Category Archives: Uncategorized

GM Robots Help Santa Wrap

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I’ll leave the stats about Santa’s annual wild ride to the other sites, but you figure an operation like that has to have some quality help back home in the shop.  Wish I could get them to wrap my Christmas gifts–wrapping skills much skip a generation.  Either way, Merry Christmas!

(Full disclosure: Your humble editor works for a car dealership group that includes a GM franchise.)

LEGO-Arduino-Popsicle-Stick Rubik’s Cube Solver

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It’s like James Watson’s Rubik’s Cube solver managed to mash all the blog cred hot buttons in one fell swoop: LEGO, an Arduino, Rubik’s Cubes.  There’ve been quite a few Mindstorms-based Rubik’s Cube solvers, many of them far more complex.  To do all of this on a couple of servos and a pile of popsicle sticks qualifies it as awesome.  Just watch the video and appreciate.

(Via Hack A Day)

The 710 Match (FRC 2001)

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While it’s rare to find anyone that even remembers the 2001 game in person, it’s even more rare to find someone with something good to say about it. Diabolical Dynamics (otherwise known as “the 4v0 game” due to the fact that all the robots on the field played on one alliance) was, by definition, an offense game.  Get balls in the goals, get big balls on the goals, get them on the bridge balanced, get to the end zone and hit your E-stop to stop the clock for a big multiplier.  Eliminations were a top-that format between opposing alliances.

These four–FRC 71 (Team Hammond), FRC 111 (Wildstang), FRC 234 (Cyber Blue), and FRC 269 (Cooney Quest) did achieve something notable in this match: in the 21 seasons of FRC before and since, no alliance has ever achieved a score of 710.  And no matter what you thought of the game, you can’t top the driving and coordination in those 55 seconds.

And here’s a bonus angle, from the arena’s big screen feed:

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Silicon Valley Regional Finals (2004)

FIRST Frenzy: Raising The Bar was the 2004 FRC game.  Back then, there were no bumpers, no kitbot, no off-the-shelf drive systems, and not even three-on-three play.  (There also wasn’t a safety award yet; I doubt you could have 130-pound robots dangling like this anymore.)  It was also, if you listen to the old-timers, one of the best games in FRC history.

If nothing else, it’s worth it for a close look at 254′s robot from that year.  Simply beautiful work, and one of the earliest examples of the now borderline-common West Coast Drive.