NAME: Phoenix
    AKA: The Claw, Pinchy
    YEAR: 2011
    TAGLINE:"Beware the Claw, It's Feeling Pinchy"

  • Ranking and Awards:

    San Diego Regional:

    39 out of 60

    Los Angeles Regional:

    18 out of 66
    Chosen for the quarter finals, eliminated in 3 matches.
  • Drivetrain:

    Direct Drive
    Center Powered "702" drive
    Andymark Kit C-Channel Frame
    2 12 inch pneumatic Drive wheels, 4 6 inch solid rubber tire support wheels
    2 CIM motors per drive wheel
  • Mechanism:

    Chain Drive
    PVC 3 joint Articulated Arm and claw
  • Software and Control

    Language: Ni LabView
    Driver interface: dual Logitech Game Controllers
    Tank Drive Controls
  • Autonomous function:



  • Field:

    18 prong scoring grid on each side of the field. 4 Minibot Racing poles arranged near the human player stations.

    Primary Scoring:

    A sort of Tic-Tac-Toe game in which the FIRST logo of triangle, circle, square made of inflatable pool tubes are lined up on each row of the rack. The top rack is worth 3 each, middle 2, bottom 1. Making a logo on a row doubles that row score.

    Bonus Endgame:

    Deploy a minibot onto a pole in the last 10 seconds of the match. First one up receives 30 points, second 20, 3rd 15, 4th 10.

    Autonomous Scoring

    Hanging an ubertube (yellow circle) on any peg will double the value of a logo tube hung there later. The ubertube has no point value of its own, it is only a modifier.


    (3 points removed from score for each penalty)Robot Contact of tower above the deployment line or opposing alliance tower. Interfering with minibot deployment while robot is in contact with tower. Entry into opposing alliance zone or lane. Pinning another robot (10 Penalties).
  • Watch the Game Animation here.

Coach's Notes

    This robot had many speedbumps on its way to competition. In San Diego, the new and supposedly more powerful motors we installed at competition (because the one and only motor manufacturer allowed by the rules had a 4 week delay on delivery and build season is only 6 weeks) ripped themselves apart from the inside. This left us with a half working arm running on backup motors that could only reach the lowest set of scoring pegs.

    In Los Angeles using the smaller, more reliable motors and a huge sprocket and chain gear ratio, we got a fully functional arm that could reach the top set of scoring pegs easily. However we encountered another problem. I quote the game announcer in saying that our robot got "the white smoke of death followed by the orange flame of even more death." In that match, the officials had to stop everything and put our robot out with the fire extinguisher. As far as everyone at the competition was concerned, we were out of the running. Everyone except our team. In a show of teamwork that I have not seen matched in any other year, the members of team 702 pulled together and rebuilt the electronics and arm mechanics subsystems of the robot. There was never any panic nor was there any thought of giving up. To them, it was just one more problem to solve, and the solved it in record time. 2 hours after and missing only 1 match, the phoenix rose again with a new name and won its next 3 matches in a row. That never say die atitude is what made 2011 one of the best years in team history.

    This is the last year we used what we call "702 drive." Designed by our Drive train mentor, Alfredo, it has 2 large center wheels with air filled tires driven by 2 motors each. This drive train gives the robot an extreme amount of speed and agility, able to spin in place, zip accross the field, and dodge pretty much anything in its way. The Arm is adapted from a design by our Mechanics mentor, Ray, who used to use it on his robots back when he was a FIRST team student member in Florida.

    I found this game to be very disappointing. The minibot race, built according to FTC guidelines and in some cases by FTC teams, was given such a high scoring value that it made the actual FRC game almost pointless to do. I felt that it made our competition just an advertisement for FTC and made all the hard working FRC team members feel left out in favor of an FTC competition at the end. I compare it to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series game Quidditch. The Minibots were like the golden snitch. You catch it and almost always win. If you win the minibot race, you almost always win regardless of the tubes scored.