West Michigan Robotics Invitational

Although the actual 2012 season is over, Red Storm Robotics attended the West Michigan Robotics Invitational on Saturday, October 20th, 2012. This competition did not count as a “real” FIRST competition, but aw otherwise like an in-season competition, with the same level of competition, atmosphere, and structure, and many of the same teams usually found at competitions in the West Michigan area. This competition was played using the 2012 FIRST game, Rebound Rumble. This competition allowed new team members to experience a FIRST competition during the off-season, preparing them for the real competitions in 2013, and to have fun at the same time.

The invitational’s website is here.

In the preliminary rounds, Red Storm went up and down in the rankings, but ultimately made it to nineth place, qualifying for the final rounds. It wound up selected for the alliance of the second-place team, but ultimately had to be replaced due to unexpected mechanical failure. However, the team is still proud of its relative success, and the competition was an excellent learning experience for all who attended.

Competition Schedule

2012 Competitions

Gull Lake District Competition


West Michigan District at GVSU Allendale Competition


Michigan State Competition

Competition Information

Every so often, FIRST will also publish amendments to the rules, known as “team updates”. Read them here.

The game for this year, “Rebound Rumble,” requires the building and programing of a robot that can shoot a ball into four different baskets at three different heights. The first 15 seconds of the game is called “hybrid mode” where the Kinect Motion Sensor is used to control the robot. After hybrid, the next mode is called “tele-op.” During this time, the goal is to make as many baskets as possible. Finally, in the last 20 seconds, robots need to balance on the Coopertition Bridge. If robots from both Alliances are represented in the middle bridge, the robots will earn Coopertition Points. At the end, all points are totaled and the winner is announced!

Rebound Rumble video © FIRST

2011-2012 Gallery

Gull Lake Competition

Community Outreach

4th of July Parade


Build Season

Kickoff at GVSU College of Engineering

Our Robot


Fabrication Team


Teams we support

Our Middle School FTC Team



GE Aviation Systems of Grand Rapids

JC Penney


Western Michigan District Competition at GVSU

The West Michigan Regional FIRST Robotics Competition was our second competition of 2012, on March 16th and 17th. It was be hosted in the GVSU Allendale Campus gymnasium. Although the team performed well, and made it relatively high in the initial rankings, we did not make it to the competition finals. Despite our functional autonomous mode and generally well-made robot, which allowed us to reach third place at one point, problems with the robot’s balance led to it frequently tipping over, and that and similar mechanical problems cost us our success at the competition. However, we learned from the experience, and the team had a good time. It was a very busy competition, and we are pleased with its overall results.

Their website is located at www.westmichiganfirst.org.

Gull Lake Competition

The Gull Lake FIRST competition was our first competition of the year. It was held on March 2nd and 3rd at Gull Lake High School in Richland, Michigan.

The opening ceremony began at 10:30 am and ended with an award ceremony at 5:00 pm on March 3.

For further information about the competition at Gull Lake Community School, visit Gull Lake High School

Unfortunately, we did not win any awards at this competition, or make it to the finals. Better luck next time.

Time for Competition:






The robot in the arena!






Behind the driver’s station.

Being taken out on the cart.

A quick inspection while waiting for another round.

It wasn’t always a clear shot.

More fierce competition!

Everybody gather round!

Watching from the sidelines.

Being inspected by the volunteers at the competition.

Our Robot 2011 – 2012

After the kickoff at Grand Valley State University, we met as a team to discuss strategy and key requirements for our robot. Some key points:

  • We wanted to have a functional basketball-shooter, rather than play defense.
  • Our primary method of crossing the court would be running the bump, rather than using the bridges.
  • We wanted a wide robot, rather than a long one, so we could potentially fit three to a bridge for maximum points.
  • We wanted to be able to balance the bridge, using a device that would help balance the robot as well as feed balls.

The resulting robot was tentatively named Nado II.

We split into sub-teams, who worked on different parts of the robot. The main teams were for the chassis, loader, shooter, and bridge-tipper. All of the teams made CAD drawings and built simple prototypes out of wood before work on the final robot began.

The wooden chassis model, with the six-wheel design we chose.

Building the launcher prototype.

More assembly of the robot prototype.


Once the prototypes were finalized, work on the robot proper could begin.

Assembling the metal chassis.

The early frame, completed.

Assembling the wires and motors before final assembly.

Bumpers are robot parts, too!


Soon, we were able to begin assembling the various parts.

Working to assemble the final robot.

The “firing tower” added to the base.

Adding wires and motors to the completed frame.

Wire work continues.

So many wires, so little time.

A close-up of our diligent electrical workers.

Meanwhile in the shop…

Assembling the launcher mechanism.

We need bumpers, too!

Photo Diary 2011 – 2012


Eagerly waiting for the 2012 game challenge.

Waiting at the kickoff.

Busily planning after the kickoff!


Week One (January 9th-15th):

Initial planning at the first in-season meeting.

Early ideas for the robot.


Week Two (January 16th-22nd):

An early wooden model of the robot.


Week Three (January 23rd-29th):

Hard at work building the robot parts.

Assembling the frame.


Week Four (January 30th-February 5th):

Testing the ball launcher.

The frame is almost complete!


Week 5 (February 6th-February 12th)

The current state of our robot.

The wiring team assembled.

Working with wires.

The robot can’t just build itself!

Working together on the computer.

Students 2011 – 2012

This is the students page for 2011-2012.

A group photo of all our students this year.

Team Captain


Name: Ajene
Position: Team Captain, Scouter



Name: Abe
Team: Mechanical/Fabrication

Name: Alex
Team: Mechanical, Fabrication

Name: Andrew
Team: Web, Fab, Spirit
Position: Captain, Spirit.

Name: Andy
Team: Marketing

Name: Angela
Team: Marketing, Spirit
Position: Fund Raising, Web

Name: Anhdao
Job: Fabrication, Mechanical

Name: AJ
Team: Programming

Name: AJ          

Name: Caitlin
Job: Marketing, Spirit

Job: Programming


Name: Ciaran

Name: Colin

Name: Danny
Team: Fabrication, Mechanical

Name: Demier
Team: Mechanical, Fabrication

Name: Denis
Team: Mechanical, Fabrication

Name: Dylan

Name: Dylan
Job: Fabrication, Mechanical

Name: Jean
Team: Web

Name: Kayla
Team: Web

Name: Matt
Team: Programming


Name: Mello

Name: Nick
Team: Programming

Name: Olga
Team: Fabrication, Mechanical

Name: Rudy
Team: Mechanical, Fabrication

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