2019 Robot (Ms Calculated)

Our robot for the 2019 FRC season, Ms Calculated, was purpose-built to play FIRST: Destination Deep Space, presented by the Boeing Company. This robot is one of the most complex that we’ve built as a team with the current group of students and mentors.

Ms Calculated had sensors and cameras to aid the drivers in collecting Hatch Panels and Cargo from the field’s Loading Station

Ms Calculated had sensors and cameras to aid the drivers in collecting Hatch Panels and Cargo from the field’s Loading Station

Using a two stage cascaded elevator design, along with a multi-purpose manipulator for collecting and depositing games pieces, Ms Calculated could score anywhere on the field, including at the Cargo Ship and all three levels of the Rocket with both Hatch Panels and Cargo balls.


Robot Subsystems

Our robot was very complex this year and involved many different moving pieces and subsystems, read more about them below!

Elevator Mechanism

This was the first year our group of students and mentors attempted an elevator, and let’s just say that Ms Calculated could lift the game pieces to outer space! 🚀…or at least to the top of field’s Rockets! It featured the following:

  • A two stage cascaded elevator with Motion Magic positioning using Talon SRX speed controllers providing pin-point precision for lifting the manipulator to specific predetermined heights with little operator intervention

  • A second stage containing the mechanism for manipulation field pieces

  • Dual drive ropes for both lifting and lowering the stages, increasing the speed of the elevator

  • Mounted Constant Force Springs on each stage allowing for less drive rope tension and required torque to lift the stages

Our ground to Rocket Cargo cycles were fast.

Cargo Mechanism

The cargo manipulator was placed on the elevator and provided the ability to score anywhere on the field and at any Rocket level.

  • Collection roller covered with a rubber coating allowed for collecting, holding, and depositing the Cargo

  • Rotating & locking wrist allowed for both Loading Station and ground collection of Cargo

Our hatch intake allowed for driver error and automated collection

Hatch Mechanism

  • Hatch mechanism extended over the bumpers using drawer-slides driven by pneumatics

  • A pair of notched poly-carbonate pieces would extend once inside the Hatch Panel, holding it in place

  • Later iterations, such as automatic collection using Limit Switches & hinged collection allowed for more driver error and faster scoring cycles


The first 15 seconds of every match were played in Sandstorm, where black sheets were covering the Driver Stations, blocking any view of the robot(s) for the drivers, operators, and coaches. To account for this, Ms Calculated had the following hardware on board:

  • A Limelight camera which could automatically find and follow the reflective tape above the Cargo Ship and Rocket. Using the outputted data, Ms Calculated could drive to and position herself into the scoring position

  • A Pixy2 camera which could track and follow the lines in front of the scoring targets

  • A 170° fish-eye camera which allowed the driver and operator to see what was around the robot to navigate the field

Our drivers were always prepared to handle the sandstorms!

Our drivers were always prepared to handle the sandstorms!

Driver station

Not wanting to be outdone by the previous year’s Driver Station, the team decided to machine and build a truly unique and special Driver Station, which contained the following:

  • The driver station laptop and an external monitor, allowing the driver and operator to organize their cameras and telemetry

  • Holds for the drive controllers

  • Custom team number and name engravings

  • A custom-built LED screen and button board for controlling all mechanisms not associated with driving the robot, such as position selection elevator control using a potentiometer and execute button, hatch & cargo collection and deposition, and more


competition & Awards

Ms Calculated competed in the Hudson Valley Regional and the New York City Regional. Although we did not end up winning any blue banners or judges’ awards, we came away with semi- and quarter-finalist spots. Blue banner or not, our team grow both as professionals and as a family. We learned how to build better robots and better relationships through FIRST: Destination Deep Space.