2022 FIRST Robotics Competition Season

Project Overview

Built over the course of roughly 4 months, this robot was designed to play the 2022 FIRST Robotics Competition challenge Rapid React, a game where robots aim to shoot oversized tennis balls into a central hoop structure, and end matches by climbing up a series of monkey bars. This year was a culmination of skills I'd learned in previous seasons. The challenge this year was compounded with the additional challenge of experience drain as a result of COVID-19 and the graduation of experienced upperclassmen. As the team's Chief Technical Officer, I the true product of this year was not just the robot, but a systematic training and rebuilding of our high school's robotics team.


Automated Targeting System

To accurately scoring balls into the center basket, I used a modified version of the 2020 robot's automated targeting system. This system combines computer vision tracking data with an interpolation model to calculate the correct speed to shoot at. The shooter's flywheel is then commanded to this speed through closed-loop control. This system also commands the drivetrain to orient towards the hoop during shooting.

Omnidirectional Drivetrain

The drivetrain used on this robot was nearly identical to the "swerve drive" I helped develop in the summer of 2021. Capable of translating at 12ft/s+ while rotating the orientation of the robot, it allowed for high maneuverability. Click here to learn more.

Autonomous Path Following

Each match begins with a 15 second "Autonomous Period," where robots operate solely on pre-programmed instructions. To implement this more easily than in previous years, I used a spline curve path planner, which allowed for quick and easy adjustments to the robot's preplanned route.

Automatic Ballhandling

After picking up balls from the ground, they would be automatically moved into storage with input from two beam break sensors. For this application, a simple bang-bang controller was used.

Mechanical Design

Climber Mechanism

Due to decreased membership post-COVID, I challenged myself to become more involved in the design of this robot. In January of 2022, I taught myself Onshape.

Using a combination of custom machined and COTS components, I designed and built an integral part of our climber mechanism.

Plates and extrusion were created with a combination of manual machining and CNC routing.


  • Capable of extending from 37" to 64"

  • 16.5lbs, capable of lifting 150lbs+

  • Highly durable in failure cases

This first version of the elevator mechanism was built with substituted fasteners, as the correct ones were on backorder.
Despite this seemingly catastrophic failure, the underlying structure was undamaged, and easily repaired with spare fasteners.
Unfortunately, this design was never built due to time constraints, and a focus on other more pressing issues.

Prototype Ball Shooter

Our original shooting mechanism faced many issues. Because of this, I designed a completely new shooter subsystem over the course of a week long February break, taking advantage of the lessons learned from our previous design.


  • Capable of accelerating a ball to 50ft/s+

  • Lightweight polycarbonate and PLA design is durable, simple, and quick to produce.

  • Designed with commonly available COTS components for quick delivery times.

  • Nearly 90 degrees of adjustment allows for shooting from nearly any position on the field.

  • An upper flywheel reduces backspin on the ball, allowing for a more stable and accurate shot.