2018 FRC Challenge - FIRST Power Up

"FIRST POWER UP finds FIRST Robotics Competition teams trapped in an 8-bit video game. Each three-team alliance has three ways to help defeat the boss: Tipping the scale or the alliance’s switch in their favor to earn points, exchanging power cubes for power ups (force, boost, and levitate) to gain a temporary advantage during the match, and climbing the scale tower to face the boss. The alliance with the highest score at the end of the match, which includes autonomous and teleoperated periods, defeats the boss and wins the game."


This year’s robot is designed to focus on scuring and maintaining possession of the Scale (the high target). The focus for manipulators was to collect and convey Power Cubes from the floor to the scale rapidly and reliably.

Placing Power Cubes

Our manipulator hugs the power cubes with pneumatic driven, compliant grabbers that take advantage of the uneven skeleton of the milk crate.

Drive Train

This year’s robot uses six omni wheels to provide speed and traction for the FIRST Power Up challenge. 

Six-Wheeled Omni

To provide clearance for on-field obstacles and flexibility in design of the robot undercarriage, we developed transfer cases that connect mini-CIMs and Versa Planetary Gearboxes to the drive wheels using internal belts and pulleys. 


Our electrical system is planned and laid out to minimize confusion from overlapping wires and to reduce weight of the finished competition robot.

Vision Guidance

This year’s robot is using the NVIDEA TX-1 to do onboard vision processing with Python. The results of the vision processing are ported to the RoboRIO using Open CV.


In addition to using LabView, we are using Python this year for vision processing on the Jetson TK-1. The TK-1 will communicate with the RoboRio so that our code, as a whole, runs more efficiently for better control of the robot.

n-Wheeled Holonomic Drive

Four wheel orthogonal holonomic is so yesterday.  This game needs speed and agility, and our new n-wheeled holonomic drive software makes many-wheeled holonomic drive easy.  We will be using this new software to drive a 6-wheel omni system with two different spin-center distances.

The Northern Arizona Regional Competition

March 7-11, 2018

The Las Vegas Regional Competition

March 21-24, 2018

The Aerospace Valley Regional

April 4-7, 2018

Houston Championships

April 17-21, 2018

During the Build Season

How to make a robot (or at least, how WE make a robot).