The Hitchhikers

Team 2059, The Hitchhikers Robotics group, strives to build competitive robots, and spread the impact of STEM throughout our community by helping high school aged students gain vital knowledge about Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Project Management.

The Hitchhikers were founded in 2010 and have since produced one of the most successful robotics teams in North Carolina.

Playing in the FIRST Robotics Competition, The Hitchhikers have helped countless children gain a foothold in STEM education and have promoted sponsors on a world stage in front of thousands of viewers.

What is first?

FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity works to develop ways to inspire students in engineering and technology fields.

FIRST’s mission is to “inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.”

2023 Robot Overview






Charged Up



After years of debate, The Hitchhikers have finally acquired the famed Swerve-Drive drivetrain. We procured four MK4i swerve drive modules during the off-season and spent time getting the software and controls working.

Once the 2023 challenge was announced, the team is excited and hoping the swerve drives give us an advantage.

Our robot has an extendable arm, made with a Thrifty-Bot kit, which manipulates our end factor: a pneumatic, scissor action gripper.  The arm’s extention is operated by a winch, which is powered by a V1.0 Brushless Neo motor, attached to a 90° mount. We had several love-hate moments with the arm due to the thin/soft metal.

Team Blog

Keep up to date with what the team is doing by checking out our blog posts below. For more posts or older posts, check out our archive or click the button below.

2024 Season – Week 4

Greetings from the Hitchhikers!In Week 4, we started prototyping and testing a shooter and intake. Our first shooter design pretty much failed, so we redesigned it. We continue honing our CAD skills, electronics, build and test our design.

2024 Season – Week 3

Greetings from the Hitchhikers! In Week 3, we were more than excited and happy to welcome Marie E. Hopper, the President of FIRST North Carolina. She talked to all the members about her history with mentoring and FIRST and talked to each member about why they joined,...

2024 Season – Week 2

Greetings from the Hitchhikers! In Week 2, our team delved into the intricacies of designing a shooter and intake while mastering CAD & Electronics. Our shooter design focuses on achieving optimal velocity control, ensuring consistency in launching game elements,...

2024 Season – Week 1

It's the 1st week of the 2024 season, and the Hitchhikers are back in force. We held kickoff at a student's house and immediately after learning the game, we split into 3 groups to learn about the game, and to present to the rest of the team our findings and any...

2023 Season – NC District Championship

We had a lot of fun at the state championship. We were chosen in the 5th alliance, with Team 900, The Zebracorns, and Team 5518, Technowolves. Sadly, we got eliminated in Round 2 after a robot had a CAN error. We lost by 8 points after another robot hit us and we...

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