PDA

View Full Version : Pnuematics?


Dylan
10-13-2006, 11:47 AM
I'm helping the local FLL team out this year as sort of an advisor (I know the coach), and I was wondering if pneumatics are allowed on the robot. The rules do say that there is no limit on non-electric components as long as they are in "factory condition", but it does not mention pneumatics.

If they are allowed, has any one used them before? If so, what kind of success did they have?

The team will be using the NXT system.

Jeff K.
10-13-2006, 11:55 AM
Pneumatics are allowed in FLL. I totally forgot about the Lego Pneumatics. Are they still available though? I was originally thinking the little pneumatics designed for VEX, or even smaller pneumatics you could use in an antweight battlebot.

Jeff Rodriguez
10-13-2006, 11:57 AM
I believe pneumatics are legal as long as they are in factory condition with the exception of tubing that you may cut to required lengths. I don't see a mention about it in the 2006 rules, but I remember something from previous years.
You way want to submit it to the Q&A just to be sure.

Also, http://www.fll-freak.com/faq/faq_printer.htm is an unofficial FAQ but Skye does a superb job keeping it accurate.

Tapoore
10-13-2006, 12:31 PM
There are special FLL pnematics that are legal, I believe.

Ian Curtis
10-15-2006, 01:20 PM
If they are allowed, has any one used them before? If so, what kind of success did they have?

One the the most inventive solutions I ever saw in FLL used pneumatics. I don't know if you where around in 2002, but in the challenge that year there was a bridge on one side that was about one third as long as the table It started up, but with by hitting a lever it would fall flat. Hidden behind that bridge was a windmill, and with the other things on the table, the easiest way to get to the windmill to push a lever, was to go over the bridge. The bridge was quite treacherous to navigate over, and a plunge off the side meant almost certain death for many FLL robots (lesson learned: ALWAYS PIN YOUR ROBOT TOGETHER!) So, one team, used the pnemautics to power a little cart that they sent over the bridge. It was genious! It required no additional weight on the robot, and if it fell off, you wouldn't accomplish that mission, but your robot was off doing other things, so why would you care? Now, the same thing can be accomplished mechanically. See this (http://www.mcstrobotics.org/coppermine/cpg142/albums/uploads/fll_websize.mov) video for further information (it's in the part with the gate). Overall, using carts to accomplish tasks is very effecient way to handle things.

Dylan
10-18-2006, 02:11 PM
Do you mean they actually made a pneumatics system that functioned like a motor? I couldn't tell from the video.

Vikesrock
10-19-2006, 02:50 PM
That cart looks to be powered by either a pullback motor or rubberband drive of some type.

During the Mission Mars challenge one mission required the delivery of a ball into a container so it could be launched "back to earth". Our team accomplished this by carrying the ball in a container with a pneumatic trap door type device that allowed the bottom to drop out and the ball to be fall through. The biggest issue I found with the pneumatics is that the piston, switch and tank all have to be placed on the robot and attatching the switch to a motor (if that is how you want to activate it) can be difficult if you want any other type of motorized device.

The various pullback motors on the other hand i have found to be very useful. They were far more useful before the rule that requires the robot to leave base before completeing missions, but with a bit of inovation they can still be quite handy.

Jeff 801
10-20-2006, 04:10 PM
They are aloud but it would to hook the valve up to a motor :ahh: and a wast of a motor :)

Ken Streeter
11-07-2006, 12:04 PM
... I was wondering if pneumatics are allowed on the robot. The rules do say that there is no limit on non-electric components as long as they are in "factory condition", but it does not mention pneumatics.

If they are allowed, has any one used them before? If so, what kind of success did they have?Yes, pneumatics are allowed, as they are non-electric LEGO components.

One of the teams that I coach, Mindstorms Mayhem, used pneumatics to power the "dump mechanism" on a "dump truck" that they used in the 2005 "No Limits" challenge. To see video of this attachment in use, see the first video on the "Team Videos" page: http://www.mindstormsmayhem.org/team-videos.asp

The attachment in question is the "next-to-last" mission in the round. (FYI, the infamous "ball extractor" is also shown in the above video -- this was also the highest-scoring round at the 2005 World Festival, resulting in Mindstorms Mayhem being awarded the First Place Performance Award.)

In the video, you can also see one of the difficulties with the use of pneumatics -- since only three motors are permitted in FLL, there isn't a good way to have the pneumatic cylinders be charged by the robot without devoting the third motor to this use. The approach that Mindstorms Mayhem used was to have three pneumatic cylinders (lots of air) that were charged manually by the robot handler just prior to running the mission. If you watch the video carefully, you can see the robot handler pumping up the cylinders manually just before launching the "dump truck" on its mission. The main reason that it was decided to use the pneumatics for this mission is that the "dump truck" wasn't actually the robot -- the dump truck was powered by windup motors, and used the pneumatics for the dumping action. The dump truck was simply launched by the robot -- for that mission, the robot itself never actually left the base. This year's rules would not permit the specific approach that Mindstorms Mayhem used to solve that mission in 2005.

Other problems with the pneumatics include the fact that air leaks are very hard to track down and diagnose; the air cylinders are pretty large, and it takes a lot of air to move anything significant. That said, the pneumatics are good for some specialized tasks. The Mayhemers aren't currently planning to use pneumatics for any tasks this year, but haven't ruled it out, either...

Best Regards,
--ken

EHaskins
11-07-2006, 12:49 PM
They are allowed, but I don't believe they would be of much use. You end up needing one motor to provide pressure, and at least one motor to control a value. You have just used two of your three motors, and you probably could do the same thing with one motor that had some gear reductions.