Demonstrating... on a Professional Baseball Field?

So, our team has been graciously given the opportunity by our local baseball minor league team to present and demonstrate on Future Night. Usually, we have been able to tackle normal, indoor demonstrations on carpet or tile floor with a nice temperature around 70 degrees and all of the hookups we need.

I know some teams have demonstrated outside before, and have far more experience than we do. Could we get any tips on how to repurpose our robot from any of the past 3 years to function on grass/dirt surfaces, in the summer heat? I’m worried about the electronics, because both Victors and Spikes seem like they wouldn’t like getting dusty in their nethers.

I wouldn’t want to pass up an opportunity for a community event like this. It would get a lot more exposure for FIRST on the field than if we held it on the concourse. If you could help me, it would be greatly appreciated!

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I’d be more concerned about dirt getting into gearboxes, the electronics really don’t care. We’ve driven robots around the city park many times, over dry grass and dirt.

If you have a robot that shoots balls, that would be great. T shirts would be even better. The robot will look kind of small to the people up in the stands.

Ever since we forgot to grease down one of our gearboxes after going dormant, that has always been a concern.

Our school advised us dismantle our cannon as a result of dangerous activity, so we’re stuck with whatever we have and whatever we can make in two weeks.

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I’ve ran a robot every friday during football season on a dirt track and black top for a few years with no real maintenance and it never had any real issues so I don’t a night will hurt the bot. Be careful that you don’t pull and donuts grass and dirt are generally not very fond of that maneuver (or test in an used corner first). Tee-shirt cannons are great for crowds, if you could burn the midnight oil I would suggest going for that. If not anything that shots or can lift of the ground would be interesting. If you’re just going to have a booth make a little vex robot or base people can drive around with. People seem to be enjoy it. Just kill a kill switch near by. Hope it helps.

What kind of wheels would you suggest for dirt/grass?

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Round ones :wink:

For 6" wheels, I’d recommend the pneumatic wheels 330 uses, and 1114 used last season. There is a thread somewhere about them.

For larger, I’d recommend the pneumatic wheels 469 uses. Also on mcmaster.

We used the standard KOP wheels on it on it. Really any wheel do just give yourself enough ground clearance that your bot wont bottom out if its hits a slight hill or valley. What it comes down to is what wheels do you have and can you make them work since your only going to be outside for a short time wear and tear shouldn’t be much a factor. If your designing one for primarily out door use maybe look in to some pneumatic wheels. Use what you got; most of the wheels should work fine.

Another thing to watch out for is heat… my team did a demo at a huge car show on a 100 degree day in the hot sun… good thing it was at the same location as our shop, two of the 4 bots needed fans added when they overheated.

one did it becaue it is not very open air. the other used IFI control parts and the back plastic caught too much sun.

lesson: make sure your stuff is well cooled. now is a good time to use those 120mm fans that often end up in the junk box (you can run them to a dedicated 20A fuse on your PD board). in a pinch, you can "creatively"use zip ties.

If using a computer to control, be aware that it might also get hot… my metal framed dell latitude d400 was silver but even it overheated in the heat.

In fact, even I overheated… I had to spend an hour in an A/C’d office napping off heat exhaustion… even worse, it was my 19th birthday. make sure people have plenty of drinks and cool places to avoid this (I was out of luck- I kept on having to troubleshoot and add fans to robots)

also learned:

be careful of concrete, it will chew up stuff if you are not careful.

most important: have fun!

I would imagine there would be thousands of fans in the stands…:stuck_out_tongue:

the 8in ones that came in the kit this year would work great, and if you ned traction trow some grip tape on them, it will work like a charm, plus you probably already have the 8in wheels lying around y’alls shop some where.

Our team demonstrated at a St. Louis Cardinal game in the pre-game ceremonies… It rained earlier that day, so driving a robot on the field was out of the question.

We put our T-Shirt launcher on a cart, and rolled it down the field shooting T-Shirts.

so lucky… i love the cards

Does anyone have any pointers about building an air cannon? We have a pretty tough drivetrain from 2001, and quite a few compressors, and an old black air tank. Could these things work together?

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Pretty simple:

If you really want to go with PVC, I guess that’s ok. Only thing is that it’s not rated for compressed air, and has had… shattering consequences before. Maybe try to go ABS? I dunno.

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We had two teams recently do this at a Trenton Thunder game in July, teams 1089 and 484. It was a great experience for the teams and the spectators before the game. The teams pushed their robots via carts on the track that goes in front of the dugout and the backstop, turned around, and went back to where they started. They weren’t allowed to go on the playing surface. The did run their robots on the carts, essentially using their LOGO Motion arms to wave at the crowd. I don’t believe they ran the robots because of the fear for dirt getting in everything! I think time was a factor too.

All in all, great stuff! The Trenton Thunder representatives hope to have them back the following year.

If you have the resources go metal not only does it look cooler it’s also safer. If you can put it on a turret that’s bonus points. There are a bunch of threads talking about the different approaches for tee shirt launchers I would do a search for them and read up on some of the discussions if you haven’t already and go from there if you have specific questions left just ask. And yes it seems like you could make these part work for a cannon the only thing left missing is a good solenoid. Be safe and do the research; it makes it a lot more fun when your launching stuff with your cannon.