What was your teams worst expierence during competition?

What was your teams worst incident/experience at competition.

Ours was when during the Ultimate Ascent game someone threw a Frisbee and it hit out of all places the power switch on our robot when it was trying to make the 10 point climb, so we did not get the 10 point climb at that. But we fixed it immediately. though

To go with the game-pieces-shutting-down-robots theme, in 2010 at the Duel on the Delaware offseason, we forgot our electronics covers back home. A soccer ball rolled down the return, bounced on the ground twice and into our robot hitting the power switch.

There’s probably a worse one that I can’t recall at the moment, but a recent one:

At our 2013 regional, a newer student was tweaking our autonomous code in the pit. We had our final practice match for the day coming up, and the new code was put on the robot, without being checked or tested.

During auto, the climber ran backwards. This was a half-inch ACME lead screw, running off a CIM (Don’t remember what gearbox was on it). So instead of moving the climber up a bit to release another mechanism that was tied into it, it ran downwards, and kept running until it bottomed out, and then kept running some more. This also raised the robot off the ground at the front, and so it couldn’t drive.

The screw warped itself pretty bad, and bent a couple 0.25" aluminum brackets by 40 or so degrees. The climber was pretty trashed. The CIM continued to run (while stalled) for the rest of the match, came back to the pit too hot to touch.

The pit crew stayed late that night, and had it running by the next morning, which was quite a feat.

In one match this year we had just finished autonomous, was about 2 feet from the loading station where our human player was standing with four discs in hand, and a Frisbee hit our power switch, turning us into a statue for a good minute and a half. What a helpless feeling.

2013 Razorback Regional:

First practice match. Our regular diver coach was very ill, so I was pinch hitting for the first time ever. I’m usually just the controls/programming guy. Somebody (may have been me) plugged the gyro into analog port 8 instead of 1 (the other 6 were all filled, so honest mistake). After firing the first three shots, the robot was supposed to drive back to the center line using the now non-existent gyro. Instead, it spun about its axis at full speed for the remainder of autonomous. The pickup was pretty badly damaged by the pyramid, but it woke up a pretty bored crowd.

Final elimination match. Loading discs, one disc was caught between the robot and the wall. Driver tries to shake it loose, but instead the disc is shoved into the control system, pulling the header off the analog module. This causes some wheel modules to spin briefly, and the shooter cam follower to roll all the way around and snap. Those screws are in the headers for a reason people! Somehow ours was out.

I was glad it was a short drive home from our first “home” regional. Very frustrating weekend.

This (happens at 7:52 in the video) fortunately it was followed by one of our best experiences ever not long after as we eventually won the event from the sidelines.

30 pt climber having too little travel by about 3/4" to climb for 30. That seriously blew.

Last year prior to revisions we had the worst hopper for our frisbees. Not only was it difficult to get frisbees in their because of the odd angle and shape of the hopper, their was a constant loom of fear that a frisbee would go in upside down (We couldn’t get it out if that happened).

At our 2nd regional, we got put on an alliance with 2 mainly defence robots, meaning we had to be the dedicated scorers. Then this happened.

Believe it or not an alliance actually selected us as a defense robot because of our fast drivetrain, made it to semis. We fixed our robot quite a bit in the last few months and now it’s actually pretty good.

In 2004, while vying for a regional win at Palmetto, a missed decimal place in a revised autonymous code caused our robot to impact the other player station at full speed (in the next year or two FIRST started putting velcro on the player station IIRC). This caused one of our transmissions, the universally disappointing 3/8 Bosh drill transmission, to fall apart. We thought we fixed it, but not quite. In the next few minutes our alliance captain smoked a motor or two on their robot’s arm, making them basically unable to score. A few seconds into the 3rd match of the finals our transmission failed entirely, turning the final match into a snooze-fest that the other alliance won handily, as the chassis driver I was heart-broken, as was much of our team.

To take a step back, we were the 8th seeded alliance (after much in-picking in the top 8) and managed to knock out the 1st and 5th seeded alliances convincingly. Sometimes luck just doesn’t go your way…

Though this was my most frustrating experience with FRC, I wouldn’t call it bad (just less good I guess?) Our team had gone from 2nd-to-last in the standings to one of the top-scoring robots during eliminations, and while I/we felt that we could have (and should have) won, it was a strong lesson in graciously accepting a loss and always trial-running antonymous code before putting the robot out on the field.

I have a lot of stories that would shock many of you or just have you rolling on the floor, but I’ll stick with the simple one that used to happen all the time with the old control systems.

The match starts and you realize your robot isn’t turned on. This was a common occurence up until around 2004 or 2005.

Also for a bonus there’s the the time we almost took out the scoring table at the UTC New England Regional in 2004:

About the power switches: In Waterford District (I think anyways) The Captains (i think) had their power switch at the top front of their robot. When they went to get a ball under the bridge, we started to balance and we hit their power switch on the robot and turned them off

And anyways, for us, the worst experience was our whole 2013 year (Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but we could barely do anything)! Anyways, we learned a couple of things:

  1. Gravity is your friend and works 100% of the time
  2. Picking up frisbees from the ground is pretty hard and not worth it
  3. Don’t store frisbees horizontally
  4. Don’t make it 2wd and have 4 idling wheels
  5. Make room for electronics
  6. Auton is more important than you think
  7. Design your robot in CAD

And many more…

We had a 10-point climber. Our driver tried to go for a 20-point climb.


While I won’t elaborate on here, our worst experience at a competition was another team acting in a decidedly non-GP fashion (particularly off the field) towards our team for most of the competition.

If you want to talk robot-related issues… 3 match of the finals in Logo Motion, when our lifter broke during autonomous mode. It had to be the most heart-crushing instance I’ve experienced on my team, yet the drivers took it in stride and led us (through amazing defensive play) to a very, very close victory!

WPI Regional 2011

The regional itself was fantastic and really well run however during our first practice match our robot started to move then randomly jerked around and started spinning around in circles. When we E-stopped it the robot was still moving all around the field, and even after the match ended it was still going! The FTA (or maybe it was a ref I forget) had to run out onto the field and chase the robot and manually shut it off, it was something they said they’ve never seen before

Random robot freezing in the semifinals at Buckeye last year. Happened two games in a row, had never happened before (through countless practice and two regionals) and has never happened since. :confused:

This year at IRI, we re-calibrated our autonomous and ended up changing the power value for the shooter motors. When we built the code and deployed it to the robot, all the code got corrupted. Our programmer had to try to rewrite our entire robot code in the half hour or so we had before our first match. In the end he didn’t have time, and we ended up playing the match with no control over our pneumatics, and both joysticks inverted. Probably the most stressed I have ever been at a competition. Luckily we had enough of a break for him to fix it before our next match. Still had a lot of problems that weekend, but it just felt like a terrible omen to have that happen right before our first match at our first time at IRI.

2008 IRI.
We got tangled with our teammates in autonomous mode, rammed full-speed into the dividing wall. The impact tore out our battery ground, and it came to a rest on our IFI controller.
The DSK song “Robot On Fire” may or may not have been inspired by that.

2013 Queen City Regional

During one of our last qualification matches an opposing robot decided to lower their climbing mechanism past their frame perimeter and ram us while we were shooting from the pyramid. The impact forced our shooter down and bent our intake and shooter. We went from about 85-90% accuracy to 65% and barely managed to win our next few matches to secure the 1st seed position. Sadly we couldn’t fix it and lost in the quarterfinals. That was the first time ever we were confident we had a shot to win a regional, just bad luck. We were all very disappointed. And our shooter continued to plague us with problems for our next two regionals after that.

I did talk the drivers from the team that hit us and they ensured me in no way did they intend to damage us so no hard feelings there.

Huh, strangely glad to know that we weren’t the only one to be turned off by a frisbee. We had it happen one time when our human player was trying to load our robot.

Here are what I remember as the worst moments, for various reasons.

2012 Rebound Rumble - Trying to balance on the bridge, accelerate too fast, begin falling backwards, and bend a bunch of stuff. None was very critical, but a damaged robot is never fun. Video used to exist at TBA, but it’s not there right now.

2011 Logomotion - At TC I think, we managed to get our lift stuck on the scoring rack, and that was quite distressing for how long it took to get it unstuck.

2010 Breakaway - The whole robot. It’s like it was anit-designed.

2009 Luncay - We were in the quarterfinals, and we were up one game to zero at TC (http://www.thebluealliance.com/team/857/2009). The second match, we had a bar protecting our intake roller that was ziptied on because our previous one had broken off. However, the zipties failed, we exceeded the allowable dimensions, incurred a 10 penalty, lost the match by 4 points, and went on to lose the third game by 3 points (sooo close to semis…).

Way back in 2002 we were against the dreaded Beatty CrawlerBot at the Midwest Regional. In the finals we had finally succeeded in steering the Beatty machine to the side of the field where it couldn’t score. We (111, 45 and 79) had clearly beat them until our human player in the excitement started scoring points for them. After being #1 seed and finishing qualifying at #1, we lost the finals.