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10 November, 2012 in Ambler, PA. This is Sab-BOT-age's 6th time at Ramp Riot. It's always a fantastic event, hosted by our MAR Championship alliance partner (and Hatboro-Horsham, and Duel on the Delaware) and World Chairman's Winner, FRC 341!

Despite numerous problems in qualification matches, our other MAR Championship alliance partner, FRC 25 Raider Robotix, together with 2016 Mighty Monkey Wrenches, selected us to the third alliance. We dominated through the quarter finals, but ended as semifinalists when both DEWBOT VIII and FRC 25 broke down. Our good friends 341, 1676 and 2607 went on to win the event!

Check out the Event Website.

Who was there

Students: Doug, Molly, Yahya, Pat C, Pat D, DJ, Kira, Jack, Ian, Ken, Brad, Fatima
Mentors: Julie Christopher, Scott Featherman, Siri Maley, Ben Kellom, Clem McKown, Andrew Weissman, Faith McKown, Mike Rizzo (referee)
Family & Friends: George Christopher, Gillian, Sue Rogers, Jarryd, Debbie Drago

Drive Team:
Driver: Doug
Operator: Pat C
Human Player (primary): Yahya
Human Player (secondary): Pat D, Brad, Fatima
Coach: Siri Maley
Pit Crew:
Captain: Molly Kellom
Head Programmer: DJ
Programmer: Pat D
Mechanical: Doug, Yahya, Kira, Pat C
Supervisor: Siri Maley
Mechanical Mentor: Andrew Weissman
Head Mechanical Mentor: Clem McKown
Head Programming Mentor: Julie Christopher
Head Electrical Mentor: Scott Featherman
Lead Scout: Ian
Scouts: Brad, Fatima, Jack

Problems Encountered & Lessons Learned

This was a very, very difficult event for DEWBOT VIII. We are definitely on our last legs. We broke 100 matches at this event.

  • Of the 13 non-CIM motors/power take-offs on the robot and pivot spares, all of them have suffered some damage in this competition or practice for it (i.e. within the last week).
  • Multiple pivot modules need serious disassembly, primarily in order to replace steering motors. (One is broken off; two will not survive long-term.) We have determined a new way to mount these in the future for easier replacement.
  • We seem to have begun losing pivot calibration more quickly (despite the welding). Investigation pending.
  • At least one pinion gear on the AM 0912s/FP 9013s is destroyed. Investigation pending.
  • The lift wheel appears to be leaking. It was successfully re-inflated at the event, and does not appear to be leaking quickly enough to make a difference at this point.
  • Most of the set screws along the beaterbar/barrier wheel power take-off were damaged and/or unable to tighten completely. Several remain so and are sans optimal solutions. We'll be investigating ways to reduce set screw use.
  • The bridge arm chain suffered some damage due to losing an arm-sprocket bolt. Fully repaired, but we need a better pit check.
  • The barrier/beaterbar motor burnt out and was painstakingly replaced. We intend to avoid nose-mounting most motors in the future.
  • The shooter assembly is generally on its last legs, with some screws not staying tight (or even on) for more than one match. Fastener load and design needs more attention (though this was originally intended to be welded).
  • The bridge arm was lagging with respect to the control button (mostly in coming up, not down). Appears to be fixed.
  • The pivots suffered multiple mechanical and electrical failures (possibly also programming lag, but difficult to isolate). Electrical issues fixed and mechanical failures swapped out, but pivots still need work.
  • We had multiple joystick control failures or unknown and unreplicable origin. Possibility is in loose USB/Ethernet connections, which might be addressable with driver station design.
  • We lost communication in 3 matches, apparently from shock to the router (primarily crossing the barrier). No power failure. We will have a better router mounting system next season.
  • We ran at least one match on a low-charge battery. We need better battery management, and have started by attaching the charged clips to the batteries themselves.


Ramp Riot Photo Gallery


Wissahickon High School Gymnasium
521 Houston Road
Ambler, PA 19002
Google Maps

Directions from Pennsylvania Turnpike

1. Exit at FORT WASHINGTON - Exit #26.
2. Get on 309 North.
3. Exit from 309 at SUSQUEHANNA ROAD - Turn LEFT at bottom of ramp.
4. Continue past traffic light at BUTLER PIKE & SUSQUEHANNA.
5. Turn LEFT at stop sign (TENNIS AVENUE) go to BETHLEHEM PIKE.
6. Turn RIGHT on BETHLEHEM PIKE, continue north on BETHLEHEM PIKE until Dager Road.
7. At Dager Road and BETHLEHEM PIKE (BMW Dealership) make a left onto Dager.
8. Follow Dager a very short distance to Houston Road.
9. Turn LEFT onto Houston Road.
10. The High School will be on your right hand side.
11. After parking, the gym is on the left as you walk towards the school.