FIRST For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology
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Our Solution: Valencia

Our 2016 FRC robot, Valencia, uses three main mechanisms to accomplish the objectives of FIRST STRONGHOLD: a chassis for driving over defenses, a arm mechanism for lifting defenses, and a shooter for scoring in the two goals. Like every year, the robot’s name is a four syllable girl’s name in the tradition of our Archimedes Division Champion robot, Victoria. Valencia means “Brave”.

Valencia at Center Line District

Valencia Crossing Rough Terrain

Thank you to our amazing sponsors for their incredible support! Our robot would not be possible without them!


Photos of Valencia at Competitions

Valencia Lifts Porticullis

Waterford District Competition in Waterford, Michigan

Center Line District Competition in Center Line, Michigan

Queen City Regional in Cincinnati, Ohio

World Championship in St. Louis, Missouri

Brief Recap

Waterford District

  • Second pick on second alliance
  • Semifinalist

Centerline District

  • First pick on 6th alliance
  • Quarter Finalist
  • Dean’s List Finalist – Megan
  • Winner of Entrepreneurship Award

Queen’s City Regional

  • Captain of the second alliance
  • Winner of Entrepreneurship Award
  • Champion- Captain of the winning alliance

Chassis & Drivetrain

  • Custom chassis design with 4-wheel drive
  • 8” pneumatic wheels
  • Dual CIM Motor transmission for each side
  • Two speed transmission ~ 15 ft/sec in high gear and 6 ft/sec in low

Defense Crossing

  • Can cross both defenses in category A (Portcullis & Cheval de Frise)
  • Can cross both defenses in category B (Moat & Ramparts)
  • Can cross one defense in category C (Sallyport)
  • Can cross both defenses in category D (Rock Wall & Rough Terrain)
  • Can challenge the tower

Shooting/Boulder Control

  • Catapult shooter for high goal shooting
  • Ability to shoot from different points in the courtyard
  • Ground Boulder pick up with reverse for low goal scoring

Controls & Programming

  • Potentiometer to control angle of arm
  • Dual camera system (both front & rear)
  • Programmed in Java
  • Vision Processing for shooting


  • Move to defense
  • Cross chassis-based defenses

Check out Valencia’s Spec Sheet!


Valencia Spec Sheet


The Field


FIRST STRONGHOLD is played on a 27 ft. by 54 ft. field. Each alliance commands one tower, five defenses, and a ‘secret passage’ which allows their robots to restock on ammunition, called boulders. One defense in each alliance’s set of five, the low bar, is a permanent part of the field. Three defenses are selected strategically by the alliance prior to the start of their match. The final defense changes periodically by audience selection.

Game Pieces

FIRST STRONGHOLD is played using many different components. There are 9 different defenses of which 5 are put on the field each match. These defenses include a Portcullis, Cheval de Frise, Ramparts, Moat, Drawbridge, Sally Port, Rock Wall, Rough Terrain, and Low Bar.  Each alliance also has a tower with high and low goals. The last component of the game is the boulder, which is a dodge ball.

Autonomous Period

Each FIRST STRONGHOLD match begins with a 15-second autonomous period in which robots operate
independently of human control. During this period, robots attempt to cross opposing defenses and score in the opposing tower.

Teleoperated Period

During the remaining 2 minutes and 15 seconds of the match, called the teleop period, robots are controlled by student drivers from behind their castle wall at the end of the field. Teams on an alliance work together to cross defenses, weaken the opposing tower by scoring boulders in it, and finally surround, scale and capture the tower.


Capture Capture1

Alliances are ranked by a combination of their Win-Loss-Tie record, breach success, and tower capture
success. A win is determined by comparing total match points between alliances at the end of the match
and earns an alliance two ranking points. Ties earn an alliance one ranking point. Capturing an opponents’ tower at the end of the match earns each team on the alliance one ranking point. Breaching an opponents’ outer works by crossing four of the five defenses twice earns an additional ranking point. Ranking points are the primary way teams are ranked during qualification rounds, so are very important. Note that while only one alliance can win a match, either, both, or none may capture a tower or breach the outer works.