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Unread 07-14-2008, 09:09 AM
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What would you buy if you could?

Now that certain robot part suppliers are on the market, many teams find it better to buy rather than build resource intensive items. There are many great solutions out for wheels and transmissions, but what else would teams like to see made available?

I really don't want to turn this into a BUY vs. Build debate, so save strong opinions for some other thread. This is more of a brainstorming list of commonly needed items that are resource intensive (time, money, specialized machinery, specialized knowledge...) The reason I bring this up is from experience in Solarcar and other design projects I have all too often seen talented students tied up in endless hours of CNC or conventional machining for marginal gains in performance relative to a part they could have purchased off the shelf (i.e. hand made Titanium Lug-nuts for example). Also with a new control system next year, having ample programming and practice time will be essential.

To start things off, I would love a cheap off the shelf 3 speed transmission. Basically similar to the Dewalt's but an easier interface with a slightly higher capacity. (Overdrive has me addicted to high speed robots, but most FIRST games require a pushing gear too).
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Unread 07-14-2008, 10:20 AM
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Re: What would you buy if you could?

i would like to be able to fix our andymark 2 speeds because we are always stuck in low gear which i believe is the reason we lost in the quarter finals in florida if we could have kept up with 103 and the others we probobly would have placed higher



other than that i would love a cvt(continuously variable transmission) for the robots!
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Unread 07-14-2008, 10:31 AM
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Re: What would you buy if you could?

Some type of arm pivot with a gear reduction box built in would be really spiffy...we spent a long time designing and building this in 2007. Of course I have no idea what it might even look like, or what material/shape members it would be designed to work with.

Also some type of more useful chain (or belt) idler/tensioner would be oh so helpful.
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Unread 07-14-2008, 10:57 AM
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Re: What would you buy if you could?

Powered Omni Wheels: http://www.jenniferlynnwikler.com/Ho...ic%20Base.html

Hey Andy, how about AndyMark bring something like these to market? I bet you could do them for under $400 per wheel so they are FIRST legal.
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Unread 07-14-2008, 11:23 AM
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Re: What would you buy if you could?

electronically controlled flow rate valves for pneumatic positioning i.e. not just in or out. LDAR, and binocular vision systems for really cool autonomous. as well as a closed loop motor control package that works right out of the box. we can all dream cant we?
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Unread 07-14-2008, 11:41 AM
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Re: What would you buy if you could?

I would not be surprised to see AndyMark in the future release a crab gearbox.
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Unread 07-14-2008, 11:58 AM
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Re: What would you buy if you could?

Quote:
Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
Some type of arm pivot with a gear reduction box built in would be really spiffy...we spent a long time designing and building this in 2007. Of course I have no idea what it might even look like, or what material/shape members it would be designed to work with.

Also some type of more useful chain (or belt) idler/tensioner would be oh so helpful.
Are you talking about some sort of shoulder joint for a large arm? Or are you talking about something more like an small pivot arm for the window regulator motors?

All-
Love the feedback so far.

Last edited by IKE : 07-14-2008 at 11:58 AM. Reason: additional content.
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Unread 07-14-2008, 12:04 PM
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Re: What would you buy if you could?

Only thing I would consistently purchase instead of build would be the drive train transmissions. Next year we may mill our own wheels, but usually those are purchased as well. Past that, I only ever see us purchasing sensors.

I think we will always design our own tensioners/pullies simply because the specific need must fit the application, orientation, and sizing constraints. I think we'll also always design any sort of nitinol (memory wire) applications if FIRST ever rewrites the rules to make it useable. Nitinol isn't that powerful of a mechanism but like pneumatics it has many places where it's useful and desired.
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Unread 07-14-2008, 12:58 PM
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Re: What would you buy if you could?

A light, easy to mount, gearbox that cannot be back driven, and could easily interface with several of the KOP motors. This would really be especially helpful for jointed arms and manipulators.
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Unread 07-14-2008, 02:15 PM
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Re: What would you buy if you could?

CH Flightsticks.
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Unread 07-14-2008, 02:22 PM
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Re: What would you buy if you could?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Anderson View Post
CH Flightsticks.
Ditto--with a USB interface for the new system. Those sticks are better than the ones they give us now... Still working, too, after years and years.
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Unread 07-14-2008, 03:40 PM
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Re: What would you buy if you could?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IKE View Post
Are you talking about some sort of shoulder joint for a large arm? Or are you talking about something more like an small pivot arm for the window regulator motors?
I expect that a few different sizes would be needed....think shoulder, elbow, and wrist....
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Unread 07-14-2008, 04:16 PM
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Re: What would you buy if you could?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Anderson View Post
CH Flightsticks.
Amen. We would pay a whole lot of money to be able to by new Flightsticks.
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Unread 07-14-2008, 05:51 PM
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Re: What would you buy if you could?

I would love to have a Contex Z450 3D printer. just think, all you would need to build custom gearboxes, mounts, custom fasteners, and any other small part you could ever want; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyZtBYG0QOg
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Unread 07-14-2008, 06:15 PM
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Re: What would you buy if you could?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctorwho View Post
I would love to have a Contex Z450 3D printer. just think, all you would need to build custom gearboxes, mounts, custom fasteners, and any other small part you could ever want; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyZtBYG0QOg
Get a reprap for (comparatively) really cheap, though it's only for small parts.
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