FTC Robot: Wall-y




About: I am a nerd. I enjoy building robots, programming, and 3D printing/designing. I am on a FIRST Tech Challenge team, team 4433 Smokin' Motors from Pennsylvania. We won 4 out of 7 competitions within the pas...

    My school has a robotics club.  That club is a team who builds to compete in FTC competitions.  FTC stands for FIRST Tech Challenge.  FIRST is an organization helping to teach the workforce of tomorrow about robotics.

    There are 4 different levels of robotics competitions that FIRST offers.  Jr. FLL, FLL, FTC, and FRC.  FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) is the biggest and baddest types of robots that can be built as a high scholar.  They can get up to 60,000 dollars per robot!  FLL (FIRST LEGO League) was created for middle scholars, teaching them the basics of robotics using the Mindstorm NXT LEGO set.  Jr. FLL is the Junior FIRST LEGO League.  That is for smaller children, teaching them using the Mindstorm NXT LEGO set as well.  And Finally, there is the FTC.

    The FTC is a group designed for high scholars, and uses the TETRIX kit along with LEGO Mindstorm NXT.  They are given a set of parameters in September, and they have to build a robot to fit the criteria for competitions in the coming year.  This year, (2011-2012) was called "Bowled Over!" and incorporated plastic crates and raquet balls and bowling balls and ramps.  All of these elements are used to gain as many points as possible in the 2 minutes and 30 seconds of game time allotted.

    Most teams decided to create scissor lifts to life crates up as high as possible.  The higher the crate, the more the points.  Some lifts could reach up to 9 feet! That was over 200 points per crate.  An important element that is on the field that MY team's robot used was the bowling ball.  Our robot captures the bowling ball inside of itself.  Then, during endgame it drives up the ramp and gains us those extra points.

    Our team has a lot of fun.  During meetings we would build, joke, play, and just have fun.  During one of our meetings, we decided to name our robot "Wall-e" but since that name was trademarked, we named it "Wall-y".

    Some of the images were designed using a CAD tool.  That CAD tool is Creo-Pro Engineering.

    There is just too much information about FTC to put into one instructable.  So for more information, please visit www.usFIRST.org or www.CWRobotics.org.  www.usFIRST.org is the center for all 4 FIRST competitions.  www.CWRobotics.org is the web page of my team, team 4433 Smokin' Motors.

    For an introductional video, please watch the YouTube video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FmfobxGy4gk#t=0s

    Thank you for being interested in robotics!

    Any furthur questions, please ask in the form of a comment.  I will try to answer them as soon as possible

    A special thanks to www.usFIRST.org and www.CWRobotics.org for any and all information and content that was used.

    Image 1 is a  3D CAD drawing of Wall-y.  So is image 2.  Image 3 is a picture of the chassis of Wall-y, in it's early stages.  Image 4 is a picture of 2 team members working on a separate robot with a mentor aiding them.  Image 5 is the team right after finishing the practice field.  Image 6 is a picture of another team, the "Lan Lords" using our practice field to test their robot.  Image 7 is a picture of 2 team members with a scissor lift scissor, right after completion.  Image 7 is Wall-y in test mode, wreaking havoc on the practice field.  And finally, there is a PDF with a one-page summary of the competiton.


    I am entering this Instructable in the Age 13 to 18 category of the Robot Challenge. I am 14.



    • Tape Contest

      Tape Contest
    • Trash to Treasure

      Trash to Treasure
    • Arduino Contest 2019

      Arduino Contest 2019

    7 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Hello there! My own robotics team is building a bot for this year's FTC, and we need a stable and dependable scissor lift.
    I was wondering if you could fill me in on yours. Did it have problems, how was it built, and whatever technical details you can provide would be appreciated.

    3 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I can tell you right now that a scissor lift for Ring It Up is not going to work. The center of gravity will be way off and both robots will tip over and possibly break. I would suggest making a ramp for the other robot to drive up. There is a cap of 2 feet for lifting the other robot..

    But the scissor lift was made with the flat bars pinned to each other at the centers, making "x"'s then are pinned at the ends. It was powered with surgical tubing and was held down with a clamp attached to a motor. The scissor lift was definitely not powerful enough to life another robot, trust me. We had some issues getting it to lift the crates.

    I hoped this helped... What regional competitions are you going to?


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I guess I should've specified this: We're not planning on using a scissor lift to lift up a robot. We're planning on (possibly) using it to get the rings ont he pegs, since lifting a robot isn't our design priority.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Okay, That makes sense. The scissor lift was not reliable and was one-shot per round. Some teams used a vertical drive screw and attached the bolt on the screw to the first end-point of the scissors.