IBOTS Swerve Design Challenge


Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to design, prototype, build, program, and test a swerve drive module that can be used in future competitions.


What is Swerve Drive?

It is a type of drivetrain that uses hi grip wheels that rotate along their vertical axis to change the direction of the robot. This allows for an agile robot that has significant pushing power. It combines the driving flexibility of mecanum / omni wheels with the traction of hi grip wheel. The best of both drivetrains. The downside of swerve is the complexity and cost of the system.


Why a Swerve Drive Challenge?

Swerve is a complicated drive system with real world uses.  Students will need to design in CAD, create parts lists, work with mentors to buy the needed materials, fabricate custom parts, assemble the modules, and work with the electrical and programming team to get their product to function.  It requires a lot of work with different skill sets, project management, procurement, and working with teammates.  This makes building swerve a unique and challenging task.


Swerve in action



Examples of Swerve Modules

Here are some samples of swerve modules teams have built. 


Picture 1 of 13


Where do I begin?

Here’s a library of basic parts for Solidworks.  Start by looking at examples and come up with your own design.  Think about what kind of problems you foresee – ground clearance, obstacles, other robots, even the carpet being uneven.  You may want to create a solution for a specific situation (tank tread? Ultra low profile?) or a versatile module (CVT? Shifting? Multiwheel?). Next, build the entire system in CAD.  You can use stock parts from Andymark.com, WCProducts.net, VEXPRO, McMaster-Carr, or other vendors.  It’s helpful if the vendor provided a CAD model of the product you want to use, or you’ll have to create it from scratch. Once the entire design is finished, create a spreadsheet with a list of required parts.  Work with a mentor to buy what you need.  Then, build your swerve and present it to the team!


Find a starter pack of stock parts here


How Do I Get My Design Built?

Once your design is complete, it will be reviewed by mentors.  If your design meets the criteria and is the mentors feel it will be functional, we can prototype a single module for testing.  We may even build all four and put it on a robot for full scale testing!  Here’s a few tips to make your design successful:

  • Include fasteners, clips, shaft collars, spacers, etc – every single thing you would need to build it.  Don’t skip parts because you will just add them later.  
  • Visualize how your system will work and make sure everything will behave as you expect.  Your axle needs to be secured so it doesn’t fall out, gears and bearings have to be held in place, and clearances should be put in.  It should work in the drawing before anything gets cut.
  • Make a list of parts – put a spreadsheet together with everything you need – bolts, nuts, shafting, wheels – everything.  Building the module will be a lot easier this way.



Good luck, and have fun!  Please contact your mentors if you have any questions.

IBOTS win Judges’ Award and Finalist at Southern NH District Event

The IBOTS joined FIRST FRC Team 1922 Oz-ram Robotics from Contocook / Weare, NH and Team 716, the Who’sCTEKS from Falls Village, CT on the finalist alliance at the 2017 FIRST Steamworks District Event held at Bedford High School in Bedford, NH.  The IBOTS were picked by the third seeded team and advanced through the playoffs to the finals.   They were defeated by FRC Team 238, 1073, and 6328 in the final two matches.

The IBOTS also won the judges award.  During the course of the competition, the judging panel encounters teams whose unique efforts, performance, or dynamics merit recognition yet do not fit into any of the existing award categories.  The judges have defined the following special award as a Judges’ Award for the IBOTS:


“We are proud to award the judges award for exemplifying FIRST to this deserving team.  They showed up ready to help with field assembly and were nominated by both judges and other teams for their gracious professionalism. They had a solid design that was well thought out and effective. These were the visible elements that jumped out. When you dig down and talk with the team it is clear that they have a well thought out plan, an organized design approach, excellent communication skills, and a well organized area. For these reasons, we are pleased to award Team 2370 – IBOTS from Rutland, VT the Judges Award for Exemplifying FIRST.”



The event can be viewed online at theBlueAlliance.com.

IBOTS win the 2017 Worcester Polytechnic District Event

The IBOTS joined FIRST FRC Team 3623 The Terror Bots from Leominster, MA and Team 1991, the Dragons from Hartford, CT on the winning alliance at the 2017 FIRST Steamworks District Event held at Worcester, MA.  The IBOTS were ranked 1st during the first few hours of the event, but suffered mechanical failures and fell to 21st by the end of the second day.  The Terror Bots selected 2370 as their first alliance partner and the Dragons to round out the team.


The alliance came out on top after playing twelve playoff matches over several hours.  The event had 40 teams from all over the Northeast competing for a chance to play at the New England District Championship at the University of New Hampshire in April.   The IBOTS will be playing next at the Southern New Hampshire District Event in Bedford, NH from March 24th – 26th.  The event can be viewed online at theBlueAlliance.com.

IBOTs win the Champbot Challenge!

14502733_1841525439425053_3868052752062867806_nCongratulations to Alex Lasante and Jon Urbani for winning the Champbot challenge at the Champlain Maker Faire.  They had to design and build a robotic boat that looks like Champ that could go through an obstacle course, light a target on fire, drop a buoy into a target, and submerge, all while being timed.   There were nine other robots at the competition and the IBOTs won the $2,500 grand prize and another trophy.

IBOTS Attend FIRST Championship in St. Louis, MS

Upon arrival at FIRST Championship











Team 2370 (the IBOTS) are attending the FIRST Championship in St. Louis, MS.  This is the first time the IBOTS have qualified for this honor and are very excited about participating in this prestigious international event.  15 members of this Rutland, VT team have made the journey which was made possible by a number of local businesses, organizations and individuals.  The team greatly appreciates the outpouring of support they have received.


Feel free to follow the team by watching their matches on:



Look for Team 2370 in the Carver Division April 27th-30th.

  • Qualification Match 6
  • Qualification Match 21
  • Qualification Match 31
  • Qualification Match 40
  • Qualification Match 54
  • Qualification Match 68
  • Qualification Match 78
  • Qualification Match 95
  • Qualification Match 106
  • Qualification Match 114

The winning teams from each division will face off in Saturday’s playoffs in the Einstein Field.


Have you been following Team 2370 in the news?

Rutland Robotics Team Heads To International Championship

By Nina Keck, April 27, 2016



Rutland County Students Gear Up For Robotics Competition

By Lynzi DeLuccia, April 21, 2016



Sponsors Who Made This Possible:

iBots Prepare for FIRST Northeast District Championships in Hartford, CT

IMG_8884FIRST Robotics Competition Team 2370 from Rutland, VT will be attending the Northeast District Championships in Hartford, CT from April 13th – 16th.   They ended the district events ranked 36th out of 181 teams in the New England District, which qualified them for the Championship.   The team is looking forward to competing and may earn a spot in the FIRST World Championship at the Edward Jones Center in St. Louis, MO.  The team has been fundraising over the past few weeks and would like to thank all the support from the community that has provided them with the opportunity.


The NE District Championship is free and open to the public.  For more information, please visit the NEFIRST website.  Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @frc2370 for updates during the event. Good luck iBots!

Area High School Students take 2nd place in New England Robotics Competition

University of UNH Team PhotoNew Hampshire – March 24th-26th: High School students competed this weekend in FIRST robotic events around the world.  Four Vermont teams traveled to the University of New Hampshire to participate in this highest level of robotics competition.  The iBots from Rutland, VT who have been competing since 2008, is currently comprised of seventeen students from schools throughout the region. They were joined by The Green Team from Randolph, Tech Storm from St. Johnsbury, and the Grasshoppers from White River Junction.


For most of the three day UNH event the iBots held first. In the last few close matches, the iBots were overtaken in points and ended up as the second seed out of 40 teams.   During the playoffs they made the finals in an alliance with the Grasshoppers and the Robo-Rebels.   In the quarterfinals they narrowly defeated The Green Team and their alliance partners Team Pheonix and the Dirty Birds.  The iBots, Grasshoppers and Robo-Rebels proceeded to sweep the semifinals but were brought down in the finals,finishing second in the UNH event..


The iBots also made it to the playoffs in a previous event at Worcester Polytechnic Institute two weeks ago, and ended up as semi-finalists.  Thanks to strong showing at both competitions they are preparing for the district championship in Hartford, Connecticut in the coming weeks, and possibly playing at the FIRST World Championships at the Metrodome in St. Louis in front of 40,000 students from 39 countries.


The iBots would like to thank their generous sponsors who have made this all possible:  Aldermans, GE Aviation Volunteers, Timco Jewelers, VELCO, Green Mountain Power, OMYA, Happy Valley Painters, and the Rutland Regional Medical Center.  The team is currently fundraising to be able to attend the upcoming events.


For more information or to help support the team in its efforts to reach the world championships, please contact Dan Roswell at danroswell@gmail.com.