Twin Tweaks ...
JAGUARS TO HELP PROTOBOT REALLY PURR
(NOT THAT JAGUAR!).
THE UCANDRIVE INTERFACE.
ANDROID + PROTOBOT = AWESOME!
74 SERVO 06.2011
overdone to the point of hyperbole (like putting a large
3/4” thick 7075 aluminum plate on the front of your FIRST
robot). The cool factor is anything that you can add to your
project that will make people look at it and spontaneously
utter “that’s cool.” Whatever form it takes, we think the
cool factor is, in fact, an important part of any robotics
endeavor. The cool factor helps people take ownership of
the project. It gives them something to be proud of. Of
course, any functional robot truly is something to be proud
of, but a functional robot emblazoned with your own
personality is something that cultivates a real sense of
When Control Systems
Compete, You Win!
Reviving Protobot gave us an idea for the perfect
application for a control system like Cross-Link. We built
Protobot in 2004, after the 2004 FIRST season and in
preparation for the 2005 season. Our FIRST team was at a
crossroads. After two solid seasons, the original team
members had only one more year before graduation. New
members were coming in, but we needed a way to impart
the enthusiasm that we had built up through two years of
competition. That enthusiasm was at a critical mass after
the 2004 competition, with the team brimming with ideas
for next year and eager for a system on which to test them
out. We built Protobot as a way to test new ideas and
demystify the robot building process for new members.
This sort of project would be a perfect opportunity to
implement something like the Cross-Link control system. We
think it’s a great idea to have more choices when it comes
to control systems for a robot, particularly in an
environment like FIRST (or any competitive robotics, for that
matter). Choosing between different control systems
demands that teams understand what exactly makes those