by the students, for the students

Welcome to the 1st Annual BWTLink Design Challenge (BDC)!

Every year during the offseason (May - August) of the FIRST programs, us here at BWTLink will be creating a challenge for all students to participate in. The theme will be a particular topic posed by something we noticed in the recent competitions, and students have complete freedom to solve the challenge in anyway they wish.

For the 2023 year, one thing we particularly saw time and time again was an inefficient use of vertically mounted linear slides. A large amount of teams attached a claw/intake to the bottom of the outermost slide, which meant upon extension, the entire stroke length of that slide ends up wasted (see the slide shown in the middle of the picture). Your goal is to design a mechanism to make better use of this particular section of your linear slides (see the right slide shown in the picture).

Some additional information including the details on how submissions will be taken, scored, and everything else is included below.

Basic requirements:
  • You are expected to design and BUILD your design.
  • You must use at least ONE BWTLink series slide - which version/length does not matter - within your solution.
  • You are allowed only ONE actuator (motor, servo, etc.) to power slide extension as well as to achieve your slide conservation solution.
  • Students must be affiliated with a robotics team.
  • Submissions will be submitted under the team affiliation (Multiple submissions are allowed and all submissions will be considered individually).
  • You are expected to include supplemental documentation detailing your design process, design principles, and final product description - try to include pictures to aid your text! (PDF format)*.
  • You must submit a 2-minute video pitch demonstrating and explaining your design (Video link is required)*.
* Student designs that are named as winners will be published and showcased towards the robotics community.

  • Designs are primarily weighted in terms of efficiency and innovativeness. As such, scoring for your design will be two fold:
    • To measure efficiency, you will be assessed upon what percentage of the stroke length has been preserved in your design.
    • Additionally, to evaluate innovativeness, we are looking for creative methods of solving the issue at hand in a simplistic, concise manner.
  • In the event that multiple designs receive the highest point band, we will be considering the following factors:
    • Should solutions be identical/near identical, we will prioritize submissions that contain more unique/innovative/concise components (as well as those that are submitted earlier).
    • Should multiple distinctly unique/innovative/concise submissions be present, all designs will be recognized.

Our scoring rubric will look as follows:
Points Earned100857550
DescriptionConserves 100% of the stroke lengthConserves at least 75% of the stroke lengthConserves at least 50% of the stroke lengthThe bare minimum - any design that works to any extent of conserving stroke length conservation

  • There will be prizes ($150, $100, and $50) in grant money for the top three places (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) respectively for the affiliated team(s) of the winning student(s) to aid in their coming season’s competition.
  • The winning student(s) will win a custom certificate recognizing their individual(s) innovative solution towards our proposed challenge.

Important Dates:
  • Event Kickoff: June 17th, 2023
  • Submission Deadline: July 30th, 2023 (11:59PM PST) Click "Proceed to Submit My Application" button below to submit your work.
  • Awards Announcement: August 5th, 2023 on BWTLink website. Winner(s) will receive a notification email.

Should you have any questions, please contact us HERE!

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