Who else has caught their machine on fire this year?

It’s been a couple of weeks since the incident and we can finally admit we caught our robot on fire. We switched a PWM into another Victor 888 and a loud pop and flames a couple of inches high resulted. The damage was isolated to just the Victor. A replacement was put on with no incidence. We suspect the culprit was metal shavings sneaking into the Victor but no real evidence. Anyone else ever have open flames on board?

Better now than on the field during a match! Our 2013 robot has not (and hopefully never will) caught fire. Our 2012 robot had a PWM short which made a lot of smoke and in 2011 we set our arm lifter motor on fire during a match.

Pretty sure I remember one of my mentors saying our regional (SBPLI) requires that every pit have a fire extinguisher.
Something to do with a robot catching fire during Lunacy.

Sounds like a horrible/memorable way to go out–having a robot emerging from the white cloud of the extinguisher. After a brief moment of panic we were able to just blow the flames out and hyperventilate and ask, “Did you see that???”

The first season of my team, long before I was there we had no way of cutting metal so the whole thing for the most part was made out of plywood. Surprisingly it held up for completion but in the post season it caught fire so all the remains of Woody ( all our robots names are one defining characteristic or function with a y at the end) is a 1x1.5 ft pice of plywood

Our robots in 2011, 2012, and 2013 are mostly made out of (high quality) plywood. We have a full metal shop available to us (and wood shop) A professional mechanical engineer who designs garbage trucks and such thinks we are brilliant for using plywood. In 2012 we won the Industrial Design award and the Engineering Excellence award and were Finalists and semi-finalists in the two regionals. We also attended two off season events (champion and finalist) and the one day MN State High School League tournament (semi-finalist) And lots of demos, and the bot is still going strong. Most people think our plywood is aluminum until they get close to it (sometimes **very **close.)

Never underestimate the power of plywood.

I tend to refer to it as carbon fiber.

Not this year, but last year during a practice match at our first regional, the shooter motors started smoking. One of the limit switches on the turret failed, and allowed the spinning wheel to come into contact with a shield, which slowed it down. To maintain speed, the wheel PID started pumping more and more current to the shooter motors, which resulted in much smoke. For the last half of the match, we looked like we were skywriting, driving around, trailing a white cloud. It was glorious.

No flames, though. That’s impressive.

I still have been unable to track down any video of that match, but I’d love to find some for my collection.

In 2007, we almost caught fire at championships. A brand new mentor stepped in to re-crimp wire from a Victor 885 burn-out and used a 14-AWG connector for a 10-AWG wire. The result was both a poor connection and a constant rubber burning smell. Luckily I was poking around in the robot resetting our ramps after the next match and saw the gigantic hole in the wire insulation. We replaced the wires completely.

The next year we moved to mini Anderson blocks on all connectors; haven’t had a single connector-related issue since.

I was there for the match that this happened. Unfortunately, the robot burst into flames while in the middle of a match. Because of the extinguisher used, the team had to be moved outside to completely scrub their robot down. If I remember right, they weren’t allowed to compete the rest of the competition… Kind of a terrible way to end a competition (or a season).

Luckily they did get to continue competing the next day, but they missed a lot of matches, because the robot wasn’t allowed back in the building until they first convinced the arena fire marshal that they knew exactly why the fire had occurred and could guarantee that it would never happen again.

And that’s where my signature comes into play. :rolleyes: Heck, I can’t remember two weeks ago that well, let alone 4 years now.

Last fire we had was two years ago (logomotion) when we had to file off a corner of our lift, which happened to be above the Jaguar that controlled said lift. I went to test the lift after we took the corner off, and it started to move, then we got flames out of the Jaguar and it stopped. This was in the pit, too! We killed the power, and blew out the fire. Jag swapped out, and we played in the next match!

And this is why there are electrical rules for wire size and breaker choice. Think about how much longer this thread would be if those rules didn’t exist.

Last year we regularly smoked motors on the field. If you look on blue alliance for the lone star regional there is a great clip of us on the field and the announcer yelling “418 is on fire!” A field tech ran out and started hunting for the main breaker, while our coach and entire drive team yelled to just pull the anderson that linked the battery.