Prototype ball launching system. Delta bench sander, Porter Cable 361 belt sander, various scrap lumber, and some drywall screws – VIOLA! Or voila. Something like that. Anyway, the project took two hours.
The belts run at about 4mps, and the ball goes a maximum of about 4 meters. You’re going to want to go for the full 12mps max velocity.
I’d guess that FIRST will not try to inspect balls for damage to surface finish, scuffs, scratches, and so forth. Between matches they may try to replace balls that have chunks missing.
Generally, has GDC has expected teams to design gamepiece interaction mechanisms that are robust enough to deal will minor variations in gamepieces. <G20> doesn’t explicitly mention balls – that is probably not an omission by the GDC.
not to sound negative, but i think the first FIRST ball launcher was revealed in 2002 when the CIM motor was introduced to teams…but back to the post…was the orientation you have it in now the way you tested firing, or did you use any kind of angle on it??
as far as getting the balls dirty or scuffed…no need to use a belt sander for that…did you all see the balls in 2002 after competitions? they got scuffed and marked on their own, and i would plan on have “minor variations” in game pieces because what i remember the balls in 2002 started almost sticky, but by the end of the competition they were very smooth from all the dirt that accumulated.
…but back to the post…was the orientation you have it in now the way you tested firing, or did you use any kind of angle on it??
The gray toolbox in the pic is a crucial part of the elevation system.
as far as getting the balls dirty or scuffed…
In our highly-sophisticated testing lab (which looks a lot like my garage/shop), the balls collect dirt better than a Swiffer duster. I’d make sure all the ball-handling surfaces you use have a really high coefficient of friction. I’m seriously thinking of using 1-inch sanding belts in competition.