Today we continued prototyping on our bot and we have started making some decisions on what our bot will look like as we build the final version.
A few prototypes that we made throughout the week.
One was a pincher arm that can pick up cones and score them. We decided to have a little fun and attach it to our off season bot with a long enough pvc pipe to score on the mid level. This let us know how difficult it would be to line up and score these and it is always neat to see prototypes in action.
It is a lot of fun to launch game pieces in a pick and place game so we let our off-season bot launch some cubes (unfortunately I don’t have video to share). It does a really good job if the cubes are properly inflated, but if they are under inflated it will not work at all so we decided to make a little catapult.
This simple catapult actually works fairly well. It is just a 1/4" piece of polycarb that has two churros screwed to it to hold the cube in place. When it is deflected about 2" it has plenty of spring to throw the cube in the high node. I think if the trigger was mechanized it would be pretty consistent. It seemed much more consistent with various levels of inflation than our flywheel on the old robot. The deflated cubes seemed to fly a little less than fully inflated, but still seemed like it would land in the same scoring zone with a similar pull.
We made a few more intake mechanisms. One that is similar to the REV Ion build with fixed wheels and a gripper, but we used pneumatics rather than motors. It worked really well at holding the game pieces even under pretty violent shaking. I did a poor job taking videos I’ll try to be better next time, but here is a picture. If we implement this we will need to adjust the geometry a bit to open wider. A fully inflated cube would barely fit in the jaws.
We made two other intake prototypes, but I need to get some pics or videos of those to share. Maybe I can share those by Monday.
Our game field crew finished our full size charging station. We managed to drive up with our old steamworks bot that was on a kit chassis, but our swerve (SDS MK3) that had no bumpers would drive the frame into the side and get stuck before the hinges would pivot. I think it will work fine if we add the bumpers, but we ran out of time.
We think we have the basic architecture for our bot.
We are planning on doing the elevator on an arm rendition.
But wait there’s more.
I have been really infatuated with a little cube racer robot. That could just zip around, intake cubes really quickly and launch them. I really think it would be a winning strategy on many alliances. We have been discussing as a team if we should just switch to focusing on cubes or keep with our original musts. Many on the team felt that we really needed to keep the capabilities to do cones.
If weight and packaging allow. We are going to try to add a dedicated cube intake and catapult. in the center void. This is in hopes that we could do really quick cube cycles. This would be able to launch into the high goal and mid, but beyond that I think there is a more interesting strategy. All you would have to do is get any piece of your robot in the community, launch cube, and essentially hit the broad side of a barn and you could score in a hybrid node or be within a light plow from you or an alliance mate from scoring. Then go get more cubes. We shall see if this part of the robot becomes reality.
The exact cube or cone intake that we are going to use is still in question, but after some promising progress I think we should have a good solution.