Robot From Castrol Can Kick Soccer Balls at 200 km/hr

This is for all FIRST robotics teams looking for ideas to design a kicker for this year’s competition:  Don’t try this one!  It probably won’t pass inspection.  Castrol has built (or in this case, over-built) a  robot to break the record set by a soccer legend.  Not only does it break the record, but it would probably break bones.  The human record by Cristiano Ronaldo is 130 km/hr.  Castrol’s robot blasts the ball at over 200 km/hr.  Watch the video at Engadget and Marca (Spanish) to see the pieces fly when the plywood players get in the way.  You can also read the story at that link or at the link below.

Castrol builds freakishly large robot to kick a soccer ball, break legs of silhouette defenders

Credit:  Engadget and Marca

Soccer players are generally such crybabies that we can understand why you'd want to replace them with robots, and sometimes that's done with great success. We don't think we'll be seeing this latest player on the pitch anytime soon, though. It's something of an exhibition robot, a creation sponsored by Castrol to beat the legendary leg of Cristiano Ronaldo, who can kick the ball at 130km/h.

Continue reading Castrol builds freakishly large robot to kick a soccer ball, break legs of silhouette defenders

Castrol builds freakishly large robot to kick a soccer ball, break legs of silhouette defenders originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 26 Jan 2010 10:46:00 EST.

Castrol builds freakishly large robot to kick a soccer ball, break legs of silhouette defenders
Tim Stevens
Tue, 26 Jan 2010 15:46:00 GMT

Boeing Awards Grant to San Antonio FIRST Robotics Team

This article came across my news feed for robotics, and since it is about a local San Antonio, Texas school and a rookie FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics team, I thought I would post it here. Boeing has become a major supporter of FIRST robotics teams here in San Antonio.  In fact, they are supporting three FIRST robotics programs in the city this year.  The other Boeing teams are at John Jay High School and Edison High School. 

The local FIRST Robotics kickoff occurred here this past Saturday, January 9, 2010, at Memorial High School in San Antonio.  St. Anthony was one of 22 teams at the event and is a part of a growing contingent of teams in San Antonio.  With the addition of St. Anthony, there are now eight active FRC teams in the city.  Other SA teams not already mentioned are located in the Edgewood School District, and also at the STEM Academy at Robert E. Lee HS, Brackenridge HS, Sam Houston High School, and Milton B. Lee High School.

Around the world, there are 58 local kickoff events held. The San Antonio event is just one of those that mark the official start of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) for about 1800 teams worldwide.  For more information on teams and the kickoff, see the information on kickoff events.

"St. Anthony Catholic High School has announced that its Technology, Robotics and Engineering Sciences Club (TRES Club) was recently awarded a $6,500 Founder's Grant from the Boeing Co. to participate in a regional robotics competition to be held April 1-3 in Houston."  For more information click on the link below.


Robotics Competition Taps Into Cirque du Soleil and Hollywood

FIRST Robotics announced in a press release that the Technical Director of Cirque du Soleil and a noted Hollywood film and TV producer have been added to the game design committee for this year’s FIRST Robotics Competition.  This is keeping with their goal of producing “the most spectacular robotics competition in the world.”  Read about the details in the press release at the links below.

Business Wire (press release)

Noted Cirque du Soleil Technical Director and Hollywood Film and TV Producer
Business Wire (press release)
They are welcome additions to Game Design as we work to develop the most spectacular robotics competition in the world.” Calum Pearson is the Senior
and more »

Noted Cirque du Soleil Technical Director and Hollywood Film and TV Producer … – Business Wire (press release)
(author unknown)
Wed, 07 Oct 2009 14:09:29 GMT

Robotics Teams Featured on PBS Special

This public television special showed in our area last week, but it is scheduled to show at various times at other locations throughout the United States during the month of September.  You can see the promo at You Tube by clicking on the image below.  If you get a chance, watch the entire program.  It is well worth it to see how students do the seemingly impossible task they are given during a FIRST competition.  The following excerpt from the Gearing Up website says it all:

“Gearing Up, a one-hour documentary produced by KETC St. Louis and STORY HOUSE PRODUCTIONS chronicles behind-the-scenes drama and excitement leading up to the 2008 FIRST Robotics National Competition.Teams receive identical robot kits with no instructions and have just six weeks to build a robot capable of performing specific tasks. We follow four teams in their regional competitions: Miss Daisy, a seasoned team from Ambler, Pennsylvania; RoboDoves, a small, all-girl rookie team from Baltimore, Maryland; Rambotics, a team of teenaged felons incarcerated at the Ridge View Academy correctional facility for boys in Watkins, Colorado; and Ratchet Rockers, a group of suburban kids from Wentzville, Missouri.”

Gearing up 2


Six weeks. Identical kits. No instructions. All assembly required.

Will they succeed? Will they fail? Gearing Up details the triumphs and disasters high school students encounter while sharing ideas and solving technical challenges.

FIRST DAY- FRC New Control System vs FRC Old Control System

For the next few weeks I'm going to be doing a comparison of two robotic control systems used for robotic competitions in US FIRST(For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). The first control system I would like to introduce you to is the old FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) control system.

You could find this control system through the link below:

The Old Robotic System

The next one I would like to show you is the new FRC control system which is called the C Rio(Compact Rio). This is going to be the future of the US FIRST Robotics.

Here is the layout for the C Rio:

The New Robotic System

Next week I will start to compare the two system and at the end I will let you decide which you prefer.

Editors: Jakenan, Mike Henry

FIRST Report: Drivetrain Concept Explored on Chief Delphi


In the latest feed from Chief Delphi, this post caught my eye. Thought this would be a good entry for the weekly RobotNext FIRST Report.  At RobotNext, we are using Tuesdays as our weekly update for FIRST robotics.  Watch here for information that might be useful to your FIRST Robotics Challenge team. 

So, in this entry, there is a design for a very interesting drivetrain concept.  To quote from the post: 

"Lately several members of the team have been discussing the possibility of doing a wooden drive platform with a live axle system. This is one rendition of the concept that I came up with."

Click on small photo above for a link to the original post on Chief Delphi if you want to see the original and larger version of the design.

This drivetrain is built around the idea of being simple.  Using only basic tools and commonly available materials to construct it, the platform is lightweight and uncomplicated.

"For this particular version I was trying to cut manufacturing down to a minimum. Ideally it could be built with a drill press and a bandsaw (or even a hand drill and a hacksaw), but there are some details that still need to be worked out."

Check out the original post below on the Chief Delphi site:

pic: Drivetrain Concept
Mon, 27 Oct 2008 05:21:17 GMT

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FIRST REPORT: Jaguar vs. Victor 884

Jaguar vs Victor

This year, FIRST Robotics is introducing a new control system for its FRC competition.  Part of that new control system is a new speed controller.  However the old speed controller can still be used on the robots.  So that leads to the question:  Which would you prefer–the new and improved jaguar speed controller or a product that has been proven to work really well in past competitions?


Click on the photo to follow the link to the Chief Delphi entry by Anthony Lapp and the comments in the thread.


Whatever else you think about these two speed controllers, you have to be impressed by the size of the Jaguar compared to the Victor.  For the other significant stats on these two devices see below and follow the links for even more information.


Jaguar (shown on right):

Quiet control of brushed DC motors
– 20 kHz PWM frequency
Speed control
– Industry standard R-C Servo type (PWM) interface
Status LED indicates run, direction, and fault conditions
Limit switch inputs for forward and reverse directions
Integrated over-current protection
Screw terminals for all power wiring
Headers (0.1 inch pitch) for all control signals


Victors 884 (shown on right):

Standard R/C Type PWM

6v to 15v

Power one motor with variable speed forward,reverse, or off


My view is go with your gut and chose the one that will work best for you.  What do you think?


**This post submitted by Rudy Pena, but posted by Mike Henry due to some technical problems.