From Team 449 Wiki

ROUS in a fabulous pose
Robot Details
Game Name: First Stronghold
Year: 2016
Awards Won
Greater DC: Team Spirit Award
Hampton Roads: Excellence in Engineering Award

ROUS (Robot of Unusual Size), was Team 449's robot in 2016. It was designed to be a courier breacher with minimal low goal capabilities, with the wedge in front as its main breaching mechanism in the game First Stronghold.

Drive System


ROUS used 6 8-inch AndyMark pneumatic wheels.


We used two WCP 3-CIM single speed gearboxes. Originally, we used belts to drive the front and back wheels, but in testing, it turned out that the belts slipped a lot due to the sprockets being too small. We fixed this by switching the drive to use chains.



The idea behind the wedge design was to allow us to cross the portcullis and cheval de frise defenses by simply driving over them. The surface presented by the wedge would be angled, which would translate the robot's horizontal motion into vertical force.


The wedge was constructed from 4 pieces of metal: the three sides of the triangle and the bearing block. it was held together with bolts, which were either through-bolted or screwed into riv-nuts. Originally, the bearing block was held on by rivets, but after all 8 of them sheared in testing, we switched to 10-32 bolts.


  • Has three modes; vertical mode, cheval mode, and portcullis mode. Uses pneumatics to change between modes.
  • Vertical mode is used when crossing obstacles such as the rock wall.
  • Cheval mode allows the robot to autonomously cross the cheval de frise.
  • Portcullis mode allows the robot to autonomously cross the portcullis.
  • Has a polycarb sheet to expand surface area.
  • Really good at breaking out of arena

In Practice

The wedge was excellent at passively opening the portcullis and the sides of the field. However, it ended up being poor at passively breaching the cheval de frise. This was due to the fact that there was not enough force provided by one of the pistons to keep the wedge stiff.

Ball Intake

This part was intentionally decided to not be our main focus during our strategy meetings. It was decided this would serve purely to allow ROUS to be a courier while breaching the defenses.


The ball intake is made with several pieces of 2 by 1 and 1 by 1 aluminum tubes. It also has a 20" hex shaft with six wheels on it. The hex shaft is mounted on two drilled out pieces of aluminum using bearings, with shaft collars on either side of each wheel. The intake also has an L-shaped bar over the hex shaft upon which a camera is mounted. Two [IR sensor]s were placed on the two vertical 1 by 1 aluminum tubes to detect when the ball has been taken in so that the wheels can be stopped. This feature was implemented to avoid excessive wear on the boulder and on the wheels. The intake is mounted on two points onto the main robot right under the two horizontal shield bars over the electronics board. There are two pistons in the robot which point upwards and push on two aluminum pieces connected to the aluminum tubes of the intake which toggle the ball intake between its raised and lowered modes. The ball intake also has two "feet" on the bottom of the lowest bar which protect the drive frame from the impact of the ball intake's fall at the beginning of every match. They absorb the impact on landing, and then flick upwards when the robot drives backwards. They are only used at the beginning of each round. The intake is incapable of shooting high goals, but can shoot low goals and pick up balls more easily. The intake has a polycarb shield to keep the boulders from flying out of the ball intake, and also to keep them in contact with the wheels so they can be outputted. The surfaces on the top of the intake are all covered in delrin to ensure the portcullis would not get stuck on it.


  • Starts completely vertical, drops when the robot drives forward.
  • Has two retractable legs the flip up to keep it from damaging the aluminum frame when landing.
  • Has two modes, one where it is parallel to the ground and one where it is slightly raised.
  • Low mode used to shoot in low goals.
  • High mode used to cross defenses.
  • Uses a set of wheels to suck in and shoot out boulders.
  • Uses a net to hold boulders.

In Practice

(how well it did in competitions etc)