Adjutable Hood Best Practices

We saw that our shooter was worked really nice and consistently, so we would like to improve this. What do you guys think about using gears or pneumatics to change the shooting angle? What are some best practices or good implementations that you guys have seen throughout the years? Also, 6328 have pulled off a great 4 position hood using pneumatics. What are your opinions about the overall design complexity and performance?

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Geared hood is better due to being infinitly adjustable. A piston hood is locked to two positions without doing something very complex which makes it impossible to shoot cargo at the most optimal arc to avoid bounceouts.

I made this slide about pneumatics in general for our summer workshops, some of the points are more relevant for this particular application than others:

Alex_Y is correct that one of the disadvantages of pistons is that they only have two positions. If it’s a high priority that your team be able to shoot accurately from literally anywhere on the field, and the rest of your design (turrets? swerve? etc) and software can also support that goal, then you should not choose pistons.

For our team, we decided that shooting from anywhere on the field was beyond our scope for this year, and shooting accurately from two locations (launchpad & right up against the Hub) was an appropriately difficult goal, so we chose to actuate with pistons. Pistons are much simpler to design for - mounting brackets are pretty simple & don’t take up much space, and you can make off-the-shelf ones work in most cases. Pistons are also easier to program for and control - they only go to two positions, but they go to them very consistently, without any fancy sensors, programming, or controls algorithms. We were also already planning to use pistons in our intake, so we already had a compressor on the robot and pneumatic circuit and adding another pair of pistons wasn’t a big deal.

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I don’t think swerve or turret is necessary for an adjustable hood to be well worth it. Swerve’s main advantage is that intaking balls is easy and you can avoid defense, while a turret doesn’t do that much for all but the best of teams. In contrast, an infinitely adjustable hood allows you to shoot from literally anywhere making it difficult to play defense on them. At our week 1 event, a common defense strategy was to prevent teams to get to their preferred shooting area and the teams without this limitation fared much better under defense. Even on a 6wd, rotating the bot to face the goal isn’t that hard.

However, OP’s team (6838) is already running swerve drive and custom milled parts so an infinitly adjustable hood should be well within their scope.

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