2014 Aerial Assist

Game Overview

Aerial Assist is the 2014 FIRST Robotics Competition game. Alliances of three robots each pass a 2′ diameter exercise ball into the scoring areas located on the far each of the field. More information can be found on Wikipedia or watch the game animation.

Our Robot

This year we ended up with a robot that had a really reliable autonomous mode that ingested Frisbee game pieces off the ground and shot them into the high goal. We were one of <50 teams in the world that joined the 7 disk autonomous club, setting our alliance up for success from the start with 42 points. We ended our match with a level 1 hang using our pickup/utility arm.
We had several design iterations on the hang. Our initial mechanism (Kraken 0) allowed us to climb/pull ourselves up the corner of the pyramid using a custom built gate latch mechanism powered with gas shocks to get a level 3 climb. The theory worked in CAD, but when it came to testing it out, we were never able to succeed. So we went back to the drawing board and designed another mechanism (Narwhal) to achieve a level 2 climb for North Star. This mechanism worked in testing, but we never ended up using it in a match because a winch cable snapped while we were re-compressing the gas shocks which we believe was due to burrs rubbing against the cable.
We also made our chassis and other tube components with a 1″ hole pattern (inspiration from 973, 1323, & 1477) to provide an easy mounting platform and standardized bolt sizes. Our 2 air tanks were located in the large side tubes to save space and increase safety if they were to explode.
Our butterfly drive train was inspired by our mentor Aren and his dad who coaches 1625 based on 148’s 2011 design.


This year we attended the Greater Kansas City Regional where we finished as a quarter finalist, the Minnesota North Star Regional where we won the Engineering Inspiration Award which qualified us for the FIRST Robotics Championship – Newton Division where we ended up as a Semifinalist. We also attended the Cowtown Throwdown Offseason where we ended as a quarterfinalist.


Read our complete chairman’s submission or executive summary and watch our video.

The Team

2014 Team Photo


Jeremy G, Dagney P, Conor A, Tifany C, Matt D, Kyle G, Woo Young J, Zhi L, Logan P, Binaya S, Bekah S, Rachael S, Timothy S, Takeshi S, Luke V, Evan W



We would like to thank our sponsors who sponsored us during the season for their contribution to the team. Diamond: Danfoss | John Deere
Platinum: CIT Signature Transportation | Quality Manufacturing Corporation
Gold: City of Ames Electric Services | SolidWorks | Story County 4-H Foundation
Silver: Kemin | Emerson
Bronze: GitHub | TSI
Honorable Mention: Ames Cars | Frontline Bioenergy | Jacob Pleasants | Anonymous
Partners: Iowa State University Extension/Story County 4-H | ISU Robotics Club | Iowa State University Boyd Lab

Wrap Up

Additional Season Content