Warped yellow totes

We ordered a yellow tote for AndyMark. The underside lip is warped. Has anyone else noticed this?



I noticed that our yellow tote is warped, compared to our gray tote and last year’s black tote.

We’ve experienced the same issue on our gray totes. The warping was so bad that one of our prototypes that used flexible clips couldn’t fit into the gap.

Our grey tote is like this. I am not sure about the yellow.

We noticed that all 3 of the totes (all were gray) that we ordered from andymark had this issue. The totes that we got in out KoP were fine.

We had this issue with one of our old totes. Our KOP totes and the rest of our old ones worked fine with our “hand”. We don’t have our lift working yet (just got the parts in), so we haven’t looked that closely at the ones we bought to practice clearing the landfill and work on an auto TOTE STACK; I’ll have to check them out at tomorrow’s session. I wonder if a heat gun and a pry bar could get them back into shape – at least on our old one, there’s not much to lose, is there?

These inconsistencies might be a problem if a team’s tote grabber relies on the side lips. It could work great on the team’s flawless totes but might run into trouble if there are warped totes at an event.

This is unacceptable. You would think that with all the time and money that goes into FIRST that they would get game piece that has no variation and functions brand new without need of heat guns or pry bars. For all the talk about wanting to become like the major sports, you’d never see this from the pros.

EDIT: I guess some people missed the sarcasm…

So I’m guessing that your robot-builder-cave does not have TV or Internet, you’ve missed an entire week of “Inflategate” in the NFL :rolleyes:

Inflategate? Deflategate? Whatever it is, the NFL and NBA both inflate to a “feeling” and MLB has a person that rubs each ball with a special mixture of dirt pregame. Not every pro sport ball is the same. Hockey and golf are the few that win in the consistency department.

I don’t know how this wouldn’t be expected though. If you were around for 2012, think about the difference in stiffness of foam balls. Or 2013 after one team got their shooter on a frisbee it was never the same again. Build tolerance into your design so this isn’t an issue and it won’t be an issue.

I completely disagree, variations in game pieces has been part of the engineering challenge many times.

I think Game Piece variation is part of the design challenge…

Also look at the bottom. Some are flat, some are convex, concave, and a combo. This affects the velocity leaving the chute and the bounce on impact. Loading from the human player station needs to deal with this.

No wonder yellow totes are expensive than gray ones!

Game piece and field variation are part and parcel of every sport, unless every event carries calibrated and reliable measuring apparatus.

We are going to be bringing our pressure gauge to make sure the totes are inflated to between 12.5 -13.5 psi climatic conditions not withstanding. #deflategate

I haven’t seen a tote that we got bad enough where our finger prototype couldn’t get into the little lip…maybe some of you guys got the worst of the worst?

Game piece variation is something you absolutely must design for, and that’s been true for as long as I’ve been doing FIRST (and presumably about a decade longer!)

Our design (until now) has 10-32 bolts sticking up from a piece of c-channel, mounted in individual springs. We really need about 1/4" of clearance for this to work. When we just had one old warped tote (probably one we inherited from a defunct team), we assumed it had been left out in the Louisiana sun for too long. If they’re shipping this way, and in at least one case the whole set was like this, it raises the possibility that all the totes at regional might be like this. I suspect we’re back to the drawing board.


The one thing I was concerned about this year was the lip/handle everyone was attracted. The first problem I saw was by the time we see competition in week 6 totes on the field will be warped. The handles could be bent out or worse. The only real constant is the general shape of the tote and recycling bin.

What’s the narrowest gap anyone has seen? We have about 5/32" at the narrowest point on ours.