Front page blog and updates

We are wrapping up the 2018 season and I wanted to not end it without a blog post. This year the blog post has been pretty much non-existent. We have been pretty regularly updating our friends and fans through our Facebook page instead. We have also periodically written articles for the Miami County newspaper. Because of this, I think the blog may eventually move off the main page as we reconsider the information we share here.

The biggest news is moving shop locations to “The Barn” which is a Paola school building which also houses the Ag program and school buses. We will continue to work to build an excellent workspace and hope we will find a home there for many years. The new address is 1705 Industrial Rd., Paola, KS 66071. Hopefully we can get back soon to doing more techical things with the team, but we will be working on getting setup after the move most of this summer. I’d like to get the website back on a more regular schedule of updates and information. We thank you for your continued support of Panther Robotics.


Huntsville Day 1 Results

Just a little update.  We finished 4-3 after the first day and in 15 of 50 place.  Throughout the day we had some pneumatic issues after some hard hits (it is rough out there).  We hope to clear the remaining issues before today’s (Saturdays) matches so that we can make a run at it.

Overall, we played the game well.  One loss was by only 7 points and another we had a partner that could have won the match.  We have been consistently climbing the rope doing so in 6 of 7 matches.  We had an issue with our ratchet in one match, but figured out how to adjust.  We’ve score 2-3 gears in most matches, helping our alliance get the rotors turning.

KC Wrap-Up

Now it has been a couple days since the KC regional.  Typically we like to write up a post to share results and pictures with everyone as soon as possible.  This year we have a smaller number of students, and keeping up with everything we’d like to do has been a challenge.

Thursday we started with a robot that was mostly complete mechanically, but pretty much untested during the six-week build period.  We had to make last minute tweaks to the robot and try to pass inspection as fast as we could so that our two possible drive teams could get enough practice experience to compete.  The inspection didn’t go through without hiccups.  During it, they found that our robot electrical system was ground to the frame, a big no-no, and it had the potential to derail our chances at practice.  Luckily, we noticed a wire had gotten wedged between the metal frame, and removing it (and taping with electrical tape) fixed the problem.  After another small pneumatic problem, we were able to make it to the practice field for 3 matches.

Meanwhile, we were making updates to the NI LABVIEW program which controls the robot and in a later practice match we had a control cable (PWM) to our motor controller come undone.  With help from Tyler Hieber (5968) we were able to fix the electrical issue, but Alex C. (our programming and electrical lead) and Nelson G. (an engineering mentor) continued to have some confusion and problems with code to make the joysticks drive the robot correctly and with pneumatic operation of the gear gripper.  Some of these problems continued into the qualification matches played on Friday, and diminished our abilities to compete.  Luckily, we had the help from various people to help Alex C. to get the robot performing to its best.  We want to thank Pete (1730), Kate (CSA), Gregg (remotely), and anyone else that helped.

Saturday we performed better and had working auto modes for scoring in the high boiler.  We also finished the competition climbing the rope in the last 6 matches, which was a very important task for winning in this game.  We finished in #20 place with a 5-4 record, which was an improvement upon last year (when we finished #37).  However, we weren’t selected to play in the playoff matches, to our disappointment, because of the inconsistent play during our troubles with the robot (which had our drivers going sideways).  During the playoff, our team spent time working on the robot to add some more competitive features because we leave on Tuesday for our second and final regional competition for this year.  We are going to Huntsville, Alabama, which is known as Rocket City because it is the home of NASA’s rocket facility.  We will tour the visitor center on Wednesday and compete at the Von Braun (creator of the Saturn V) center.  Again, you can follow our social media (links in menu) or for updates on our trip.

KC Regional

This is the better link to find the streaming video of the regional and also the schedule of matches for today and tomorrow.  Our first match is at 10 am and we hope to do well.

Yesterday, we had the practice day and were able to get 3 practice matches in and to tune up our robot named Amelia.

For the video from the above link look for the green button that says “watch”.  And speaking of green, Happy St. Patrick’s Day and if you come to the regional (at Metropolitan Community College) stop by our pit and ask for our special Shamrock buttons.

Mid-season update #1

We’re in the middle of build season and working to finish our Steamworks robot.

For game details, see Steamworks.

For our most recent picture and media look to our team Facebook page.

The theme of the website has changed for this year.  Most of the previous information is accessible through the menu.  The team’s robot history is being worked on, moving them into “portfolio” pages.  Other details, like current team members and sponsors, will be updated soon, so stay tuned.



Team Updates

News you can use

We finished our competition season after the Colorado regional.  You can read all about it in our Miami County Republic article.

Also in the news was our sponsorship by Monsanto Fund of $5000.  We thank them for their generous support of our team this year.  We used this money to help pay for our second regional this year, which really helped us to make great improvement to Sir Launch A Lot and to finish in 8th place.  The article is only available in the hard print version.

Kalmar Tour

We thank Kalmar for giving us a tour of their business and assembly plant.  The students learned about the global cargo distribution business.  Kalmar is a world leader in trucks and other equipment.  The Ottawa, Kansas, facility designs and builds terminal tractor for moving trailers around cargo distribution lots.  Their plant director, Alan Wilson, and engineer, Bob Hrenchir, both gave a couple hours of their time for the tour.  We also greatly appreciate Bob for being a mentor on 1108 and Kalmar for being a sponsor.


Leonardo from Vinci, Italy (da Vinci)

Our team visited the exhibit on the great thinker and Renaissance man at the KC Union Station.  His written works, or codices, came alive with many model scale recreations.  The team enjoyed all aspects of his life from the mechanical machines to the great art (Last Supper, Mona Lisa), but especially enjoyed trying to recreate their own flying machines.

Robot scouts

Our shop had visitors from the local scouting troop.  They learned about building robots, saw the robot, and got behind the controls.  These young leaders were shown the fun and possibility of pursuing STEM opportunities.


Practice Day at Colorado Regional

First of all we made it to Denver today.  We only had to wait until 9 am for the gates to open for the interstate.  We made it to the regional sometime after 1 pm.  Roads were interesting.

The robot has passed inspection.  But this did not happen until after 6 pm tonight.  We had some repairs to be made to the robot that weren’t completed earlier, from some damage during the KC regional, but these ended up a longer than expected time for fixing the robot.  We made one practice match, but practiced on the practice field.

Our first match is Friday at 8:58 am. The full match schedule is on  There are also webcasts located on that site too.

We can’t wait to get back to it tomorrow morning.  We had good results with NRLB, having many opportunities to help teams, even lending a compressor at one point.  We helped the California team, 1138, who were delayed, and are in the lab next to us.

Pictures from today will post on Facebook, so be sure to look there as well.






Today, we were bound for the Denver FIRST robotics regional at Denver University’s Ritchie Center.  Forty-eight teams from several states will meet to take on the challenge of this years game, FIRST Stronghold.  Twelve students and ten mentors, along with some parents, were hoping to arrive tonight to set-up our robot pit and to relax at our hotel before tomorrow’s practice day, but the fickle March weather had different plans dumping snow across Denver and the eastern plains.  With the high winds and snow, blizzard conditions led to the closure of Interstate 70 from Denver to the Kansas border.  After several hours of driving, our team was faced with the decision of how to proceed and have chosen to stay the night in Goodland, Kansas, and then proceed to competition in the morning.

We hope to get an early start and arrive in time to load-in the robot and equipment, and to get to work making some last minute repairs and modifications before having time on the practice field.  Snow across the region has affected many FIRST teams and volunteers.  Some teams were stranded waiting at airports, as the Denver airport was closed to all flights.  The regional asked for other volunteers to help with field set-up, as other committed mentors could not reach the venue.  The venue, the Ritchie Center, is located at the University of Denver, who cancelled classes today.  We expect that the regional will proceed normally, with a delay tomorrow as teams make their way in.

We are excited to meet and compete with the FIRST teams from Colorado and other states and hope they all have safe travels.  Many have already competed at other regionals, so the competition should be refined.  We are looking forward to working with other teams, sharing the knowledge, experience, and team spirit that 1108 is known for with the Denver regional.

To keep up with the team, be sure to follow updates on our social media sites (below).  For the Denver regional the events, possible webcast, and results are posted at  On Twitter, look for the #coloradofrc tag or follow the Bionic Tigers’ (Team 1592) twitter list to keep up with the regional.


Kansas City Wrap-up


We, team 1108, had a fantastic time meeting and interacting with other teams at the Greater Kansas City Regional.

We are proud that our robot was selected into the 6th alliance which included The Cyborgs (#1825) and Team Scream (#4522.) Their robots were great in the offensive and we are grateful that we were able to work with them.

Our team is known for our No Robot Left Behind program, and teams that were assisted through this nominated us for the Gracious Professionalism award. Our team recognizes this as an award of high prestige and is extremely appreciative that we were able to earn this award.

It always amazes the team how connected first is. One of our mentors, Gregg R., was very engaged with helping other teams with their robots and providing his own expertise. It just so happens that Saturday, the 12th of march, was his birthday. So at one point during the day all of the teams in the stands sang happy birthday to Gregg. During a meeting after the regional, Gregg mentioned this being a key part in his experience at the Greater Kansas City Regional.

Here are some pictures from last few day, and be sure to look at more pictures and videos on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.