Oct 282014

Team 980 sent our 2014 robot on both Sat and Sun to the biggest ever So Cal Regional Robotics Forum (SCRRT) Fall Classic competition.


On Saturday, we struggled with a few robot issues, but the venue itself also had some difficulties. Still, we competed in five matches, allowing new student team members to be part of our drive team.

Sunday was a much better day for Team 980. We worked well in matches, including many successful truss shots. We had our veteran drivers on-hand, but still cycled new members through the drive team. Unfortunately, we were plagued with an intermittent electrical issue in a few of our seven matches. The problem caused our robot to drop communications with the field, from which we would recover within ~15 seconds. Still, we ended up in eighth place out of 24 robots. We were selected by the #2 alliance to play in the elimination matches, but we chose to, as our team captain responded: “Respectfully decline, as to not hurt the alliance because of our electrical issues.” Team 980 received a warm ovation from the crowd for our difficult decision.

Thanks go to Robin Dorfman for handling the food for team members on Saturday and providing transportation for a few students! We’d also like to thank Deborah Koslowski for bringing food for team members on Sunday, as well as driving some students to and from the event!

Final results for the Fall Classic are shown below:


Jun 082014

On June 7th 2014 Team 980′s students, mentors, and their families celebrated the 2014 season with a pot luck bar-b-que.  It was filled with great food, fresh lemonade, and lots of fun!  We had a huge array of food ranging from pulled pork and slow-roasted beef, hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, pizza, lots of different salads and snacks, and wonderful desserts.  It was a great way to wrap up the 2014 season, and to welcome some new members.

Take a look at the album for more pictures!

IMG_0917 IMG_0930


May 312014

Team 980 linked up with Boy Scout Troop 351 for the 2014 Scout Expo, held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Sat May 31. We created a very popular exhibit: “You can be an Engineer!” for earning the Webelos Engineer Activity Badge.

Team 980/Troop 351 Exhibit at 2014 Scout Expo

Team 980/Troop 351 Exhibit at 2014 Scout Expo


Thousands of scouts saw our exhibit and learned about what engineers do: create the future! Webelos interviewed engineering mentors from Team 980, experienced “hands-on” exhibits for electrical circuits and generators, block and tackle pulleys, and took home a miniature catapult they constructed from tongue depressors, rubber bands and a plastic spoon.

Team 980 demonstrated our 2014 robot, which attracted a lot of attention when we catapulted the ball. Our sister robotics team, Team 2404, brought a T-shirt cannon, which was also a big hit!

We had a great time with Troop 351 and look forward to doing this again!

Apr 302014

Team 980 made a good showing at Burbank on Parade on April 26.

We not only promoted our team through the parade, we also won an award in the Novelty/Civic Organization category!



We followed the parade down Olive and distributed brochures. We also drove the 2014 robot and shot the catapult several times, receiving great reactions from the crowd. After the parade, we had a tent set up in a nearby park, and talked to several potential members.

This was a great event for the team and a good step towards recruiting new members.

Mar 252014

What an incredibly exciting finish to our season! Team 980 was just one win away from qualifying for the FIRST World Championship!

Courtesy of Sean Hiller, Daily Breeze

Courtesy of Sean Hiller, Daily Breeze

Team 980 struggled with a few technical problems and challenging alliance pairings in the qualification matches but managed to finish with a 5 – 5 record. We played well with strong alliance partners and scored consistently in autonomous mode. Our driving and defense was also crisp. Those factors, along with a history of being a dependable partner, resulted in Team 980 being selected by #1 alliance: Team 330 BeachBots and Team 973 Greybots.

Our alliance breezed through the quarterfinals and semifinals without a loss. We lost the first finals match in a very close game 157-165. We came back strong to win the second match, 181-126, but fell short in the final match of the day 146-236. Still, we end our official season on a very high note and should be proud of our accomplishments.


Mar 112014

Team 980 made a good showing at the Inland Empire Regional on March 1 – 2. We finished #17 out of 40 teams, were selected for eliminations, where we played with the #5 alliance in quarterfinals!


Our ball pick-up was very effective and the drive system worked well with higher speed gearing installed at the event. We competed in 15 matches this weekend! We completed assembly of the catapult and executed test firings on the practice field. We need to make some adjustments to launch balls accurately and reliably, so we removed the assembly from the robot to finish it in the next two weeks. We worked hard and accomplished a lot at our first event this season!

Feb 192014

Team 980 wrapped up (literally!) our build season last night, putting our 2014 robot in the bag:


Before sealing the bag, we ran some tests with the robot and did a “fit-check” of our catapult mechanism on the competition robot. Here’s a photo of the robot before removing the catapult hardware:


We will continue to work on the catapult and deliver it to competition as part of our withholding allowance. The catapult is designed to attach to the robot very easily, so we should be competition-ready on inspection day for the Inland Empire Regional (Feb 28 – Mar 2)

Go Team 980!!

Feb 162014

Here’s a CAD rendering of the mechanical design of FRC Team 980′s 2014 robot:


The catapult is driven by two sets of compression springs housed in the green tubes. A van door motor drives the catapult winch, which is engaged/released by an idler gear driven by a pneumatic piston. The ball pick-up roller is shown in red (design inspired by Team 16′s 2008 robot). The electronics, battery and pneumatics (not shown) are housed in a “belly pan” mounted to the chassis frame below the ball. The robot has a very low center-of-gravity and has plenty of weight margin (and provisions for mounting ballast below the chassis frame).

Jan 262014

Team 980 is working hard to meet the 2014 Aerial Assist challenge!

We’ve made a prototype of our ball pick-up mechanism. Here’s a short video clip of it in action:

We are now meeting every weekday to get back on schedule. We had to slip our design review a few days to mature our ball shooter concept.

Here’s our updated build schedule:


We’ve got 3 weeks to get our robot ready for the “pre-bag” scrimmage – it’s “CRUNCH TIME!!”