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Ultimate Ascent
Winning alliance at MAR Championship
DEWBOT at Hatboro-Horsham
Deux at top of pyramid
30 point climb in Newton finals
Yahya & Patrick C

DEWBOT IX is FRC Team 1640's answer to the challenge of Ultimate AscentSM, FRC's 2013 game. The robot is a low, super-agile shooter capable of climbing to the pyramid top. As during the last two years, the team built two robots.

Notable accomplishments:


The very heart and soul of the robotics year. 45 days during which the robot transforms from nothing more than game rules to a working, moving machine.

Design Details

Strategic Objectives
  • Score 30 points reliably by climbing up the outside of the pyramid
  • Score the colored saucers in the pyramid goal
  • Shooter
  • Score in High Goal Reliably
  • Score (3) pre-loaded saucers into high goal reliably in autonomous from starting position (18 points)
  • Reload from feeding stations
  • (4) saucer storage (magazine)
  • Saucer pick-up from floor is a plus, but not essential; not a priority
  • If we have the resources (after the essentials)
  • If we pick-up from floor, it is not necessary to reload the magazine; we could dump
  • Look for dual-use with colored saucer scoring
  • Drive-train
  • We expect this to be a defense-intensive game, especially in eliminations. Defenders will do what they can to slow robots traveling to and from feeding stations; there will therefore be high value to a drive-train combining high traction with superior agility
  • Stable; low CG
  • Able to drive under the pyramid
Drive Train
Due to the very strong expected defensive nature of Ultimate Ascent, we made the decision on 11-January to utilize pivot drive again. To maximize agility, Ocelot drive-train software was developed. No doubt about it, DEWBOT's got the moves!
Saucer shooting & control
A strong suit. DEWBOT IX can shoot & score with the best. Loading is from the feeder station only and we shoot best from the pyramid rather than full-court.
Climbing the pyramid to score 30 points was a strategic priority, and we devoted a lot of resources to this (mind time, design time, machine time, mass, space & $s). We built an accurate, welded pyramid and a horizontal pyramid corner for testing and development purposes. Focus was on climbing the outside of the pyramid because: 1) space restrictions inside the pyramid make it impossible for two alliance partners to score 30 points inside the pyramid; 2) it was guessed that many robots which climbed would climb inside the pyramid as it seemed less difficult; and 3) climbing the pyramid outside enabled scoring in the pyramid goal.
DEWBOT IX's caterpillar drive (cat-drive for short) was developed to climb the pyramid.
A lot of work went into the field elements for DEWBOT IX. The centerpiece (almost literally) was a highly accurate, welded pyramid. Made from 1¼" steel electrical metallic tubing (EMT) conduit (1.510" OD x 0.065" wall) and machined steel plate, the pyramid is geometrically accurate and structurally sound, but cannot be readily disassembled.

Official Events

Hatboro-Horsham MAR District Event - 1-3 March 2013
Our first competition of the 2013 season, and we performed quite well. We finished qualifications as 14th seed in a field of 37 and as a member of the 6th alliance we made it to semi-finals. The team received the Creativity Award sponsored by Xerox. We earned 33 MAR qualifying points..
Not all was rosey. We were not ready to climb and didn't. Our frisbee shooting was our strong point, but this could be shut down by an upside-down frisbee in the magazine. Resolving both of these issues are priorities for Chestnut Hill
Springside-Chestnut Hill MAR District Event - 14-16 March 2013
1640's 2nd MAR qualifier. We finished qualifications as 8th seed and accepted 2539's gracious invitation to join the 1st alliance. We made it to the semifinals again. The Team also received the Innovation in Control Award from Rockwell Automation for successful demonstration of our caterpillar drive.
We earned 47 MAR qualifying points at SCH, giving us a total of 80 towards Lehigh qualification.
DEWBOT was able to clear upside-down disks and the caterpillar drive worked, but needs to be more consistent.
CHAMPIONS - Mid-Atlantic Region Championship - 11-13 April 2013
Together with alliance partners 2729 (Storm Robotics - captain) and 2590 (Nemesis), we won the MAR Championship! We're going to St. Louis!
NEWTON CHAMPIONS - FRC Championship, St. Louis MO - 24-27 April 2013

Season wrap-up video
We won Newton Division at the FRC Championship in St.Louis. Our sincerest gratitude to alliance partners teams 303 (alliance captain Test Team) from Bridgewater, NJ and 3476 (Code Orange) from Dana Point, CA. What a tremendous alliance! As Newton's 3rd alliance, we went through Newton eliminations without loss (6-0); racking up Newton Division's highest score (247 points; 440 points combined) during the 1st finals match against the 1st alliance (comprising teams 1538 (Holy Cows) from San Diego CA, 1986 (team Titanium) from Lee's Summit MO and 217 (ThunderChickens) from Sterling Heights MI - great teams all).
On to Einstein Field! 1640's first time. We started well against Galileo's champions (teams 1241 (Theory 6) from Mississauga ON Canada, 610 (Crescent Coyotes) from Toronto ON Canada, and 1477 (Texas Torque) from The Woodlands, TX), defeating them 199 to 176 in the first match. Alas, we lost the next two and Galileo went on to become FRC Champions for 2013. They were a great alliance and deserved the win.
We started qualifications in a bad way. Our shooter lost its mojo again (we found it). We couldn't climb (we fixed this). We ran a match with our shooter motor disconnected (embarrassing!). Despite these travails, we finished qualifications as 24th seed (out of 100) with a (5-3-0) record.
This was an enormous performance by the team, bringing us to a competitive level which had hitherto been no more than a dream.

Unofficial Events

Monty Madness - 18-May-2013
Our first off-season and dedicated to training; especially driver training, but prospective coaches, operators and human players were able to try their hand as well. We finished qualification rounds 6th seed out of 42 teams participating.
1640 led the 6th alliance, joined by 303 (Test Team) and 3314 (Mechanical Mustangs). Alas, we lost in the quarterfinals to 2590 (Nemesis), 1676 (The Pascack Pi-Oneers) & 1626 (Falcon Robotics), a powerful alliance who went on to become finalists.
MidKnight Mayhem FINALISTS! - 29-June-2013
Together with 11 (alliance captain MORT) and 2495 (Hornets), we were Finalists at the inaugural MidKnight Mathem. We'd been looking forward to working with MORT for a long time and the experience was even better than expected! Congratulations to winners 225, 316, 369 & 869.
Indiana Robotics Invitational - 19-20 July-2013
Battle O' Baltimore CHAMPIONS - 21-September-2013
Battle O' Baltimore winning alliance
Together with first alliance captain 225 (TechFire, York PA), 2519 (TIGER PRIDE, Washington DC) and 339 (Kilroy, Commonwealth Governor's School, Fredrickburg, VA), we won the 2013 Battle O' Baltimore!
Many thanks to 225 for selecting us. Man, we worked well together!
Duel on the Delaware CHAMPIONS - 19-October-2013
In a very hard-fought elimination (6,2,0), we were able to secure our third consecutive Duel on the Delaware championship. Many thanks to our 7th alliance partners 341 (alliance captain Miss Daisy) and 1089 (Team Mercury). Miss Daisy shared the Duel championship with us last year (also as alliance captain).
Great job by the entire team, which really pulled together for this win. A special acknowledgement to our new drive team members.
Ramp Riot - 2-November-2013
We finished qualifications (4,1,0) and ended up 4th alliance captain. Many thanks to alliance partners 1626 (Falcon Robotics, Metuchen NJ), 2539 (Krypton Cougars, Palmyra PA) and 708 (Hardwired Fusion, Upper Moreland PA). We were, alas, eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Brunswick Eruption - 9-November-2013
Completed qualifications as 16th seed (of 40 teams) with (3,3,0). 2nd alliance captain 222 (Tigertrons, Tunkhannock PA) picked us as a partner, with 271 Mechanical Marauders, Bayshore NY) completing the alliance.
Alas, we were eliminated (1,2,0) in the semifinals. With this competition, DEWBOT IX retires.

Other Events

Pancake Breakfast
Our AppleBee's Pancake Breakfast on 21-October-2012 raised nearly $1,000 for the team.
DAR FLL Tune-up
The team hosted its first FIRST event, an FLL tune-up, on 3-November-2012 at Downingtown Middle School.
Downingtown Area Robotics-Penn FLL Qualifying Event - 8-December-2012
Downingtown's first annual FIRST LEGO League Qualifying Event was held on 8 December, 2012 at Downingtown Middle School in Downingtown, PA. This competition was hosted by Downingtown Area Robotics to allow area FLL teams to compete and qualify for the Penn FLL Championship in this year's game, Senior Solutions!
Move to Oscar Way - 21-29 December 2012
After 16 months, we bid a fond farewell to 427 Creamery Way with many thanks to Waterloo Gardens for the use of this property.
We've moved to 122 Oscar Way, Chester Springs, PA (Eagle), very generously provided by Eagle Nurseries.
These moves are definitely not getting any easier with time.
Move to CCIU Technical College High School - 10-14 August-2013
Another season, another move. This time, however, we are moving to a permanent location: the Chester County Intermediate Unit's Technical College High School Brandywine Campus.


Kevin Constable FRC Team 3123 Head Mentor
2607 climbing
DB9 INCOSE 130625 csm-9.jpg
FRC 1640 mentors support MOE at Fundraiser - 1-December-2012
Ben and Ellen Kellom, Clem & Faith McKown, Mike Rizzo and Siri Maley showed their support for FRC Team 365 at their annual wine tasting fundraiser.
Joe Morganto and Clem McKown visit Team 3123 - 15-Dec
Joe Morganto organized a meeting with FRC Team 3123 WildCogs on 15-December-2012, also attended by Clem McKown. The meeting was set up with the purposes of learning from each other, understanding each others capabilities and how we may help each other, and to establish a basis for collaboration.
As a next step, we will hold a strategy review between the two teams at the end of the first week of build season. We'll be looking for point for cooperative and complimentary design and/or tactics.
Joint strategy meeting with Team 3123 - 12-January
Visit by FRC Team 2607 Robo-Vikings (Warminster PA) - 16-February
Our old friends 2607 visited to climb on our pyramid.
Boeing Engineering Week Demo - 21-February
Visit by FRC Team 2495 Hornets (Hamilton NJ) - 12-March
The Hornets used their unbag time to work on their robot and practice on our very nice field.
Boy Scout troop 181 demo - 17-March
Team 2607 reprise - 30-March
The Robo-Vikings returned and climbed. They went on to climb at MAR Championship!
Sugartown Elementary School's Lego Expo and Robotics Fair - 19-April-2013
FRC and FLL participated from DAR in this annual event.
INCOSE International Symposium - 25-June-2013
The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) had their International Symposium in Philadelphia this year and graciously set aside a booth for Youth Activities: FRC. The invitation came through Alan Ostrow of FRC team 341 (Miss Daisy); 341, 1640 and FRC Team 1218 (Vulcan Robotics) each took a day of the symposium to spread the word about FIRST, and show off cool robots as well.
FIRST @ CCLS - 17-July-2013
The team (and DEWBOT VIII) participated in a FIRST introduction meeting at the Chester County Library at Exton.



We're in the process of selecting a new logo and motto, among other items, to unite around a stronger team brand. We're keeping our name and colors (and our award-winning performance, of course!) to stay recognizable.

Shop Organization

Okay. Shop organization has not hitherto been a strong suit for Team 1640. But things change. We spent far too much time looking for things last year.

Wheel Friction Coefficients

FRC 1640 has had a drive-train mathematical model since 2008. Wheel-to-floor friction coefficient is (not surprisingly) an important variable in this model. We've also got a pivot drive-train which provides both agility with traction and enables the use of high traction wheels without sacrificing agility. So friction coefficients are important to us and can provide a competitive advantage (with pivot). But we haven't measured friction coefficients since 2009 (Lunacy). With a new range of wheel options available, it was time to generate this important data.

6WD Testbed (Micah)
Battery Testing
3-Wheel Swerve


Skill-set (discipline) Qualifications
Skill-set, or discipline training and qualifications exist for the purpose of developing skills and knowledge within a specific arena (or discipline). Qualified students are better able to contribute to the robot's design and construction. By the way, you'll likely find these skills useful more generally than just to build DEWBOT IX. Students are allowed and encouraged to qualify in more than one Discipline. Discipline qualifications are mentor-driven, but highly-qualified students may lead training.
Working Teams
Design Team


Team Sab-BOT-age is what it is only due to the efforts of the people involved. DEWBOT VIII's success will be in the hands of the students, mentors and parents engaged. The team's very existence is possible only through the gracious generosity of our sponsors.

DEWBOT IX Students
Sponsors 2013

See our other robots in the Robot Archives.