| FIRST Robots
Getting a batch of balls into the lower goals proved a bit
harder than one might imagine. Given that the corner goals
were 54 feet (16.5 m) away from the human operators, 6 1/2
inches (16.5 cm) above the floor, and at the end of a 24-inch
(61 cm) -long, 15-degree slope, the target was relatively
small. The five other robots and stray balls on the field further
complicated the problem of quickly scoring in the lower goal.
225 realized that given all of the field obstacles, an
integrated system of sensors and control was the only reliable
method to accurately and consistently score balls in the lower
goal. According to philosopher John Dewey, “a problem
well-defined is a problem half solved,” so in this case Team
225, from York, Pennsylvania, was halfway done with its
The process began with a brainstorming session to identify
machine attributes and functions. The resulting list was
reviewed and prioritized to specify desirable robot compo-
nents such as a four-wheel drive system, a 16-ball capacity
hopper, and control system needs. The team decided the
robot’s primary function was to score points in the lower goal.
To support that function, the robot needed an efficient ball
pick up, storage, and delivery system.
A conceptual sketch of the machine was created based on
the team’s list of desirable features. These concepts were
refined in drawings produced in the team’s CAD lab. The
machine’s parts were then fabricated from the drawings.
Then, the parts were assembled and tested, with a monitoring
and control system created to transform the independent
systems into a robot.
D107-99 / 4255
RF_81_161_.qxd 2/1/07 3:34 PM Page 134