Compressors vs. Accumulators

This a question I had after a discussion with some people on AIM. Since the compressors are heavy and are technically unnecessary weight (since you don’t need one on the robot), what would you go with and why?

A compressor and an accumulator or no compressor and four accumulators? Explain.

Also since it does depend on the amount of pneumatics you have on your robot and how much air you use in a match, lets for the sake of this discussion say that with autonomous, you can run a successful match with four full accumulators.

Rule clarification:


Is “One compressor, four tanks” an option? A lot of teams will be using that option, but we are using one compressor, and two tanks.
We are using suction to “grab” the tubes, and there just isn’t enough air in the tanks to keep a venturi suction going while running all of the other pneumatics.

No, because this is not robot particular question I am asking. I am asking if your robot could run a match with some air remaining with four accumulators, would you just use four accumulators, or would you use one accumulator and the compressor?

If this was a robot specific question I would have to agree with you though.

If I could run a match on accumulators with an adequate safety margin, I would. But if I had any doubt about their ability to hold out, particularly with their use in a critical area like drive, I’d look at the compressor.

I decided this year, I didn’t want a pneumatic system anywhere near our bot. I hate the weight of the compressor, but I hate all the goofy rules required to charge a bot without a compressor on board even more. It turned out we needed pneumatics so I decided to go with the comp on board this year. Reason is last year they made the charging system rules very strange and they do that every year. It becomes very stressfull before a match when that portable compressor setup doesn’t work, or pass the “todays new inspection rules”. I think from now on if I go with pneumatics, the compressor will be on board. Unless theres a serious weight issue. Plus these kit systems always leak, you need a constant supply if you use them much.

I agree 100%. I voted for the compressor being on the robot. In my experience the value of having the compressor off the robot is overshadowed by the murky rules given to inspectors. No joke: at one regional the inspectors made us connect our off robot compressor to a Spike relay.

Consider the compressor to be a 5 lb insurance policy!