Ultimate Ascent was the second FRC competition Trident Robotics participated in. The team’s organizational structure was completely remodeled. This season, 80 members were divided into 6 sub-teams: CAD, mechanical, controls, programming, field, and business. Each sub team specialized in a specific aspect of the robot. These sub teams collaborated with the guidance of an overall leader, Collin Valley. The new divisions allowed all members to become experts on a specific task, and also expanded our team involvement, focusing on the business sector of the team. As a result, our business team was able to increase the number of sponsors for the team, effectively increasing the amount of material that the mechanical teams could purchase in order to build a more effective robot. The outside sponsorship also further integrated Trident Robotics into the community bringing more awareness to the team’s mission and to STEM education.

Trident still had some internal structure problems though. Even with the sub-team system in place, the team was still in its infant stages of learning and approached the design and build process in the wrong manner.  Although the team avoided the basic mistakes that occurred the previous year, the unclear design process called for many redesigns due to inconsistent sizing.

This year’s robot utilized a six wheel tank drive with high traction wheels powered on both sides by 2 CIM motor gear boxes. The robot threw Frisbees using a shoot made of bent sheet metal leading to a 12” diameter PVC pipe. The shooter was operated by a pneumatic piston to project Frisbees. The Frisbees were then accelerated by 2 pneumatic wheels powered by CIM motors as it left the shooter. In order to climb the pyramids during the last seconds of the game, two right triangles were attached to the top of the robot with the hypotenuse facing downwards. These triangles had a half circle cutout that allowed them to ramp onto the bar and sustain suspension until the end of the match.