Arms

in the passed year is there some thype of arm you use??? and is it better to use air Lines to run the arm??? or motors in the kit???

This year our team used a 2-segmented arm where the 1st part “tower” is attached to the chassis and the 2nd piece is rotated using the globe motor.

Now by air lines i’m guessing u mean pneumatics? well, we didnt use pneumatics this year but on our '05 robot we did. Then, we had a 3-segmented arm where the second piece was elevated by a large pneumatic piston, then the third section was rotated using the van-door motor (we didn’t get that this year :frowning: ). The thing with pneumatics is that they can only go fully open or fully closed, there is no middle ground like with hydrolics. So if u only want your arm to go to a certain position then pneumatics would work but otherwise i’d go with motors. Also pneumatics are heavy (u got the compressor, all of the regulators, hose, at least 1 tank, and then the pistons) so you’ll need keep that in mind as well.

We used pneumatic’s. We used pneumatic’s for allot of stuff. Once we threw the compressor on we figured we might as well get the most use out of it. Which is pretty cool cause I like pneumatics.

So I’m pretty biased, I say it’s better to use pneu than motors.

If they would let me, I would have our bot be a hover craft off that compressor. That would be wicked

EDIT: Well for our arm extention we used motors, that’s a good way to go. As the above poster said you need middle ground for the extention. Plus I don’t think they’re are pistons big enough to go to the top leg.

90 pts! :stuck_out_tongue:

Over the years we’ve done both pneumatics and motors.

We haven’t had much luck with the pneumatics. The compressor barely squeeks out enough air to run an arm an entire match. To get enough air you have to add more cylinders, which adds more weight. The Kop pneumatic conectors are also unrelaible, which leads to leaks and the loss of more air.

Motors have their own problems: backdrive, breaker blow-outs, and (in the case of the Keyangs and windows) cracking plastic gears. However, electons don’t tend to leak out, and the battery isn’t part of the wight :wink: So you don’t have to worry about losing power.

Another major problem with pneumatics is that they are not linear. The actuators have only two positions -extended and contracted. Pnemuatics are not good at raising an arm precise amounts.

We had a lot of success with pneumatics on our grabber in 2005 (which was extremely heavy and coupled with a fairly robust elevator). Admittedly, we had to cheesehole off about 10 pounds because of the extra weight from the pneumatics, but it worked really nicely.

We were originally going to use pneumatics on this year’s grabber as well, but our jointed arm couldn’t handle the torque caused by the piston on the end so we switched to a globe motor.

we have two pistons for the grabber
and a globe for raising the arm
giving us the best of both worlds:)

thank you all for your help

we used motors and a very elaborate pulley system or the arm

Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that. I think with creative use of solenoids, valves that restrict airflow, good sensors, and nice code, a team could manage to make a pneumatic servo that used minimal air. The more I think about it, the more possible it seems.

Here’s someone who’s done it:
http://robotics.mcmaster.ca/Videos.htm#pneumatic

I too have heard about people pressurizing both ends of an actuator to operate it linearly. But getting this to work would be a lot harder then using a motor.

It all depends on the precise tasks you’re trying to accomplish. I’ll cover some of 116s arms I’m familiar with.
2001- pneumatic shoulder joint raised arm from folded position into scoring position. Motor controlled elbow and wrist joints. The gripper was also actuated by pneumatics. Placed large balls on goals, as well as folded up to fit under the bar.
http://www.team116.org/2001/Photos/EDSide.jpg

2004- Globe motor powered shoulder. Pneumatic extension. Pneumatic gripper. Could place large doubler balls as well as hang on bar at end of match.

2005-Window motor powered winch. Pneumatic extension created lever for winch. Pneumatic gripper prevented tetras from flying off of arm. Arm could manually load tetras and score on any goal.

2007- 2x Globe motors power shoulder. Pneumatic wrist actuation, and pneumatic gripper. Surgical tubing powered single-time extension (fires when disengaged from locking mechanism at beginning of each match, then locks in extended position). Picks up tubes from ground and scores on all 3 levels of the rack.
http://www.virginiafirst.org/FRC/images/fri/images/friday_pics_031.jpg

Just as a rule of thumb… motors, because of the small compressor, tend to be faster at actuating manipulators n such, just because of the low cfm of the thompson compressor. We had a pneumatic actuator on our tetra bot… and it did slow us down some.

This year… motor drives on the elevator… bottom to top (top row score) about 1.5 seconds give or take :ahh:

We used little BaneBot motors with a planetary gearbox, it seemed to work fine except when we tried to use them with the up/down part of the arm (we burned up 2 Banebots.)

http://metalinmotion.com/gallery/2_21_05/practice3.jpg

this was done with motors.

I would have to disagree. Generally speaking, a pneumatic is faster than a motor. However, in some cases, you’re correct. If you don’t have any air tanks, you’re limited by the airflow of the compressor. Also, if you’re firing pneumatics quickly enough, or using a large enough cylinder that you’re constantly draining your air tanks, the speed of the compressor comes in to play.

The trick is to have enough reservoirs, and to not use a larger cylinder than necessary.

Another nice feature about pneumatics is that they tend to be really fast when they’re not under load, but they also can provide plenty of force. Our grabber can snap open, which is great when we’re picking up tubes, but it also holds very strongly. It’s difficult to have both with a motor.

And, generally speaking, you can get more power out of a pneumatic per ounce (excluding the compressor), which means a lighter robot, and more importantly, a lower center of gravity.

We used a combination of motors and pneumatics for our elevator this year. There’s a minibike motor driving it most of the way, then when we hit the top of our 6’ arm, we extend a 12" pneumatic extension, for a total height of roughly 8’. (For those of you who added 6’+12" = 7’, we also have the length of the unextended cylinder in there)

For the last couple of years 27 has used no pneumatics (which is not related to the fact that we cant spell the word which would make our boards bad). Id have to say that it depends on what you are doing. For a one shot thing that has a straight line motion (Such as lifting) Id say it would be easier to use pneumatics. But the compressor weighs a lot. We had no where near the weight to put it on. Nor did we need it. If you have to have that motion in a line there are many ways of simulating it with motors.

Also positioning does come into play, if you were going to use it to position your arm over the legs… good luck. If you were just going to use a small cylinder to open and close your grabber, that would be pretty handy. Actually a motor is a more difficult choice in that case.

Really, it comes down to if the benefits offsets the cost in terms of weight. Pneumatics can be very useful but at the same time weigh a lot. Also consider that perhaps you dont have to use the compressor, you can use the tanks and just top them off. The final thought is that it comes down to personal preference, in our situation it wasnt required and could be done easier or more efficiently with motors.

We’re motors all the way but we don’t do straight motor, we add gears and belts to make the extension and lifts more efficent. Plus it helps to keep everything within size regulations.

In 2005 we had a robot that was completely pnuematics (except the drive train).We had 4 motions in our manipulator and they were all done with minimal size pistons. The thing I havent noticed anybody mentioning is ratios. Cable & pulley systems paired with a piston can be very effective and in terms of weight compared to a motor with chain beneficial choice. We had an extension, which was moved up and down to get the tetras off the automated loading stations, and then an arm that was fixed on the side of our robot that picked them up off of the extension which was done with a “hooking” action also done with a piston. But unfortunately we overlooked the fact that swinging on a tetra from the side of your robot has disadvantage: lining up on the side of a triangle goal in the center from a distance creates one heck of an optical illusion.

I am not for or against either motors or pnuematics because like its been said you have to look at the advantages and disadvantages toward what you are trying to do in reference to what the capabilities are of each of these, but I just thought that I would point out the option of ratios to overcome the limit of how much extension you get from the piston.

Motors here. We’ve almost never used pneumatics for an arm. Fisher-Price motors are our motor of choice for lifting things, either by lift (put two on the same winch) or by arm (two on the same sprocket). The only things we use pneumatics for are shifting, the occaisional wedge/anti-tip device ('02-'04), and the occaisional arm extension. (This year, we have three cylinders. One is our grabber power and the other two shift.)