Ultimate Ascent is the 2013 FIRST Robotics Competition and is styled similarly to Ultimate Frisbee. The game is played on a 27 feet by 54 feet carpeted field. The field is divided evenly in two by a center line, separating the territories for each alliance. At either end of the field are goals, one high, two medium, located on either side of the high goal, and one low, which is located on the far right corner of each end of the field. In the center at either end of the field is a pyramid constructed of 1.5 inch diameter steel tubing, colored either red or blue, corresponding to which side of the field it is on. There is another goal on top of the pyramid.

During each match, teams will try to shoot Frisbees into their alliance’s goals. Points differ based on which goal the Frisbee is thrown in and when during the match they were scored. Each alliance begins the match with 45 white Frisbees and 6 colored Frisbees at either side of the field. White Frisbees may only be shot at the goals at either end of the playing field, while only colored Frisbees may be shot at the corresponding goal on top of the pyramid. Scoring a Frisbee at a non-corresponding goal will result in a foul.

At the end of each match, alliances try to earn bonus points by climbing the pyramid located in the middle of either side of the playing field. The higher the robot climbs on the pyramid, the more points (10, 20, or 30) that alliance receives.

Our Robot: Otto

This year began like any other, massively extensive brainstorming on whole walls of white boards, crazy ideas, and the buzz of excitement. Very quickly, we determined our ‘bot for the year would be predominantly offensive and would shoot Frisbees instead of climbing the endgame jungle gym to the top. Although we found it to be rather easy to design a sort of ‘hanging’ layout where our robot would scurry to our alliances tower during endgame and quickly life in a sort of chin up to receive a final 10 bonus points.