AndyMark Fall 2021 / Winter 2022 Product Launch

Hello everyone!

The leaves on the trees are changing colours here in the Midwestern United States, and that means it’s about time for a new product thread for the coming season. Like usual, we’ll use this thread to communicate new releases over the next couple months.

Our first one is something we have been working on for a very long time. I’m very, very excited to see how teams use these.

AndyMark Climber in a Box

AndyMark is proud to be the first to change the (end)game for FIRST Robotics Competition teams. Over two years in development, inspired by the success of teams like 2056, 148 and 254 and more, as well as in partnership with Team 3940 CyberTooth; AndyMark is proud to release our Climber in a Box.

The AndyMark Climber in a Box is a robust, lightweight, configurable and affordable solution for climbing challenges historically present in FRC end game periods. This product uses a “spring out, winch back” powertrain strategy, using off-the-shelf 3.5lb constant force springs to raise the included Hook Kit, and 3mm Dyneema Rope to retract it with the included Winch Kit. Simply unspool the included rope using a planetary gearbox to raise the hook(s), drive the robot up to the bar, and winch it back to elevate your robot. Available in both single and 2 stage configurations.

The AndyMark Climber in a Box is an unassembled kit of components that is designed to not require any precision machining in order to assemble and attach this mechanism to your FRC robot. The plates included within the Hook Kit, Bearing Kits and Winch Kit are all designed to be assembled and used as drill guides for match drilling their mounting locations onto the aluminum tubes. Each tube is pre-cut to a 30" length (based on the length of the included constant force springs,) so no cutting of the tubes is required to achieve maximum travel, unless a shorter stroke distance per stage is needed.

We really think this is a game-changing product for teams of all levels, and we can’t wait to see what teams do with it! We expect this product to be available later this fall. In the meantime, CAD is available now for teams to check out, and both detailed assembly documentation and videos are coming soon.

As always, watch this thread along with our new product page for more new and exciting releases!

Sincerely,
-Nick

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*Excitement may vary

In all seriousness, Climber In A Box looks like an awesome multi-use and configurable product many teams could use for future challenges! Awesome stuff A.M. team!

Will there be a template for creating custom hook designs for variations in the challenge?

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Any idea Nick if there’s plans to offer a version without the tubing? My first thought when seeing this was “Awesome!!!”, However that was quickly followed by a “shipping is gonna suck for international teams”.

I know studica is an option for Canadians if this product ends up being stocked there, but for many international teams, I could see being able to source tubing locally being a huge plus.

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I’ve found that Andy mark almost always sells all the individual parts to all their kits.

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Will there be a template for creating custom hook designs for variations in the challenge?

We publish CAD of pretty much everything we make, so teams can modify our hook design to their needs. We also have a consistent mount pattern between the hooks and the bearing plates in this product that make it easy for teams to use other components within this product as drill guides too.

Any idea Nick if there’s plans to offer a version without the tubing?

Yes absolutely! We’ll have all the sub kits available for sale later this year, which is great for teams who have local sources for tubing. We’ll also have the tubing for sale as raw materials too.

-Nick

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This is a great, simple, and accessible solution that will benefit a huge number of teams in any game that requires climber! Well done!

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Awesome stuff!

Very nice. Thoughts on stocking the adhesive kind of these or “little square friends”?Nice little things.

Climber is cool too.

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If this had been around in 2020, 225 would have bought three of these, no question about it :slight_smile:

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Is there any kind of locking mechanism, or will the robot just be held up by the force required to backdrive the motor?

I think it uses a standard 1/2" hex drive shaft. So, the typical way people do it is to use a ratcheting wrench on the end of the winch box. Then, you can flip the lock to manually back drive the spool. Alternatively, if you used a Vexpro gearbox, they sell an attachment.

I don’t think either of those mechanisms will work. Unless I’m wrong, it seems like the spool needs to run in both directions during the match (unwind to extend and wind to retract/climb). A ratchet that you can’t engage/disengage during the match won’t allow for that.

I think if you overextend the cable, it can keep spinning in the same direction. As it warps around the spool, what was letting line out is now pulling line in.

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I’m assuming you’re referring to the VersaPlanetary here (further confirmed by you linking to the ratchet slice). Myself and a couple other mentors have been looking into this over the last 24 hours and are under the impression that as this kit ships, you will be unable to use a VersaPlanetary.

We arrived at this conclusion based on the output shaft of the VP being ~1.5" long, and the product listing of the “Climber in a Box” stating it requires a gearbox with a 2" long shaft. The VP itself should mount just fine to climber (both use a 2" B.C.).

Looking even closer while writing this response, it looks like a VP may work for the single stage version of the climber, but the 2 stage version would most certainly need a 2" shaft.

Yep that will work, but be warned you won’t be able to unwind that in a match.

To quote Eminem

“ Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity. To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment. Would you capture it or just let it slip?”

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This might not be the right thread for this, but I noticed the RoboRIO 2.0 on the “new products” page, and I’m wondering if anyone has a side-by-side of the specs compared to the 1.0

Trying to figure out if it’s worth the upgrade since it looks identical except for the SD card.

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See either the Blog Post by FIRST/NI, or the associated thread here on chief. Will likely answer a number of questions you may have.

I just pulled this chart from the comments section of the blog post. Should answer your specs comparison question.

roboRIO 1.0 roboRIO 2.0
Processor speed 667 MHz 866 MHz
Nonvolatile Memory 512 MB 16 MB (not accessible) / 4GB microSD (accessible)
DDR3 Memory 256 MB 512 MB
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You can release the ratchet slice using a small pneumatic cylinder or a servo attached to the release lever. We used that to reset our climb hundreds of times on our 2020 robot, sometimes mid match.

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I think if you used one of these, you may be able to unwind it depending on how you mount it. However, the controls could reverse if you let it wind all the way up and keep winding (there are a few fixes for that as well though).

@cad321 that is what I was referring to. There is a female versaplanetary output that may work for the 2 inch shaft, but we have had some issues with them in the past. Though this will be mounted horizontally, I am not sure I trust the weight of the robot on one.

@MrBasse can you provide some more detail about how to accomplish this? It sounds really neat.

I’ll take a picture of our setup tomorrow, but basically we just mounted a small set (the smallest we could find) of cylinders on our frame rails and attached them to the release lever with a bit of wire. Actuate the cylinder and the ratchet releases, release the cylinder and you’re back to ratcheting.

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That is incredible. I would love to see a picture if you get a chance.