A Robotics Competition Story

It was the morning of April 3rd 2015, a Friday. That day marked the start of the qualifying rounds for the 10,000 Lakes regional. Everything was progressing smoothly.

First match of the competition for the FireBears, and all was looking well.  Then suddenly, the drive team stopped! They saw that the wires and pneumatic tubes that led to the elevator were taught.

As the drive team slowly turned the robot towards them they realized the gravity of the situation. The wires and tubes were caught in the sprocket that was used to move the elevator!

The drive coach slowly pulled out his phone and called the electrical and mechanical teams down to the pits. The match ended with the FireBears using the base of the robot to push totes around, without moving the elevator for risk of further damage.

All of the wires and tubes leading from the main electrical board to the elevator had to be taken off and replaced. Mechanically, the sprocket had to be removed and the chain cleaned of the wire and pieces of tubes caught in it. Then all of it had to be reattached.

There was one way to describe the robot’s current state. Crippled. No one would blame them for losing hope.

That is not what happened. The drive team pulled the robot into the pit where the mechanical and electrical teams were waiting, tools in hand. The robot was taken off the cart, and everyone got to work.

When our next match came around the robot had been stripped of everything that had to be cleaned. We went out there only being able to push the totes with our base. After that came lunch. We didn’t care. We kept working through lunch, and when the next match came around we were out on the field with our regular strategy.

We would like to thank the many FRC teams who gave their support and offered various tools/materials needed to fix our robot.