2001: Diabolical Dynamics – Major Domo

The Beginning

The 2001 competition season was our first year competing as a FIRST® Robotics team. We named our team DOMO ARIGATO (Applied Robotics, Innovation, Gameplay, And Technology Opportunity).

The Game: Diabolical Dynamics

DIABOLICAL DYNAMICS consisted of a single four-member alliance, and the goal was to accumulate as many points as possible. The field was a rectangle with a barrier across the middle of the field. This barrier consisted of a 2 x 4 with a metal piping structure attached that left a gap of 1 foot to “limbo” under or “hop” over. In the middle of this barrier was a teeter-totter bridge. Two narrow movable octagonal goals, 8 feet in height, were place on either end of the field. Across the field were four large exercise balls (2 ½ foot in diameter). The player station had a bunch of playground balls. To score, an alliance needed to fill the two goals with playground balls for 1 point a piece. Each large ball on top of a goal was worth 10 points. Each robot at the opposite end of the field in the End Zone was worth 10 points. If the teeter-totter bridge was balanced in the middle of the playing field with 1 goal on it, the end score was multiplied by 2. If the bridge was balanced with both goals on it, the end score was multiplied by 4. Finishing all of the tasks within a certain time frame earned teams a bonus multiplier. Here is the breakdown:


Time Remaining (sec) Multiplier
120-91 3
90-61 2.5
60-31 2
30-16 1.5
15-0 1

The Robot: Major Domo

History2001-1-300x225 Team 537, in our inaugural year, resolved to (in typical fashion) do everything. Our robot, Major Domo, was designed to be able to place a ball on top of a goal, grab onto two goals, and balance both goals on the bridge. We also were going to have an assembly that could reset the bridge. In addition, we would be configurable. Depending on the strategy outlined in the queuing line, we could remove our arm and become a “limbo”-bot, in less than 10 seconds, which did not need to use the bridge to get around the field.

Member Awards


Award Received By
Mentor of the Year Carlos Rodriguez
Most Improved Matthew VanMullem
Most Technically Proficient Derek Olson
Most Valuable Participant Tony Michalski
Special Recognition Steve Berger, Olde Templeton Inn
Team Spirit Amanda Becker