FIPA news: Ada conquers California

The FIRST Robotics Competition is an opportunity for students to learn skills like engineering and programming in a setting that encourages teamwork and positive competition.


The Plus Ultra Team #7413 formed as a community team and is made up of primarily 6th and 7th grade students with one 5th grade and one 12th grader. Each year a new task is given. This year they had to design, build, and operate a robot that earns points by leaving a platform, which is its “habitat,” securing bins in “rockets” and “cargo ships” by placing “hatch panels” over holes, loading “cargo” in the form of balls into the secured bins and returning to its “habitat.”


The Plus Ultra Team’s robot is named Ada, after the mathematician Ada Lovelace. Ada is capable of traveling over 17 feet per second, it weighs 100 pounds exactly and uses 11 Redline 775 motors. They also used a pneumatic and vacuum system to pick the hatches up. This is where FIPA comes into play. FIPA sponsored the team with 10 Varioflex® bellows cups and corresponding suspensions, an inline ejector as well as a variety of accessories and peripheral components. “Employing FIPA technology on our vacuum cup mechanism worked like a charm, and was an instrumental piece to our strategy,” praises Patric Herring, coach and mentor of the Plus Ultra Team.


The Plus Ultra Team #7413 had a great time and a very good showing at their first competition in Fresno, CA. The robot had zero problems at all and performed so well, which allowed the team to focus on game strategy rather than on a broken bot. As a result, they took home the coveted “Highest Rookie Seed Award”, ranked 12th out of 49 teams, and were also given the 2019 Entrepreneurship Award. During the Monterey Bay Regional, the second FIRST Robotics Competition, the Plus Ultra Team #7413 finished in 11th place as quarterfinalists and also took home the 2019 MBR “Rookie Inspiration Award”.


It was FIPA’s pleasure to be a part of their robot’s success and support local students that are willing to put in time after school and give up their Saturdays to build a strong bot. Around 70 percent of them are interested in careers in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math field.

Team Plus Ultra #7413 at FIRST Robotics Competition.


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