Week 3

The shooter team testing a prototype shooter. via @haydenrobotics on Twitter


During the last week the intake team has put in a lot of work testing out different shooter designs with different speeds.The shooter subteam is testing with compression between the ball and the hood and also testing different types of wheels.

We are working toward having very good consistency with our shooter from different distances and angles. We are also hoping to add another motor to our shooter for more power in our shots. Furthermore, we are hoping our shooter has the ability to shoot for both the inner and outer port while displaying efficiency. 


The Intake subteam has taken steps to create a working and more rigid prototype design to be mounted to last year’s bot. We have been doing measurements in an attempt to figure out the most ideal orientation of our design. As of right now, we are looking at what motor to use for our intake so that we will have the right amount of speed and torque for the intake. 

One definite goal of ours moving forward would be to have the working prototype mounted correctly on last year’s bot so that we may be able to see how the intake performs while in motion.

Drive Base

The drive base team has finalized plans and started construction. We assembled our falcon 500 gearboxes and began machining our drive rails and drive shafts. Moving forward we move to finish construction. This includes finishing machining of aluminum tubing, mounting the drive chains in our drive rails and attaching our wheels. 


During the last week, we built a prototype using belts and pulleys to prove the success of our ideas. We were testing if it’s possible for our current design to funnel power cells through a tunnel while fitting among the shooter and the intake. Moving forward in the upcoming weeks, we hope we can start construction. 


So far, the climbing team has been able to further finalize design specifications. We have calculated the required gearing ratios and have created a materials list for the Climber’s construction. 

Before we can begin construction of the climbing mechanism, we first must assist in the index, shooter, and intake mechanisms in order to get finalized dimensions and designs. This will allow us to construct a climbing mechanism that will not interfere with the other ongoing parts of the robot.

Control Panel

We completed designing and manufacturing a prototype control panel spinner arm, completed a functioning control panel model (thanks Bud and Matteo!), moved on to the testing phase to spin the wheel, i.e. testing torque., and took over the indexing mechanism build, designed and manufactured indexing mechanism prototype.

Moving forward, we’d like to finalize the spinner arm design, with cooperation (measurements) of the drive base team and test the 10:1 gearbox ratio added to the spinner arm.

Week 2 Update

Week 2 has come to a close.  Unfortunately the school board decided to cancel our Saturday build day due to the inclement weather so we only had 2 short build days this week.  The team definitely made the most of them. Students were busy constructing and testing prototypes, specifically for the intake and indexer. This year our team has been using the ‘protopipe’ system that team 3847 designed for rapid prototyping.  It allows for the use of ½” PVC pipe rather than wood or aluminum. It definitely saves time and resources. Special shout out to 3847 as well as the Burlington Public Library Alton branch for their 3D printer!

Here is an example of it in use:


The intake team was hard at work using the protopipe to mock up an intake.  Their goal was to center the ball prior to it entering the robot. They tried a couple different types of intake wheels that use angled rollers to move an object sideways.  They also needed to try different speeds, compression on the ball, and distance between the wheels and the robot bumper. After many iterations, they found success! They did note however, that if a ball was coming from each side of the intake, there would be a jam in the middle.  They also weren’t sure if it would be possible to move a ball laterally while driving the robot forward. Next they are going to try to find a way to bring multiple balls into the robot at once over the bumper as quickly as possible while driving forward.


We have decided to use the same style of chassis that we built last year.  However, we have decided to go with off the shelf gearboxes to accompany our new Falcon 500 motors.   With so many other moving pieces to this robot (no pun intended) we thought designing and fabricating gearboxes for these new untested motors was too risky.  Next we have to determine the dimensions of the drivebase.


The shooter team sketched up and cut side plates on the CNC for the shooter prototype.  They also fabricated some ½” hex hubs out of Delrin for the main shooter flywheels. They were planning on shooting power cells on Saturday but will have to wait until our next build day on Wednesday.  There are a lot of variables to consider when shooting these balls which include: Compression of ball, RPM of flywheel, hood material, and hood angle just to name a few. We’ll post some pictures and videos next week.


We are creating a small indexing prototype to see how the ball reacts to getting moved by timing belts.  We are hoping to use this method to elevate the ball up to the shooter. During week 3, we plan on prototyping a mechanism which will serialize the balls from 5 balls to one at a time so that they can enter the mechanism previously mentioned.  Photos and videos to follow.


The climbing team has been busy running calculations, sizing motors and gearing them properly in order to lift the robot off the ground quickly.  They also have to consider how the robot will not fall back down when power is removed (game requirement). The packaging of the climbing mechanism on the robot will likely have to wait until some of these other subsystems have been somewhat finalized.

Control Panel

The team in charge of spinning the control panel has been busy building the control panel itself as well as determining which motor and wheel they should use to spin it (to win it)!

Next week’s goals are to test another intake and mount it to last year’s robot so that we can start driver trials, have a working and dialled in shooter, choose an indexing and serializing method, and begin building our drive base.

Infinite Recharge 2020

Welcome to Infinite Recharge.  A Star Wars themed game in which teams must charge their shield generator to protect Earth from the incoming asteroids.  Teams must work together to collect and launch 7” diameter elephant skin balls called power cells (PC) into an upper and lower portal.  A PC in the upper portal is worth 2 points while a PC in the lower portal is worth one point. There is an inner portal within the upper portal.  PCs scored in this portal are worth 3 points. The game consists of 3 phases. In order to advance past the first phase, teams must score 9 PCs into any of the 3 portals.  In order to advance past the second phase, teams must score 20 PCs into the portals and then spin the control panel (picture the Wheel of Fortune) 3-5 times. In order to complete the third phase, teams must score another 20 PCs and then turn the control panel to a specified colour as instructed.  Near the end of the match, droids must race to the middle of the field to their shield generator switch and activate it by reaching up, grabbing the shield generator, and lifting their robot off the ground.

Below are some of the major field elements.  Notice that the generator switch can pivot. If the generator switch is level at the end of the match (with 1 or more robots hanging) more points are awarded.

We were extremely excited about this game.  We were hoping to be able to launch balls this year.  The team quickly got to work reading and understanding the game and robot rules.  Once everyone had read the rules and a Q&A discussion had taken place, we were ready to analyse the scoring of the game.  We broke into groups and determined all of the actions the robot could do. We then determined how long these actions would take.  We ran short of time and left knowing some of the requirements a robot should meet and how long it would take to accomplish certain actions (such as retrieving PCs, lining up and shooting, driving across the field, climbing, etc).

Throughout the following week, many of the team members met during lunch to continue dissecting and analyzing the game.  We came up with different robot concepts and determined the maximum amount of points a robot could score. In the end, the team decided on a robot that would be able to retrieve power cells from the floor, shoot them into the upper portal, climb, and operate the control panel.  Shooting and climbing were ranked the highest on our priority list.

During our first 3 build days the team quickly got to work researching by looking at successful robots in 2012 and 2016.  These games pieces and games were somewhat similar to this year’s. Next, teams began planning their prototypes.


The intake team began working with mecanum and vector intake wheels in hopes of centering the ball prior to bringing it into the robot.


The team dedicated to launching the PC into the upper portal started by comparing a hooded single flywheel type shooter compared to a shooter with wheels on each side of the game piece.


The indexing team is in charge of taking the PCs from the intake and getting them up to the shooting wheel.  They quickly realized that the power cells do not like to touch each other. They are very grippy and when you try to move them on a belt and against another surface while they are contacting each other they start to jam.


The climbing team was busy brainstorming different ways to raise the robot off the ground as well as having the ability to center itself on the rung.

Hayden Robotics @ YU!

We had a “blast” at the First Robotics Competition at York University.

Special thanks to all of those who came to watch our matches and all of our generous sponsors, who’ve made all of this possible.

With the McMaster Competition less than 2 weeks away, we are very eager to get back into the game.

But for the time being, back to work!

New Year!

Another year of Robotics has started! A whole lot of fresh new faces, as well as familiar ones. This year we have around 50 students participating in Hayden Robotics and we’re looking forward to the upcoming FIRST Robotics event: Deep Space. What challenges and obstacles will come our way as the clock ticks closer and closer to build season? Stay tuned for future blog posts.

Week 1 Update

So far, we have had multiple productive meetings. On Monday and Tuesday at lunches (optional meetings for strategy), we were debating the point values of each of the four components of the game. It was decided that our team will be focusing on three essential components of FIRST Power Up; these include the climbing aspect, the switch (low goal) and the vault. The point breakdowns without power-ups taken into account are as follows:


Component Autonomous Period Tele-Operated Period End Game
Switch 2 + 2/sec 1 + 1/sec 1 + 1/sec
If all robots cross baseline and ownership is gained during auto, a ranking point is earned during qualification matches.
Scale (not our focus) 2 + 2/sec 1 + 1/sec 1 + 1/sec
Vault 5/power cube 5/power cube 5/power cube
Climbing N/A N/A 30/robot

At our first after school meeting from 3 to 6, we finalized what we were working on with the rest of the team. The programming team began to update software for the new season, the electrical team began to wire up a test board and the mechanical team began designing a power cube intake and a climber mechanism. 

(Wiring the test board; From top to bottom: Tyler O’Dell (top left), Cameron Orr (top right), Landon Vanderdool (bottom left)).






On Thursday’s after-school meeting, prototyping began for the intake and the climber with cardboard to test the mechanisms. Programming began to code for last year’s robot to make sure things are in order as we made a switch in programming languages from last season from LABview to Java.

(Climber mechanism; Left: Tasnim Reza, right: Corbin Garlough)


Check back next week for another update!


The first Saturday of January had finally arrived! The day of Kickoff, the day all students awaiting the new season have been looking for. The excitement in our rookie members’ eyes was evident! With First Power Up’s livestream and the release of the password to encrypted rules, 6323’s approach to the day ahead of them was to analyze the rules. As we did so, we also began to weigh our options, to see which of the game elements would be our main focus this season, which we agreed to be the climbing aspect of this year’s game. This would entail having the ability to grab onto the rung shown below in the diagram of the scale. There was banter back and forth between two parties who disagreed on whether to go for the low goal (switch) or high goal (scale).


It was settled by a majority voting for going for the switch as another major component of the game to be focused on throughout the season.


Stay tuned for another update real soon!


An AMAZING day for rookie Team 6323!  Winning SILVER in Oshawa in the ONT District for FRC!

This was the first event Hayden Robotics has ever participated in, and with the help of Team 772 Sabre Bytes and Team 2200 MMRambotics, our alliance went on to the finals!

At the start of day 1, we were ranked 10th! Our alliance scored the highest score in the entire competition of 365!

At the end of Day 1, we ended with the rank of 25! We won 4, lost 4 and tied 1!

At the start of day 2, we slowly climbed our ranks back up to rank 13, as we won every match. Following a loss from a rematch, we dropped in the ranks down to 25th.

Fortunately, MMRambotics choose us as their alliance in playoffs! 2 teams from Burlington Ontario! #TeamHalton!

After a win in Quarter Finals and a HUGE win against #4525, the #1 ranked team from Quals in semi-finals, Hayden Robotics made it to finals!  A big shoutout and thanks to 2200 MM Robinson and 772 Sabre Bytes for helping us with our robot and for choosing us as your alliance!  Hope we can be allies again!

An amazing turnout for Hayden Robotics– the rookie team!

Good luck to all teams!