result of your team’s hard work. In the three years I have been involved with FIRST, I have been met many special people committed to this worthy cause of inspiring others to become more than what they are. Your work and the work of other great teams makes me want to be a better mentor to my own students and provide them with greater opportunities than I am currently giving them. Your success is a testament to Dean’s vision and this is something that you and your team should be proud of. Thank you and keep up the great work!

Darren Collins FRC 2046


Hahah that’s me and my favorite team tee! And ironically enough I’m wearing it now (:


How did you guys get all of those tees? Maybe I should order 10 or 11 2791 shirts to trade this year… Hardcore swappage right there.


wow nice job guys. is that swerve drive?


We get 5 new shirts every year, enough for the new season. In Atlanta, we are allowed to trade shirts with other teams. So if you are looking for a TC shirt, come to the pits or our stands in Atlanta. I am sure you will find a trading buddy!


Can’t wait to see it at competition with its twin :smiley:

. . . I’d like a shirt :yikes:


We all love trading! Seriously just ask one of us in Atl and we’d be ecstatic to trade with you (:


To me, this is the coolest thing that you guys (and other teams for that matter) do. I remember back in 2004 when 254 and 60 collaborated on a robot design. It was one of the most heated discussions I’ve ever seen on CD. FIRST ruled that it was legal, and 254 won the Championship Chairman’s Award that year (the collaboration was mentioned in their description for winning, so while it may not have been the only reason (it probably wasn’t), it certainly was a factor). Oh yah, and the robot had some pretty good success, too.

Here we are, 7 years later, and the collaborations are stronger than ever. There are few things more “real world” than these. The engine program for which I work goes on an aircraft that is a joint venture between Bell & Boeing. My company’s controls department is a joint venture between us and Goodrich.

All around the world, these collaborative efforts are becomming more and more the norm, and the fact that you guys (and others) can introduce high school students to it, and make it effective, blows me away.

Congratulations on the very cool robots. But, more praise is deserved for finding ways to challenge high school students to something few have the opportunity to do. To me, that puts the Iin FIRST.


Okay now to get to Atlanta!:stuck_out_tongue:

That look like a really nice robot with a sibling! Although it needs some green!:wink: