FTC Team Arrowhead – Build Blog AML Meet I Reflection

Recap of 2019 Austin Metro League – Hearts Meet 1

This past weekend Team Arrowhead competed in their first Robotics Meet at St. Dominic Savio Catholic High School.

Difficulties Before Competition

Going into the competition, the members were experiencing some difficulties, one of which being the robot not being able to move as the phone were not connecting to each other. However, this minor problem was solved by exchanging the battery for a fully charged battery.


Three of the members along with the student mentor, Sohan A., went into the inspections with concerns about their vacuum concept being rejected as it could potentially be checked off as a ‘closed gas device’ which would be considered an illegal robot part (according to FTC manual part 1, Section 7.3.1). It was the only concern, but the members were ensured that their input would not be rejected as other teams had previously used vacuums before.

However, the vacuum motor was rejected.This is because the motor was a Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) mechanical part, and if any part of the robot is a COT, it is only allowed to have one degree of freedom (according to FTC manual part 1, Section 7.3.2). While the motor only had one degree of freedom, the team members had papers that came with the motor to prove that the motor was in fact legal. The members had failed inspection, and had to go in a second time with the motor off of the robot.


After the motor was removed and the robot had passed inspection, the members were anxious as the motor was the only prominent feature that could earn them points; the members did not have any other way to pick up a Sykstone without pushing the scoring element. This was a pushback for the team, but they were able to attach two aluminum plates which would act as funnels to keep the Skystone in place as the robot pushed it.


The assigned drivers for this meet were Rishi B., Anay M., and Aadet S. since they were the primary drivers when testing the robot. The assigned human player was Priyanka C. and Jessica T. for the final round as they both wanted to gain some experience firsthand and were willing to be the human players.


Unfortunately, losing the vacuum proved to be a very big disadvantage as we automatically became a pushbot. A pushbot is a robot which only has the ability to push a Skystone rather than being able to lift the Skystone up.  As a result of becoming a pushbot, team Arrowhead lost all qualifying rounds 0-5-0 (W-L-T).

Team Arrowhead (17264) was paired with 

  • Qualifying Round 2:   11918 – Grizzly Bots
  • Qualifying Round 5:   16741 – Team Wildcats 
  • Qualifying Round 8:    6710 – Sigmas 
  • Qualifying Round 13:  16556 – KAC Girls Team 1
  • Qualifying Round 16:   8541 – Blue Chargerbots 

Roster along with the final scores:

Team Arrowhead with Team 16556 – KAC Girls Team 1 discussing their robots’ abilities and scouting
Left to Right: Anay M., Josh Eversmann, Aadet S. getting ready with allies Team Sigma