Robotics 2013 On January 5, the First Organization unleashed the 2013 First Robotics Challenge, Ultimate Ascent. In this challenge, teams have to throw frisbees into goals, and climb a tower at the end of the match to score points. When Robo-Rams, our school’s team, heard of the challenge, we thought about how to launch the frisbees, and how to climb the tower. One of the challenges was what style to make the launcher, and how to place it so we could include a place to pick up the frisbees from the ground. We had originally thought about making a round launcher, but after seeing Robot in Three Days, a group of engineers that made a Robot that could play the game in just 72 hours after release, we decided to go with a linear launcher. We went with the straight launcher for a few reasons. First: WE don’t have a metal workshop so making a smooth circular design with metal was not practical. Second: A straight launcher allows us to bring the frisbees further back. Third: Linear Launchers can accelerate frisbees faster than circular. We also had to sort through our lists of parts we got in the parts pack that comes with team registration, as well as trying to come up with a design for the robot that worked. We eventually decided on a sort of X shape for the robot, with the belt bring frisbees up fro the ground next to the shooter, and the shooter going up the opposite way. The truly tough challenge this year is climbing the tower. Robot in Three Days decided to only go for the 10 point climb, and our team was considering the 20 point, but the 10 point as a fallback. We decided the 30 point was too difficult, because we’d have to balance on the 20 point only before hoisting ourselves up to the 30 point. Overall, this year the Willow Glen Robo-Rams is shaping up nicely, and we have already decided on our design and how we are going to score points. The first week is down, now 5 to go before the build season ends.