FIRST Tech Challenge

Team 92

Junior Bomb Squad


Team Info


FIRST ® Velocity Vortex SM


Project Abstract

This year the Junior Bomb Squad is competing in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) game called FIRST® Velocity Vortex. 

The 2016-2017 game, FIRST® Velocity Vortex, is played on a 12 foot by 12 foot playing field where two Alliances – one “Red” and one “Blue,” composed of two Teams each – compete in each Match. The object of the game is to attain a higher Score than the opposing Alliance by scoring Particles into the Corner Vortex and the Center Vortex, lifting Cap Balls, Capping the Center Vortex with a Cap Ball, Claiming Beacons, and navigating to specific parts of the Playing Field. The Scoring Elements for the game are 10 Alliance-specific Particles (5 per Alliance) and 2 Alliance-specific Cap Balls (1 per Alliance). The game is played in two distinct periods: Autonomous and Driver-Controlled...(Read More)



2016/2017 Team Members




We started the season working on understanding the rules. We came up with our strategy and decided that the beacon pressing in autonomous is the most important thing to do. This gets us the two extra particles and 60 points. We then started brainstorming and prototyping different kicker designs. We built a single wheel shooter with not much success and a kicker, which we found more feasible. We also brainstormed particle pick-up mechanisms.




During October we designed and built the kicker and decided on an arm type grabber to pick up particles. This allows us to pick and choose which particles we want to grab. The final kicker design settled on a cam driven bar powered by surgical tubing. Making a cam sounded simple as a brainstorming idea, it’s just a simple spiral…right? When we got started CADing it that all changed. We had to learn a lot of math that we have never seen before (try understanding the polar coordinate system). Our mentor helped us through it and we really learned a lot.



Wow, what a busy month! Every meeting is getting more desperate. We have managed to have 5 all day meetings on Saturdays and Thanksgiving break and by all day, I mean 12 to 14 hours. All day meetings are great, we get sooo much more done. Everything is all working now. We can pick up and shoot the particles in the center vortex, lift the big ball and cap the center vortex, and have autonomous routines that are almost flawless at claiming the beacons and getting us the two extra particles.




It is the Thursday before the tournament. We have an arm to pick up the particles, and a kicker to hit them into the air. Today we are working on the finishing touches. We have to make sure the robot is competition ready and ready to do our best. We are trying to settle on who is going to drive and operate. We’ve been tweaking the autonomous routines, but we have got it to hit both beacons 80% of the time. I feel we are ready and will do great Saturday.

 For any questions about the Junior Bomb Squad or suggestions, please email
This was last updated: 11/27/17.