February 19, 2019 all-day
Kevin Boyle

Today at 11:59:59 (04:59:59 GMT) is the end of the 2019 build season for FRC teams all around the world including the BICS bIrobot team.  bIrobot is among more than 3,000 teams in 30+ countries completing robots that are custom designed and built to compete in this year’s FRC game named Destination: Deep Space!  The six week qualification round period begins next week with the bIrobot Team heading to matches at Orchard View High School in Muskegon on March 14-16 and Lake Superior State University on April 4-6.

About the 2019 bIrobot

Well, we can tell you much about it now because we won;t know the challenge for the 2019 season until January 5, 2019.  But, for now we can tell you about last year’s robot. Our 2018 robot was unlike any the team has built before.  It has a six wheel drive system with four closely spaced pneumatic tires (two on each side and all powered) and two “omni” wheels (that can drive forward and roll sideways) far forward on the chassis (one on each side).  On board the robot are four major sub-systems.  First, the telescoping, two stage lift system can extend from 50 to 100 inches in height and move its main stage from floor level to the top position of the lift.  The lift system carries the second system, a cube handling system that can pick-up a milk crate sized, nylon covered cube from the floor in any orientation, and eject it at any level the lift can reach. The lift systems also caries the third system, a climbing assist mechanism that can extend a cantilever arm to a bracket and then work with the lift system to climb the entire robot at least 12 inches off the floor.  (This sub-system contributed to our team winning a technical achievement award at one of our events in the 2018 season.) The final major system is an electronics bay that includes the computer, power supply, motor controllers and safety systems that control the robot.