2017 – Steamworks

Our robot for the Steamworks competition, named Cliffhanger, was a low profile robot running 6 wheel, standard belt drive and tank style steering. The pivoting gear collection/delivery system was placed on one end, and the control system with a clear cover for easy access on was placed on the other end. A climb mechanism composed of a winch and directional flaps was positioned at the centre of the bot. It featured the ability to toggle between two directions as the front of the robot, along with two cameras attached to the base of the climbing mechanism with the same ability.

Design Objectives

The team decided that the most important capability for the robot to have, was the ability to deliver gears. With this in mind, the following objectives were set and prioritized as follows:

  • Capable of delivering gears
  • Capable of climbing a rope
  • Cameras to cope with poor visibility due to airships
  • Ability to release fuel from the hopper containers

Design Principles

In order to meet the objectives outlined above, we had to adhere to the following parameters:

  • Meet dimension restrictions (36in x 24 in x 40in)
  • Minimum ground clearance of 5 inches to drive over fuel
  • A gear mechanism able to collect and deliver gears
  • A climbing system allowing the robot to climb within 30 seconda
  • Two cameras with ability to allow for improved vision for the drivers
  • Ability to toggle which end of the robot is the front (and the camera feed with it)
  • Maintaining accessibility of electronic components


  • Second pick for the 4th Alliance (Georgian College)

Lessons Learned

  • Learned about team organization
  • Learned about time management during build season
  • Keep it simple!
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