The 2014 FRC game, Aerial Assist, featured each alliance manipulating and scoring two-foot diameter exercise balls in either of two goals. In the ten second autonomous period, robots are pre-programmed and can score by driving into their zone. They can be preloaded with one game ball, of which the robot can score in the high goal above the driver stations or on the low goal on the ground. The high zone is divided in half into two equal and adjacent areas. During autonomous, one of the high goal scoring areas will be lit up (considered to be "hot") and will be worth five additional points. In the tele-op period, a human player can toss an exercise ball into play. Each alliance's robots can then assist each other to get the ball across the field and scored. By passing and catching the ball, the total points scored for that run increase if the ball is scored. If the ball is thrown over the mid-field overhanging truss, additional points will be scored.
Our 2014 robot featured a compact square design, utilizing a Modified West Coast drivetrain. The square design allowed our robot to have a pocket to catch and hold the balls. Two flipping arms were used to shoot the balls into both the low and high goals. We also designed flywheel arms to intake exercise balls, but were unable to make them efficient during competition play. These arms were replaced with an over-the-top loader for FIRST Championships.
In 2014, Plasma Robotics had a record of 20-17-0, competing in the Arizona and Los Vegas Regionals. At the Arizona Regional, we were Regional Winners and later went on to win both the Engineering Inspiration and Imagery Awards. By being regional winners, we had qualified for the 2014 FIRST Robotics World Championships in St. Louis. Two weeks later, Plasma Robotics competed in the Los Vegas Regional, but came up short of making it on to a selected alliance for playoffs. From April 24 through April 26, we competed at World Championships in the Curie division. We went 3-7-0 and were not picked for a playoff alliance. 2014 brought us a tremendous amount of knowledge and taught us important skills in the aspects of design, documentation, and strategy as we learned to work together as a team, both within Plasma Robotics and with each of our alliance partners.