Ultimate Ascent Disc Durability

Discs as the game piece this year presents some very interesting challenges along with varied approaches to the game. One concern my team (Force Team 1073) has is that with the potential for 118 discs to be on the field at any one time it is more than likely that a few of these discs will be run over by robots. So we started to test the effects of robots driving on discs. We started off by running over a disc with our 120lb mecanum robot affectionately named Libra. There was a slight warp but still flew fine. We then proceeded to run our 6 wheel drive robot named ELOT over the disc. Same story, slight warping but still flew fine. So if 2 robots did little damage, what would warp these discs? Logically we tried running it over with an SUV…twice. Still little to no warping and flew only with a very slight wobble. Needless to say we aren’t too concerned with robots damaging these discs this year.http://i1293.photobucket.com/albums/b585/DStanizzi/20130106_220051_zpsca9312af.jpg http://i1293.photobucket.com/albums/b585/DStanizzi/20130106_215954_zps3dbd9e54.jpg

No cracks?

Our team had some of the same concerns, thanks for testing them! Rookie Team 4500

You may want to try your tests again with the actual FIRST discs. My team was testing driving over a bunch of frisbees today, and I noticed that the 180 gram FIRST discs are much stronger than the regular 175 gram ultimate discs like the one in your photo. The FIRST discs actually don’t warp much at all.

It’s amazing. FIRST may have actually chosen a good, durable game piece this year. Go figure.

While a day of shooter prototyping hasn’t destroyed a disc yet we do have one that is seriously scuffed, scratched, and otherwise chewed up looking around the edges.

Do not compare your results with any other type of frisbee with this disc, especially for a test like this. There is a large difference between the types of plastics used; normal frisbees are made of a much softer, flexible plastic than this one and are designed to warp in response to stress. I suspect that these discs will crack after sufficient fatigue.

Are you saying that you didn’t manage to break any of the FIRST discs by driving over them? I find that rather impressive.

Yes. And we drove over them in many different situations with several different robots.

We didn’t have many Official FIRST discs yet. We didn’t want to destroy the ones we got in the KOP and you can order a max of 2 from Andy Mark at the moment and using the closest Wham-O disc we could find. We we are holding off before really testing the official game pieces. I am also thinking that they will be replacing cracked discs after matches. Probably not warped ones. Im still assured that it will take a large amount of force to really damage these thing to the point where they wont fly.

We spent a good chunk of Saturday abusing the an official FIRST disk. Driving over it, jumping on it, beating it, shooting it, etc. Upside down and rightside up. The rim deforms some quite quickly, but this was only ever easily visible by the discolored plastic due to the bending. More testing to do, but we haven’t noticed any significant shot differences (granted, we’re not chucking them 50ft) or even easily visible shape changes. Based on what I’ve seen so far, I’d consider the most likely changes to be:

  • Surface changes. We haven’t had any issues with this, but make sure your system isn’t overly sensitive to scratches and “grime” (we had some ‘burnt rubber’ by the end).
  • Point forces. We don’t have anything like this, but if some robots end up with “pins” in positions that could stab the disks, it could yield greater deformation more quickly. Possibly punctures, but I suspect that’ll be cause for replacement.
  • Wall collisions. We haven’t accurately tested what happens when you smash a flat disk into a guardrail (will it bend? “pop” up? etc)
  • Rim Fatigue. Again, we didn’t have problems with this in our shooter prototypes, but there is definite discoloration here, and it’s possible there’s a type that’s sensitive to it.

I’m ready to drive a car over it based on your SUV results. Will update tonight.

Have you tried driving over upside down discs?

That’s a great question. Our limited testing indicates that frisbees hitting walls tend to land upside down alot. Glad to hear they seem durable, but upside down?

The durability seems quite different from what I had expected. Thanks for testing them out! I’m about one hour away from getting my hands on the FIRST discs.

Yes, we abused it upside down. Our biggest problem wasn’t that the disks got damaged, but that sometimes a robot would be limping around with it under their wheel and not get it off. However, I think this might be less of an issue on carpet (we were smashing these things between metal and concrete). Will try to test today.

The disc itself took very well to upside-down abuse. In fact, we ended up laying a board over it and jumping up and down on the rim without any more damage than I mentioned. I think someone also dropped a steel bar on it without issue. These things are pretty impressive.

More tonight: I’ll be running it over with an Outback (both directions, if it makes it) and possibly doing some carpet driving and against-wall smashing.

Running the disc over upside down did not cause too much damage. The disc was warped slightly, and dented in some areas, but was easily pushed back to its original shape. After running the disc over multiple times with two cars, the disc was still intact and, amazingly, flew almost perfectly (the only problem was a slight wobble in the flight pattern). Eventually the discs would get damaged, but its not likely that they would get damaged to this point.

Just a note that squeezing/slamming the discs against the wall doesn’t seem to incur any further or surprising damage. I could see an occasional fluke happening, but nothing too crazy. They do like flipping over, though.

Running over with the car (4 times!) didn’t cause any damage for us either. The rims it getting more discolored, so if you’re counting on them stacking atop one another (e.g. for in-robot storage), you may want to watch our for that. Still haven’t noticed major shooting differences, though.

Is it possible that you could post pictures? I would love to compare your damaged disc to ours. Thanks

Could you please elaborate on this? Specifically what would prevent them from not stacking on top of each other, I’m having trouble with the visual (probably a sign that I should go to sleep :yikes:)