Robots And SketchUp

I’ve been volunteering with the local FIRST Robotics team. A small group of us came up with a drive module for the robots that allows the maintenance team to make very quick repairs to the robot. In the event of drive motor, gearbox or wheel failure we’ve managed to reduce the repair time from 20 minutes or so to less than one minute. I modeled what we proposed in SketchUp.

And the modeled the bracket to support the rear of the motor for 3D printing.

There are a number of different configurations for the base that all use the same module and the modules can be built with different wheels to suit the needs of the robot. Shown with Omni wheels.


Wow! Super-fun project, and a great idea for the motor mount.

Thanks. It’s a lot of fun working with this group. FIRST Robotics is international and there are teams everywhere. I would recommend to others that they get involved with it. This year’s “game” is sponsored by Star Wars Force for Change. And it’s quite the game. Link for anyone who is interested.

Here’s the animation they showed at the kickoff on Saturday to introduce the game.


Wasn’t really aware of FIRST, but it seems an awesome challenge to build a bot with the required capabilities. The competition itself looks like it will be really fun to watch, and even more-so, to participate.

Looking forward to future posts on your team’s progress.

It seems like a big challenge to me, too. And the robot has to be design, built, tested, and ready to go six weeks from kickoff. Our team meets Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings for 3 hours and then 6 hours on Saturdays. So 24 meetings assuming no snow days.

Your drawings are… finger licking.

Thank you. I should have done a better job on those screws in the second one but I was lazy.

It does look very interesting and tactical, it must take a lot of figuring out. It’s a far cry from “Robot Wars” when the aim is just to beat the metal to bits.

It does take a lot of figuring Ian. It amazes me how good these kids are at coming up with the programming for driving and otherwise controlling the robot not only wirelessly but also for the automated part where the robot has to be able to do what it needs to do on its own. And the other teams have to build the stuff. There’s a group of kids doing the CAD work because the entire robot has to be completely documented as that is part of the package.

Did you know I was a mentor on team 694 (StuyPulse) for a long time?

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I thought they were rivets…:smiley:


How many points to destroy the other bots?

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I think they lose points for that.

@colin, I didn’t know that.

Anyone taking notes of when @DaveR will be offline in the near future? (24/7)

Funny guy. :smiley: I’m watching…

That sounds like a lot of fun. Keep us posted!
For curiosity’s sake, what is the scale of the bot?

Will do. The frame I drew was sort of arbitrary. The wheels, though, are 6 in. dia. The prototype bot is about 27 in. wide.

I love FIRST! My daughter was on a team all the way through Middle School, and is joining the High School team this year again. Such a great experience. Kudos to you for volunteering to mentor.


Thanks John.

Here’s that motor bracket being printed. Lousy light where the printer is equals lousy photo. Hopefully nothing goes wrong in the printing. Maybe 8 more after this one.


Your printer or the teams?