Createing a platform for bonus points...

Over the past fiew days, I have come up with some ideas on how to make a platform “unfold” from the top of my robot in order to let two other robots drive up my ramp, and hang out…

One of my insperations include the Mars rovers currently exploring the 4th planet… one of their first actions was to unfold their solar pannels…

However, in my designing… I still haven’t come up with a satisfactory device to actuate the unfolding action!!!

I was considering the servoes… but they probably won’t supply enough torqe… and then I was thinking of the wormgear ed motors included in the kit… but they would probably have to be geared down additionally. Another thought was rotory pnumatic actuators… however I have no idea how big, heavy, or powerfull they are.

Any gratious professionalism would be gratiously accepted!!!

Let gravity be your friend.

Yah, but how do you undo gravity if it gets accedently deployed during normal game play? lol!

How about:

Let gravity be your friend…a very well behaved friend.

If you design a latch (either pneumatic powered or servo powered) that is designed robust enough, you can help to ensure that your ramps/flaps fold down only when you want them.

If you don’t trust gravity you can always trust torsion springs. Attach a latch and have the torsion spring push your ramps down when you undo the latch. The trick isn’t being able to pull them back up if they come down accidentally during the game, the trick is to make sure they only come down at the end of the game and stay down. If you’re still worried about not being able to pull them back up, then try to make your design so that in the off chance they do come down early you’ll still be able to drive your robot into the endzone(although you’ll probably have to drive slowly and cautiously) to make sure you can still do your ramp/platform/lifter duties.

Actually, the main resoning behind the “how do we bring the ramp back up?” idea was becasue on the robot last year, occasionally autonomus mode would start and the signals to the solenoid valves must have ben reversed, because when the pnumatic door was supposed to be shut, it was oppen, and etc.! The only thing I could do it fix it during the game would be to hit the “reset” button on the operator interface… and that would fix it. I’d like to not get DQ’d if this happens this year… either that or figure out why it happens.

In the event of an accidental deployment…I don’t know what we would do. Our best hope is that it doesn’t happen. We are designing something that can only be deployed and not brought back up, until we manually do it at the end of the match.


consider having more than one device that latches the ramp in the stowed position…if you need to press two separate buttons to make it deploy, and there are two different mechanical things that need to happen for it to deploy, then it’s not as likely for a software glitch or OE (operator error) to cause problems.

is the extra weight/complexity worth it?

It sounds to me like you wern’t initializing the value of your output variables at the beginning of the code, but I’m not a programmer.

Also if you deploy early, wouldn’t that break the wedge rule? I wouldn’t design to bring them back, just ensure they never go down without your permission.

Using redneck logic, I think the easiest and most cost/weight effective way is to make some sort of latch to guard against accidental deployment, if you think you need that, and then just “jerk” the robot in the home zone to deploy the ramp.

If you seriously want to have control over the ramp(s) you’re lowering you can always go with the drawbridge-style lowering using cables and a winch to lower the ramp(s).

I think that’d be a huge waste of weight and space on your bot though, not to mention using up motors to power the ramps.

Using a latch to hold ramps up and a spring to make sure they go down (just because I don’t trust gravity to do things when I want it to) seems like the best way to go about it. The ramps are probably only going to be useful at the end of the match anyhow unless you’re trying to block the ringers along your alliance wall in which case you might do best building a bot whose entire purpose is throwing out those ramps at the beginning of the match and extending as far out as possible in your home zone.

(And semi-on-topic)
Or there’s always the design that I dubbed “The Seagull” with two stage deployable wings on both sides and a forklift/clawlift (“Beak”) on the front to capture low row spider legs. I pitched the idea to my former team (1351) but they didn’t want it, so if anyone else is interested I can send you idea-sketches. (though you’re all almost a week in and I’d hope you already had your own ideas worked out)

Yah, I sort of had a feeling that the messed up door operation was due to programming errors… wich was probably due to trying to upload code while sitting in line during the previous mach…

Also, with the ammount of contact forseable in this year’s competition, there is no way in heck I’m goign to drive a robot with “redneck” ramp deployment methods. It’d end up like a game of rockem-sockem robots where I was the rockem-sockem robot… and the other guys didn’t have the little button that makes their head fall off.

More to the point… (and possibly less destructive of other people’s ideas) Does anyone think it would be possible to actuate a 180 degree deployment of a ramp useing a rotory pnumatic actuator? Thank you all for your imput!