Byting Bulldogs' Seventh Year

The 2016-17 season saw several interesting developments for the Byting Bulldogs.

  • Though we lost a lot of talent when our 15 seniors graduated in May 2016, we were delighted to add many new students for the following season. In fact, 22 of our 44 members were new to the team in 2017!

  • When the space that housed our practice field was leased to a retailer at the end of the 2016 competition season, we had to scramble to find an alternative location. We were fortunate to secure two major benefactors, Ultimate Hydroforming and Sharp Tooling Solutions, who together agreed to sponsor a practice field on McLean Drive in Bruce Township for years to come. The stability of a year-round space allowed us to reach out more effectively to our fellow FRC competitors. Over 30 teams made use of this invaluable resource in 2017.

  • We added a second girls-only competition to our offseason line-up. Our girls’ team took home top honors from the Grand Rapids girls’ competition and were quarterfinalists at the Bloomfield competition. We were very proud that one of our students took home the Outstanding FIRST Robotics Young Woman Award from the Grand Rapids event as well.

The students of the byting bulldogs in 2017

The students of the byting bulldogs in 2017

The Robot, "Tina"

Our 2017 competition bot, named "Tina", was able to hold both gears and fuel, shoot into the high goal on the boiler, and climb. Tina relied on our human player for obtaining gears and pneumatics for ejecting them onto the peg. The shooter's ball-feeding center agitator was one of the first 3D printed parts that we used on one of our robots. All of these factors combined allowed us to earn the GM Industrial Design Award at the Waterford competition and the Xerox Creativity Award at the Troy competition.



  • Waterford District Competition:

    • Rank 2

    • Alliance 2 Captain

    • District Quarterfinalist

    • General Motors Industrial Design Award

  • Troy District Competition:

    • District Quarterfinalist

    • Xerox Creativity Award

  • Michigan State Championship:

    • Rank 5 in Ford Division

    • Quarterfinalist in Ford Division

  • World Championship, St. Louis:

    • Quarterfinalist in Archimedes Division

The Game

The 2017 FRC challenge was called FIRST Steamworks, and it involved adding gears and fuel to your airship so that your alliance could "take flight". Human players called "pilots" stood on the tower-like airships on the field, drawing up gears placed by robots on pegs at their bases and placing them on the airship where they could be turned to cause rotors to spin for points. Meanwhile, robots collected whiffle-ball "fuel" and shot it into high and low boilers to score more points. At the end of the match, robots climbed ropes dangling from the airships.

2017 FIRST Steamworks Robot Reveal