portrait of nearly completed robot
"Penguinbot" no. 1717 nearly done.

DP Engineering Academy /
2006 FIRST Robotics Competition:

Construction & Competition Guidelines
(mock-up pictures taken from the pdf of the competition regulations)

page created by H. Marcuse, Feb. 21, 2006;
last updated 3.28/10

Construction, competition rules,
and Phoenix photos
Photos of Penguinbot in
Los Angeles
Photos of other robots in LA

Link Updates from Successive Years:

In Phoenix the DP team won the "Rookie Inspiration" award.
In LA they won the "Rookie All Star" award, which qualifies them for the championships in Atlanta.

The DP team before departure to Phoenix, March 8, 2006.
DP team at bus

Students and robot, almost done...
overview of almost completed robot

The FIRST website has the following information on the Atlanta results:

DP's team 1717 was in the Curie division; the 3 numbers are the alliance.
Match 11, Fri. 10:24am: 1511+1717+378 45:46
Match 28 1:00pm: 70+1717+502 63:32
Match 39 2:06pm: 1598+1717+1324 16:43
Match 47 2:54pm: 346+1717+1368 41:81
Match 59 4:06pm: 1251+247+1717 27:31
Match 76, Sat. 9:03am: 1885+1717+1421 39:58
Match 98 11:15am: 1187+1717+395 51:42
This placed them 70th out of 86 teams in that division, with a 2-5-0 record.

The balls can be shot through the high goals, or dumped into the corner bins.
Each match of 3 robots vs. 3 robots has four parts. One part of strategy is to pick good teams to ally with.
1. Autonomous mode: for 10 seconds the robots try to score based on programming alone.
2. The alliance with the high phase 1 score gets a 10-pt bonus and goes on defense for 40 seconds.
3. During the next 40 seconds only the autonomous-high-scoring alliance's goals are open.
4. During the final 40 seconds both goals are open for scoring.
At the end the 1, 2 or 3 robots can "park" on the opposing alliance's goal platform for 5, 10 or 25 points.
mock-up of playing field

The actual field in Phoenix, March 10-11, 2006
Phoenix playing field

Robots in competition in Phoenix, March 10-11, 2006. Is the blur DP's?
2 robots in Phoenix

A robot taking a shot in Phoenix. Ball is just a blur (slow shutter).
bot taking a shot in Phoenix

DP's Full size mock-up of the center goal.
center goal
Production schedule
whiteboard with schedule

Design ideas
whiteboard with design ideas

First prototype of throwing mechanism, with launched ball.
In the final version, the ball flies out at about 25 miles per hour.
first prototype of throwing mechanism

Second prototype of throwing mechanism
second prototype of throwing mechanism

Machining the flywheel that will propel the ball towards the hoop.
It must be heavy enough that shooting a ball will not change its rotational speed.
And of course it must be perfectly balanced.
machining the flywheel
Close-up of flywheel on lathe.
machining the flywheel
Below: Full view of the robot in a late testing stage.
The plastic tube was later replaced by a chute (see other images, below).
Note the foam competition balls on the ground, where the controller board will later be mounted.
The flywheel will propel the balls out towards the goal. (The aiming mechanism isn't installed yet.)
The tall box contains a belt that picks up the balls, which feed out of the flap at top.
Testing the tube, closeup

Wooden prototype of the ball-picker.
ball-picker prototype

When the balls exit the top of the column they can either go to the wheel to be ejected towards the the elevated hoop (the white tube adjusts the angle), or roll down the chute to be stored until the flap at the bottom of the column (on the side) is opened.

The vertical column contains a belt that transports balls up from the floor or side chute to be shot out by the wheel, or returned down the chute. The belt can be reversed to transport the balls from the chute out the front again, dumping them into the corner bins.
The holes are drilled out so that the robot can meet the weight limit (120 lbs.)
The robot's size is (I think) 3' x 5' x 2'.
The balls enter the column in two ways: get pulled in from the floor as the robot rides over them, or from the side of the chute near the bottom, as seen here.
The balls are picked up from the floor on the left side. The transmission has to be able to transport the robot up the inclines to the corner goals and the alliance platform under the hoops. (See the mock-up pictures, above.)
full view of final robot

side/front view

Doing wiring at a nearly final stage of assembly
back view

The processors that control the servos and drive train motors are on a sheet of plexiglas, left.
The pegboard, right, holds the switches. The two joysticks are not shown.
robotics brain with programmers

A camera mounted on the robot is programmed to recognize and track the lighted rectangle above the hoop. Teams program their controller to compute the distance and adjust the vertical and horizontal angles at which balls should be shot. Players can control these angles with joysticks, or in "autonomous mode" the robot will orient itself and set the shooter angle according to programmed algorithms.
center goal
Two programmers at the terminal
Aaron and -- at the programming terminal

Connecting wiring.
testing the tube, w/ robot

Different tasks have to completed in a set amount of time.
The playing field is 26 feet wide.

The students controlling the robots stand behind the wall under the hoop, at the "player stations."

View from above at a nearly final stage
nearly completed robot
The DP team's robot shortly before shipping.
The white tube contains a threaded rod that adjusts the angle of the ball ejection chute.
There isn't a throwing arm, but a whirling wheel (just visible behind the white tube) that spins the ball into the ejection chute at a high speed.
Note the plate of food: evidence of parental contributions for their never-home students.
nearly completed robot
Constructing the plywood shipping crate.
building the shipping crate

The finished robot in the box.
robot in box

page created by H. Marcuse on Feb. 21, 2006; last updated: see header
back to top; DP Engineering Academy robotics page; robotics photo page