Woodie Flowers Nominee

The Woodie Flowers Award, named in honor of FIRST’s co-creator, is presented to an outstanding FIRST mentor every year. BEAST students chose a deserving mentor and crafted an essay to submit for this student-driven award. The students are proud to announce that Vince Christie is our team’s 2022 nominee! Vince has been a mechanical mentor on the team for eight years, and he has been involved with numerous outreach events, including STEM Camp, the Independence Day parade, and the creation of FTC 13201,Team Hazmat. He’s also been instrumental in bringing new technology to our shop, such as the X-carve CNC router and vertical mills. In addition, he drove the start of our team’s integrated CAD approach. Vince loves to share his technical knowledge in a fun, hands-on way. Vince holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Tech, and he had been a Senior Design Engineer at Harley-Davidson for over 20 years. We are grateful for all he has done for BEAST. We wish Vince luck as he competes for this prestigious award at the Wisconsin Regional!

Chairman’s Award Update

The Business Team completed and submitted our Chairman’s Award…early!  “The Chairman’s Award is the most prestigious award in FIRST® Robotics Competition. The award recognizes a team that reflects sustained excellence and impact within the FIRST community, in its own community, and beyond”. (Source: ttps://www.firstinspires.org/) The BEAST Robotics team is the proud winner of the 2020 Northern Lights Regional Chairman’s Award. We never tire of saying that! The Business Team is currently crafting our Executive Summary.

Robot Progress Report

It’s crunch time! With the Sussex Scrimmage this Sunday, February 20, we are racing to complete our robot. It’s going to be a long week with a lot of hard work, but we’re very close to having a working robot.  

For the challenge, the robot must deliver cargo (actually oversized tennis balls) into an upper hub and a lower hub. The mechanical team has tested several shooter prototypes to meet this challenge. The team has decided the best results are achieved using pneumatics to set the robot’s shooter to two launch angles. The team is going to continue testing the shooter to identify additional successful angles. 

During the challenge, the robot needs a means of collecting the loose cargo on the field. The intake team is brainstorming better ways to release cargo from intake to indexer. A dead spot was identified and resolved with additional feeder wheels.  


In addition to delivering cargo, the robot must traverse the rungs of a hanger (kind of like monkey bars) and the hanger team has designed extendable arms to grasp the rungs. The team has the outer sleeves of the arms completed and motors mounted. The arms are mounted to a test chassis so the programmers can work with it without interfering with intake/shooter testing on the competition robot. Once the programmers are finished with their code, the hanger can be installed on the competition robot. The hanger team still needs to complete the inside rail and hook that will allow the robot to successfully traverse the rungs of the hanger. As we said earlier, it’s going to be a busy week! 


The programming team is busy with all aspects of the robot. In addition to the hanger system, the team is implementing the driver command to deliver cargo. Usually a robot is controlled by two drivers. One moves the robot while a second team member handles the operational commands, like delivering cargo. The programmers also support the drive team by developing swerve pathing for the robot. This week, the team plans to have a beta version of the software needed to control the robot. 

 There’s a lot of tasks that need to be completed before we are ready for the Sussex Scrimmage on Sunday, but we’re very excited to see our robot coming together! 

Mark Your Calendars

Feb 20: Sussex Scrimmage (Hamilton High School, Sussex)

Mar 23-26: Wisconsin Regional (Milwaukee)

Apr 6-Apr 9: Minnesota 10,000 Lakes Regional (Minneapolis)