The Grasshoppers’ 2016 robot was named David Kovaka after the team’s late mentor. Kovaka was designed to play FIRST Stronghold by collecting and scoring boulders and crossing defensive terrain. Kovaka was the team’s first attempt at vision processing, which was largely unsuccessful. However, Kovaka’s staged belt-based shooter was the most consistent shooter that the Grasshoppers had made up until this point. Kovaka also featured a highly mobile 10 wheel “W” tank drive that was highly effective at crossing the variety of terrain in Stronghold. Kovaka had one semi-finalist finish and two finalist finish at New England district events. In two events playing offense and in one event as a defensive robot.
This robot is named after an English born mathematician and writer, Ada Lovelace. Despite passing at age 37 in 1852, she is known for her work on Charles Babbages early mechanical computer.
Lovelace was designed to stack totes and top them off with recycling bins and pool noodles. The higher the stack, the more points earned. Lovelace WON it’s first competition, Granite State Regional, at Nashua High School South along with our alliance partners, #1519, and #1307.
2014 – Chuck
Chuck was built to compete in the 2014 competition, Arial Assist. In this competition you could score points by moving exercise balls into scoring positions on the far side of the field to which your robot originally started. There were two periods at which you could score, in the autonomous round in which the robot needed to be pre-programmed. In the other round you drove the robot using remote control.
2013 – Sikdar
Sikdar was built to compete in the 2013 FRC competition Ultimate Ascent. Our robot was named Sikdar, after Radhanth Sikdar who calculated the height of Mt.Everast, because our robot was going to climb to extreme heights where it has never gone before . Team 95 traveled to three different competitions that year, Manchester Regional, Connecticut Regional, and the FIRST Robotics Championship in St.Louis Missouri. We did not place in the Manchester Regional, but was part of the winning alliance in the Connecticut Regional and was invited to go to the FIRST Robotics Championship in St. Louis Missouri where the team finished in the middle of the pack. Ultimate Ascent was a game that required teams to create a robot that either scored frisbees in goals at different heights, or to climb a pyramid in order to score points for their team. Sikdar was designed to climb to the top of the pyramid and hang, scoring 30 points, and then dump frisbees into the goal at the top of the pyramid, scoring an additional 20 points. The climbing mechanism, also called “the kitty”, allowed the robot to attach itself to the outer corner of the tower and climb up. The kitty was pushed forward by pneumatic pistons to allow Sikdar to line up with the corner of the tower. A kick stand, located under the back of the robot, raised the back of the robot allowing for two hooks on the front of the kitty to grab onto the first bar of the tower. Next an arm located between the first too hooks would reach up a little higher than the second bar. When the arm was lowered two hooks on the arm would grab onto the second bar and pull Sikdar up until the first two hooks could catch the second bar. The the arm was raised again to reach the third level and pull the rest of the robot up until we made it to the top of the tower.
The main objective of the 2012 competition was to shoot Nerf basketballs through hoops. To shoot the balls our robot used a turret mechanism. In addition to shooting balls you could score point by balancing the robot on a bridge. The more robots balanced the more points scored.
Team 95s HOST bot and MINI bot for the 2011 game Logo-Motion were respectively named Watson and Crick, co-discoverers of the DNA double-helix structure. Watson, the HOST bot was designed to score on the top row of pegs and be able to receive game pieces from the player station and pick them up from the ground. His main feature is, of course, his 4-degree-of-freedom arm. The shoulder joint was powered by two RS775 motors, the telescoping and wrist-rotation functions were powered by pneumatic pistons, and his two-roller gripper was powered with two Denso window motors. His wrist joint is unique in that it allows the torque from the two window motors to be transmitted through it, in opposite directions, while preserving the independence of the wrist rotation. His two-roller gripper allows for positive acquisition and deployment of game pieces. It also allows the pieces to be rotated up and down. The telescoping function on his arm is exactly 8in and is used to adjust the arms reach exactly the amount that the taller scoring pegs are offset by. Watson is motivated by on the teams first 6wd, 2-speed drivetrain. It uses AndyMark Gen1 2-speed transmissions with pneumatic shifting. The center two wheels are high-traction and are 0.15in lower than the four corner wheels.
2010 – Dinger
Short for Schrodinger, a Nobel Prize winning physicist, Dinger was Team 95’s entry into the 2010 FRC game Breakaway. He was designed with a high-mobility defensive strategy in mind. Dinger was the first robot we built that used Mecanum wheels in a holonomic drive system. Careful consideration was given to the drive and chassis layout, allowing Dinger to traverse the serious terrain of Breakaway with ease. He used a spring-powered, pneumatic reload kicker to shoot soccer balls out of his defensive zone and featured an “auto-kick” method that would sense when a ball was in close proximity to the kicker and automatically fire it. To top off his defensive arsenal, Dinger had a blocker that could be raised to block incoming shots and deflect balls dropping out of the ball return.
2009 – Hoover
Hoover competed in Lunacy. The two tricks to this game were the low-friction wheels and game surface the robots were required to use, and the fact that your goal was towed behind the opposing alliance’s robots. Hoover used a roller and belt system to collect the game pieces from the floor and dump them into the tops of goals. He used four-wheel tank steering to navigate the field.
2008 – Zog
Zog was the nick-name of a supporter of our team who passed away. The robot was designed to play FIRST Overdrive. He featured a dropped-center omni-corner 6wd drive base with a pneumatic launcher system capable of throwing the game ball over the overpass and catching it again on the other side. He could de-score opponents balls by bouncing them off with a shot from underneath. Zog won a Xerox design award. Because of his unique sound when firing a ball over the overpass and ability to please crowds Zog is still maintained for demonstration purposes.
Atlanta’s Georgia Dome (Zog is 3rd picture down)
WCAX Interview with some prototypes in progress
2007 – Galileo
Galileo was designed to play Rack’n’Roll. He featured an arm with three degrees of freedom and 6wd with high traction center wheels and omni wheels on all four corners. The manipulator he used to grab tubes had two sets of rollers so that a tube could be pulled straight in, spit out, or rotated up and down while maintaining possession.
2006 – Lilly
Lilly was named for Lillian Gilbreth, industrial engineer and expert in motion studies. Lillian was a pioneer in recognizing the interrelationship between engineering and human relations. Lilly, the robot, was optimised for ball control in Aim High. With speedy ball pick-up rollers similar to Feynman, and a hopper capable of carrying almost 40 balls Lilly was an offense force to be reckoned with. She had an accurate shooter, again made with rollers, that could shoot 3 balls at a time to an accuracy of about 90% from 15 feet away from the center goal. The shooter can shoot 2-3 sets of 3 balls per second, and is almost completely camera controlled for exceptional accuracy. The shooter can also throw balls a short way so they fall back into the hopper, we call this juggling and could be useful for blocking opponent’s shots. Lilly’s drive system is 6-wheel-drive with excellent traction. She is gyro-aligned and can drive in a straight line with less than 1 foot deviation without operator correction. The gyro helps during our one of her nine autonomous modes. Lilly, like Leo, won 2nd place in the South Carolina Palmetto Regional Competition.
2005 – Eddie
Named for Thomas Edison, one of the most prolific American invetors, competed in Triple Play. Our first use of the FRC kit robot frame, honeycomb composites, and a unique dual-motor DeWalt drill transmission of our own design. Eddie had the most robust arm our team has ever made, using an innovative ‘battle-axe and chain’ shoulder joint and a gear rack with telescoping function to extend the arm. A final “turreting” degree of freedom rounded out the arm’s three degrees of freedom. The arm was so strong it could lift students at full extension with ease. Eddie’s drive train and arm, while incredibly durable, were just a little too slow for the fast-paced game of Triple Play.
2004 – Leo
Leo, short for Leonardo DaVinci the renaissance inventor, scientist, and artist, was an hommage to Feynman. With a similar plywood chassis, drivetrain, and set of intake rollers, Leo was designed to pick up rubber recess balls and deliver them to the human player in FIRST Frenzy: Raising The Bar. Our human player would then shoot the balls into a stationary goal on the field which such proficiency he earned the nickname “sniper”. Leo was originally designed to also pick up the 2X multiplyer ball to ‘cap’ the goal and hang on the bar for extra points. These functions were removed in favor of a lighter robot with more reliable performance. The arm was simplified to a single bar on a shoulder joint used to defend against other robots’ hanging attempts. This strategy lead us to a second place finish at the South Carolina Palmetto Regional event, mechanical failures in our robot and our alliance robot prevent us from being competitive in the final matches.
2003 – KC
Kalpana Chawla was a NASA Astronaut who perished with the other crew members of the Columbia space shuttle. Her nickname was “KC” and so we named our robot to honor her and the crew of the Columbia. KC had the most advanced drive system that 95 has ever attempted, it has come to be called “4-wheel swerve,” every wheel was independently driven and steered. Her sole purpose was to control the bridge in Stack Attack. Unfortunately she used worm gears in two of the transmissions, resulting in terrible efficiency. Also, the basic stamp was too weak to handle the computations needed to effectively perform the Ackerman steering calculations required. In one match it worked perfectly and we won; otherwise KC was a disappointment. KC’s design was complex and some engineering mistakes were made. We learned to keep things simple, the hard way. This was the one and only year we hosted Rally in the Valley, our post-season competition. We hope to host another post-season competition in the future.
2002 – Feynman
One of the greatest scientific minds of the past century, Richard Feynman made a big impact in the field of Physics. He also had a knack for solving problems through dumb luck. We wouldn’t try to claim this robot was dumb luck, but it did perform amazingly well! Imagine a popcorn popper blown up to gigantic proportions with wheels strapped on the bottom, that was Feynman playing Zone Zeal! He could collect a line of 20 soccer balls, using his then-unique system of rollers and timing belts, before the announcer finished declaring the match started. His organically shaped hopper on top could disgorge all of the balls in a few seconds, so scoring was a snap when he was locked onto the goal. We took our first foray into the use of pneumatics with fantastic results. With Feynman’s pneumatic-powered, stair-tread coated brake down, only the strongest bots could move us. Our bot worked like clockwork, everyone had fun building it, and most importantly, everyone loved to see it operate!
2001 – Tesla
Perhaps you’ve heard of a Tesla Coil, used for generating high voltages. It’s inventor is where we got the name for this robot. The name fit quite well when you consider the power of this robot. Tesla could haul both goals full of balls with ease and had boosted traction due to the fact that it transferred a lot of the weight of the goals to its own drive wheels. He was the first robot we built that could play the entire Diabolical Dynamics game alone. It was also the first FRC game with no opponent on the field, four robots worked entirely cooperatively to score as high as possible. We made the nearly fatal mistake of considering our allies incompetent and trying to do everything ourselves. This led to a very heavy and unreliable robot. The old saying is true: jack of all trades, master of none. This robot was so heavy it didn’t pass the weight limit at the nationals until someone kicked the scale… then it read a solid 130. Even so, we must have done something right because we seeded in the top 8 at the Mid-Atlantic regional and our alliance took home the regional championship. We learned an important lesson of simplicity and specialization from this robot, and also learned that it pays to stick to FIRST’s ideals.
2000 – Grace Hopper
Grace Hopper, a computer programmer famous for coining the term Computer Bug, among other things, was the inspiration behind the name of this robot. Grace was intented to do one thing and do it well: score in Co-Opertition. We could score balls more than twice as fast as most of the other robots. She could hold 6 balls at a time and score them all within a few seconds. A brake was used so that no one could push her around while she was scoring. Grace is where our grasshopper logo first started, her profile and name resembled grasshopper. Grace was so memorable that the following year, when our logo changed, our team was no longer recognized! Since then we have officially adopted the grasshopper as our team name and logo.
1999 – Mac
Mac was named for a Lebanon High School teacher who passed away. He was designed to play Double Trouble, which was the first FRC game to include alliances: 2 robots vs 2 robots. Mac’s drivetrain was holonomic, with three omni-directional wheels with gyroscope feedback to maintain a constant orientation while driving. Mac had a pneumatic spring, a “momentum transfer device” used to push the game’s puck around the field. He also was able to grapple a pole in the center of the puck and tip it, occasionally throwing off competitors robots. This particular move won several “Play of the Day” awards.
1998 – Archimedes
Named for the Greek mathematician, Archimedes competed in Ladder Logic. His drive-train was a wheeled tank-style power train system with a dropped-center pair of drive wheels to promote smooth turning. In Ladder Logic Archimedes was able to score from both the top and bottom of the goals with a unique belt-driven manipulator. He was also able to de-score opponents balls from underneath. This was critical because most opponents could only guard from the top.
1997 – Isaac
Isaac, named for Isaac Asimov the science fiction author, was built for the Toroid Terror FRC game. He featured an arm with two degrees of freedom with a specialized gripper. Isaac was, to the best of our knowledge, the first FRC robot to self-right after being tipped over.