2014-2015 Team Mentors

Dan Boy – Head Coach

Wendy Ljungren – Lead Mentor, GE Aviation Systems, Chief Consulting Engineer
Adam Veendaal – Mentor, GE Aviation Systems, Engineer / Technologist
Rob Meyer – Mentor, Randstad
Dennis Behrens – Mentor, GE Aviation Systems, UNIX System Administrator

2014-2015 Team Members



Blog 2015

Key Principles for the Robot


  • modular
  • low robot
  • bottom stacker, be able to stack at least 3 totes
  • task priorities: 1st- totes, 2nd- litter & bins, 3rd- placing litter in bins


  1. forklift
    • pulley
    • rack & pinion
  2. clamp using pneumatics
  3. 4WD: front & rear
  4. open front
  5. long & narrow
  6. center master < 6″



Blog is now by Sub-Teams

Sub-team Tasks:
1) Pulley System for Main Lift
2) Rack and Pinion for Main Lift
3) Rack and Pinion for Grip
4) Pneumatics for Grip
5) Claw/clamp for Grip
6) Plastic tines for lip like the video
7) Kit of parts frame
8) Base extensions

1/17 –
Parents field build.

1/5 –

Sub-team task list:

• How many CIM motors to lift 100 lb.
• 2 vs. 4 wheel drive or can we use 2 non-CIM for the drive train
• What is needed to make modular bases to plug in different
• Can the electrical system support 6 CIMS + X motors running  simultaneous?


1/4 –

First Prototype:

Current Designs:

Robot Design #4

Pictures of the day:

Videos of the day:

Human player pool noodle scoring:

Loading and lifting: (81 seconds in)

1/3 –



Kickoff Day

2015: The Beginning

Welcome to Red Storm’s 2015 blog! We are team 3875 from East Kentwood High School, and we are psyched about this year’s challenge: Recycle Rush!

Immediately after the kickoff, the team worked through possible general strategies, as well as some basic design options. At the first meeting the following Monday, we discussed more design choices, and began creating designs and prototypes for different parts of the bot. Admittedly, the week was somewhat slow, but now our design plans are becoming more solid, and fabrication will hopefully start in the next week.

As for this website, updates have and will continue to become more regular, as the team as a whole returns to a more active schedule. We are currently in the process of updating the information pages for the new game, team, and schedule, as well as going through routine updates and improvements.

Look for more updates to this blog and website in the weeks ahead as our team goes through a challenging and exciting fifth season.

FTC State Competition Soon

Next week Saturday is the state competition for the middle school FTC teams! This is bound to be an exciting event, especially because one of the teams we support, 6482, was invited this year. It takes place in Battle Creek, so it’s a bit of a drive for us, but it should be fun.

Also, this year our team is lending one of its members to be the DJ for the event! (Surprise, surprise, it’s the one writing this.)

Hopefully there will be a good turnout to the FTC State Competition!


2015 Robot Design #4

IMG_20150104_121822661_HDRDesign B

Design A: Simple lift that can lift a rightsided crate onto a single rightsided crate. Arm would have to start at 9 inches and raise 12 inches.
Design B: Right arm can move left and right about 4 inches, this allows lifting recycle bin onto crate. Arm would have to start at 22 inches and raise 12 inches.
Design C: Allow arm to rotate 45 degrees in both directions. This allows easier ability to rotate crate.

Have simple is it build?
Design A is using all fixed objects, so should be able to build in a week.  Other designs could be created including other bases or arms that could be more complicated but because they will be compatible would not effect electrical, programming and drivers.

Have easy is it to use?
Currently just have up and down and normal drive.  So very easy.

Have easy is it to maintain?
The elevator would be activated to take off the top part.  4-8 screws would be used to remove the two main top pieces.  After this, other major attachments should be easy to get at.

Does it use proven designs?
Elevator has been proven to work on the FTC robots, but lifting 100 pounds would be a slightly new requirement that would need to be tested.  There are two elevators, would use two CRio motors per side and would be geared 10:1.

Prove that your design will work?
Need to do a weight test on the elevator.
There are currently three different designs doing with the arm, with two needing to be proven out.

Is your center of gravity near the middle of robot and near ground?
The center of gravity should be near the robot middle and would also start 8 or so inches off the ground.  Would need to check center of gravity with no weight and with 50 pounds of weight.

Critical Measurements:
Width of Forklift (Side of Base)
Dimensions of Mast (Currently 6 inches)
Dimensions of Electrical pieces (Currently 9 inches by width of forklift), most likely will require two layers