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17097 Protostars

FTC Robotics team

Helena, MT

About Us

17097 Protostars began in 2019, when the growing team, Fusion 4133, decided to create a sister team. The first year, we participated in the FTC competition "Skystone." We had six members, two of whom are still on the team today! The next year, the team grew to 8 members! As of right now, the members of the team are Isaac, Ty, Harrison, Max, Eleanor, Elijah, and Dylan #2. If you wish to learn more about us individually, you may visit our About page.


Skystone was our rookie year where we stacked blocks on top of each other to create the largest tower. There was even a unique capstone for each team to use to score even more points!

Our robot was named Nebula, and had a lift system using drawer slides to be able to reach up to 4ft into the air. We also had a "grabber" on the side to be able to grab onto the build plate and move it around for points and ease of access. This year we won the Design Award!
Our second season as a team was Ultimate Goal. This season was very unique, since it involved shooting projectiles, in this case foam rings, from the robot halfway across the field. The other component was moving an object called the wobble goal around the field, even outside of the field walls!

Our robot, NOVA, had a long, fold-down ramp with a conveyor belt to pull in three foam rings at a time. The conveyor then leads to a wheel spinning at 6000 RPM! We also used a long threaded rod to drive the lifter of the Wobble Goal. Our programmer put a lot of work into the automation of the robot, and we won the Control Award this year!
Read our 2020-21 Engineering Notebook
Our third season, Freight Frenzy, involved picking up plastic blocks and Wiffle balls and placing them on a multi-tiered bowl. Another fun component of this season was “delivering” rubber ducks by spinning a disc in the corner of the field that dumps the rubber duck on the ground. All the teams that year really enjoyed the rubber ducks!

Our robot, ATOM, had a foam-covered claw that could grab both the blocks and balls. On the rear of the robot, or the “tail,” we had a rubber wheel to spin the disc and deliver the ducks. But perhaps the coolest part was the 6” diameter wheels (double the normal size) that we used to easily roll over plastic tubes tied to the floor mats. Our programmer put a lot of work into the automation of the robot, and we won the Control Award this year!
Read our 2021-22 Engineering Notebook
Our fourth season was called Power Play. This season’s field had many yellow pillars of varying heights (the tallest being 33 inches) on which the robot was supposed to stack plastic cones. The goal was to connect opposite corners of the field Connect-4-style. Strategy was very important this year!

Our robot, Pulsar, was an upgrade in appearance from past seasons. We used more custom components that we designed ourselves which gave that robot a flair of color. We also used slides similar to a kitchen drawer that allowed us to lift the cones all the way up the tallest pillars. While we didn’t win any awards this season, we placed second in the state tournament!
Read our 2022-23 Engineering Notebook
Our third season; Centerstage, is based upon placing pixels on a backdrop and creating mosaics or different designs of those hexagonal pixels. Read our 2023-24 Engineering Portfolio


The Basics of Building an FTC Robot

Did you know we have a YouTube Channel???

On our Channel, we have a YouTube series focused on helping new FTC teams learn how to build a robot and function as a team. We started with a comprehensive 8-part series released along with the launch of the 2023-24 season, and we plan on releasing much more content throughout the season. Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you don't miss out!