FIRST Robotics Competition runs annual high school robotics competitions, with the goal of inspiring students to pursue STEM. Around thirty-five fields are built, shipped domestically and internationally, and assembled and disassembled by volunteers for every single event. As one of two mechanical engineers in a multidisplinary team, I designed various elements of the 2017 field including the central part of the “airship”, the external frame of the boiler, the ball hoppers, and an automatic ball return.
I helped with the initial concept art for the visual design of the airship and created all the final artwork. The artwork was created in Photoshop and printed on vinyl.
For all the parts I designed, I started by creating concept art and rough sketches, then went on to rough prototypes to CAD models before creating the final designs. The Da Vinci Rotor spins from a motorized chain and sprocket system inside the steamtank.
The ball return uses a motorized belt system to lift the balls high enough to be deposited into a storage container.
At the beginning of the match, balls are stored in the hoppers. When a robot runs into the push-bar, the balls spill out of the hopper.