Faster Pressurization

I was thinking of making a kicking device that would use pneumatics as a cocking system to lock it back into place. This system would require that the cylinder be freely pulled forward as fast as the holes in it will allow and then it would have to de-pressurize very quickly. This raises a few problems I don’t know how to fix and i was wondering if these or even able to be done and if so how?

  1. is there a way i can have pneumatics pressurize as fast as the end of the cylinder is pulled froward. (a freely extending system)
  2. is there a way i can de-pressurize very quickly and draw my cylinder back in faster
  3. Is there any kind of system that can put these two functions together

i was thinking maybe dual injection and drainage system but i don’t know how to do that any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated

I suggest looking at some of the pneumatic systems used on robots back in 2008 for shooting the LARGE ball.

You could try directly attaching the solenoid to the piston with a hard connection instead of tubing (idk how legal this is but it should be fine). The problem with the tubing is that its small diameter limits air flow and piston speed. Teams in 2008 (not sure which exactly) would lock a piston at 1/3 extension, then pressurize it (as if to extend it). They would then remove the lock and release it resulting in a very fast and powerful punch. I post this only because it took me forever to find out how they were doing it in 2008 and there were threads and pics of it all over the place.

We were one of the teams back in 2008 which did that method to flip our flipper and launch the ball. But I would caution you in doing this, as it does severe damage to the cylinder seals, and we had to replace the cylinders several times. With that in mind, it is very effective and powerful, but if you choose to do it, bring spare cylinders!

this seems a worthy sacrifice to be able to kick soccer balls into the top bleachers :smiley: (yeah yeah, i know. it’d be better to have the max range be the length of the field)

We dumped the 4 storage cylinders through 2 valves directly into a 2" x 24" cylinder. Ended up shooting the rod and cylinder end off of the robot. Nothing a new cylinder would not fix.

Hmmm… we’ve had no problem with reliability. In fact we bumped the pressure up to 85 psi the other day just to see what would happen and darn near shot a hole in the ceiling of the shop. Darn, but you can make that big blue ball fly when you want to!

We had 4 1.5"x15" cylinders doing the launching, all pressurized through ONE valve. We put two clippard tanks in line with them, just for a bit of extra punch… although I’m not sure how much that helped. The launch arm would fall back into the “cocked” position, which was just slightly over centre, so that when we pressurized the cylinders they would lock the launch arm in posiiton. They would be extended about 1/3 of the way.

Then a second set of cylinders (1.5"x2" if I recall) would pop up and force the arm up and over centre, and… WHEEEeeeeee… off goes the big ball.

It took a while to reload, which was one of the weaknesses of the system, but it was fun… and still is. 3


EDIT: Mind you… we’re careful to not “dry fire” the thing. That happened once and it was kind of scary.

EDIT2: Oh, yes… we also only connected fittings to one end of the cylinder… the other end was open to air so it could dump air more easily as we launched.