So I was looking at the VexLabs site today, and I was reminded that they offer a kit of Vex parts in aluminum instead of the usual steel. (link)
This got me wondering: did anybody use them on their FVC robot this year? It’s hard to tell without asking (or picking up, neither of which I could really do on DaVinci), but it seems like something the upper-level teams would go for.
I can tell you that FVC1676 (winners of the NJ competition) didn’t. Because there’s no weight restriction, but definitely a budget restriction, we stuck with the plain old steel.
On the other hand, it owuld be something to consider for either a weight-restricted robot or an outdoors robot (like the one I’m thinking about to harass the deer in the backyard. They’re eating my landscape!).
FVC3144(now 1138) used two kit’s worth of aluminum. It was the only way the guys could have made their design work because the steel was too heavy and kept stripping the gears, clutches, and eventually, the motors. Plus they look nice.
We used two aluminum kits to construct our robot. Essentially everything but the bottom drive chassis was aluminum. I have a feeling our arm would have required more than two motors on a 1:7 ratio to be lifted had it not used aluminum. Using aluminum elsewhere on the robot was probably unnecessary - but we had it so why not use it? Our robot is 14.5 total with a battery in.
We used 1 aluminum kit to complete our arm. There would be no way to do our arm with steel, simply because it would be wayy too heavy (I already have 40 broken gears in my basement, and thats from aluminum!).
Team Unlimited (FVC 2013) used aluminium on their arm for weight purposes. We needed to keep our COG low, so we used the aluminiun to do so. The rest of the bot was made from steel to keep the weight down as low as possible.
We had to use aluminum parts for 2 purposes:
- to lighten our arm so we could use a faster gear ratio
- lighten our overall weight of the robot to turn better