NAME: Wedge
    YEAR: 2016
    TAGLINE:"And... Cut!"

  • Ranking and Awards:

    2014 Southern California Regional:

    Ranked 10th

  • Drivetrain:

    Primary: 12 inch Center Drive (702 Drive) on 4 CIM motors
    Secondary: Slightly elevated 4 wheel drive on 4 more CIM Motors. 8 inch notched front wheels, 8 inch pneumatic tire rear wheels.
    1x1 inch extruded aluminum frame with custom brackets
  • Mechanism:

    2 CIM dual flywheel ball shooter
  • Software and Control

    Language: Java
    Driver interface: dual XBOX360 Controllers
    Sensors: NAVX sensor bundle
  • Autonomous function:

    Pretend it was running autonomously with a driver secretly operating it
    Reliability: 100% did what the director told it to do


  • Field:

    a 27 ft. by 54 ft. field. Each alliance commands one tower, five defenses, and a "secret passage" which allows their robots to restock on ammunition, called boulders. One defense in each alliance's set of five, the low bar, is a permanent part of the field. Three defenses are selected strategically by the alliance prior to the start of their match. The final defense changes periodically by audience selection.

    The Game:

    Each take required the robot to perform some task according to the script. This taks may be modified according to the needs of the shot and done again.

    Primary Scoring:

    Successfully performing the scripted task earned each team the chance to not have to do it again.

    Bonus Endgame:

    If a shot did not involve a specific team and their pit was not in the shot, a team could sleep in the pit until needed again


    penalties were awarded when the ref was scripted to see them. Unfortunately the ref was not scripted to see any penalties and in fact was instructed to be totally blind to the blatant violation of the pinning rule so this was not an issue.
  • Watch the Game Animation here.

  • (If this doesn't make any sense to you, click the link above and watch "The Fosters" 4th season epidsode 8 "Girl Code")

Coach's Notes

    You heard about the season that wouldn't die. Sounds like a bad horror movie from the 50s. And everyone knows that all truly bad horror movies get a sequel one year later... "The Season that Came Back to Life!" Well the season that woudln't die was last year so we lived that sequel this year...

    Most stories start at the beginning, but not this one. This starts at the end... the end of the 2016 build season. And no, Doc Brown is not here to take us to the future, but we are being sent to someplace we never expected to go. (And still no flying cars!) So there we were, back from spring break. Ventura was very successful after a terrible outing in LA and as we did not qualify for championships, robotics season was officially over. The team was relaxed and coming up with some post season projects. Since the "Starfighter" robot was essentially falling apart anyway and its practice frame was half stripped for spare parts, we decided to just finish the job and strip them down to bare frames. We would leave the 702 drive on one and install a mechanum drive on the other giving us 2 drive trains we could experiment with. We also decided to change their names. "Starfighter" came from the 2 aluminum pieces sticking out the front to hold up the portcullis. After seeing the real thing, they were uneccesary and got removed so the name didn't exactly fit anymore. And on seeing these 2 semi identical frames looking like they've been through a war I decided to name them for 2 starfighter pilots, "Biggs" and "Wedge".

    (I trust that anyone who is reading this does not need me to explain the names... Seriously??!! Have you been living under a rock? Ok apologies to 99% of the rest of you that know this but that guy over there "apparently" has never seen them... Biggs and Wedge were Luke Skywalker's wingmen when he blew up the Death Star... yeah Star Wars... Episode IV... THE ORIGINAL ONE... ugh! How can you be involved in Robotics... found us on google, huh?... and then go rent a copy of 1977 "Star Wars"... try Amazon!... come back after you've done that!)

    So after we had just finished stripping them down we get a call from new mentor Eileen. She told us about a tv show on the Freeform network called "The Fosters". Several of the team had heard of it and were already watching the show. What happend though is the writers wanted to do a story arc about their characters, a bunch of high school kids, entering a FIRST robotics competition. The studio wanted to recreate a competition on screen and needed not only a bunch of extras, but a bunch of robots. And here we were with a couple bare frames... Build season 2.0 has begun!

    Now this was easier than regular build season. For one we already knew how to play the game and had a design. We also knew what didn't work on our robot and what needed to be fixed. There was also the added advantage that the only "inspectors" at this competition were actors so it didn't matter if the robot was legal as long as it looked good. So first thing we did was dump the chain. We replaced it with more motors exceeding the limit... wait, what limit... and expamded the frame to make room for the new motors putting us outside the frame perimeter... no one to tell us we can't. We also got rid of the lifting arm since it is all staged we could request to avoid the moving obsticles. That made room for a new electronics board keeping everything together this time. Took us a little over a month, almost the lenght of build season, to rebuild and test the newly rechristened "Wedge".

    Now here is where we diverge from the normal build season and into the world of TV. Our episode was to be episode 8, "The Girl Code" and was set to start filming the Wednesday after school got out. But this was a story arc. For those of you who don't know what this means, it is a story spanning several episodes. This meant they were shooting robot story segments all along during build season and needed robot props. So although we had a deadline, we also had a bunch of small side projects as Team 702 became a temporary robot prop department. We sent pieces and parts that were partially assembled to make it look like they were slowly building the robot. (Cameo watch: the frame Jesus keeps messing up the drilling on is actually a piece from 2012 robot F^3) And then they heard about omni drive robots and wrote in a segment featuring them testing one and proving it wasn't good for the game. Oh, and did I mention they wanted to film the scene 3 days later?


    WAIT!!!! We are a FIRST Robotics team, panic is for "Normal" people! We can do this! Bring on the practice frame "Bigs". It was stripped but we always intended to do this anyway. So we dug out the 4 nano transmissions and the old mechanum wheels from '12 and slapped them on the stripped practice frame along with a basic driving electronics board. Take that "Robot in 3 Days" site!

    Filming day arrived, the studio had already picked up our robot 3 days before. Also, since they could not recruit quite enough teams they asked for a couple more robots to act as background props and possibly another fictional team. We sent the 08-13 demo robot without the frizbee shooter and a giant non-functioning hook for the set dressing. (Did I mention we didn't have to pass inspection? Good thing because the robot was way too big and running on old electronics.) (Cameo Watch: Its the robot coming out of the weight station when the stars came to get their robot weighed) We also replaced Biggs' mechanums with normal wheels and rebuilt the top to look like a box and not a clone of Wedge to create the "Lab Brats" Team 8752 Rookie robot. As for the ""Hero" robot, as in the one that the stars team was "driving", that was played by our Ventura semi-final alliance partner "The Metalcrafters" robot. It had been relabeled as the "Anchor Bytes" team 3702. (Sounds familiar, doesn't it)

    This was the least stressful competition ever. Mostly because we got multiple tries to get it right and we already knew we were going to lose (It was in the script). Other than some quick bumper changes to make sure the right color and number was on both robots (We only had one set of each color so Biggs and Wedge had to share). We all had a lot of fun and got paid for our hard work. (That's right, we didn't pay to enter, they paid us to enter.) And it was fun to watch what we do every year become a TV show. And if anyone from the studio reads this, on behalf of team 702, thank you for the oportunity! You did an excellent job! Oh and a big thank you to mentor Eileen, who managed to coordinate 100 roboltics team members from many different teams AND still be able to consult for the show to make sure they did everything accurately. We are lucky to be able to call her a member of team 702!