Can we use hydraulics with our robot?
If so, what are the limitations on that as well.
Thank you.

Hydraulics have not been permitted in FRC or FTC. Only pneumatics.

Think how many teams have leaky pneumatic systems… not replace all that harmless air with icky oil. :frowning: For once I am glad for the restrictions.

For commercial airliners, replacing hydraulics with electric actuation may be the way of the future.


Unfortunately motors are the only electronic actuators allowed in the past, no solenoids.

The closest things allowed to hydraulics is sealed gas shocks. Can you imagine a venue pulling up the carpet only to find their basketball court/hockey rink is now stained with hydraulic oil? And the slipping and sliding going on in the pit…

Hydraulics use liquid to transfer power. The liquid doesn’t have to be oil, does it?

You aren’t volunteering to check that every robot at an event has the proper liquid, are you? If it involves removing a sample from the robot, I don’t think I want to be involved–it’s under pressure, usually (well, OK, it’s trying to move, not necessarily under pressure).

Aside from hydraulic components eating up the weight limit, the mess factor (present regardless of liquid), and the problem of another 5 pages in the already-massive rulebook (and 50 posts asking about them on CD)…Well, I don’t see a problem other than those few.

Actually, come to think of it, if you replace “liquid” with “fluid”, pneumatics are hydraulics.:p:D

The difference is that one uses a gas, the other a liquid. Both use fluids.

Hydraulics offer precise control. I think it’s something worth looking into…but it wasn’t my idea.

The reservoir in most hydraulic systems is not pressurized.

hydraulics also sound heavy, liquids aren’t light.

A look inside the wheel well of a 737 gives you an idea of how awful it is to manage all the tubing for hydraulic lines. It’s also pretty heavy.


True, but would you want ANY liquid near your robot?

electric brakes:

  • less system weight

  • reduced fire hazard

  • less installation labor

  • higher dispatch reliability

  • health monitoring and on-condition maintenance


We have quite a bit of experience with robots that work in liquids. It’s not as scary as it sounds.

Hydraulics don’t need to be large and heavy. They don’t necessarily have to be powered by huge pumps and have big heavy hoses.

Think about how a small cylinder like those on drum breaks can stop a 3000lb car.

Do a little research before making bold claims.

Fortunately we don’t build such complicated systems for the FRC… although if a team showed up with something like that they would become an instant favorite of mine!

I think it’s interesting that teams are allowed to compete with some dangerous and failure-prone electromechanical mechanisms year after year, but for some reason the thought of a hydraulically actuated device is thrown right out the window for safety reasons. I understand the oil-on-field issue, but if we’re using something that’s field-safe like water, is there actually a serious risk? (reference some 2008 catapult robots when making your comparison. :stuck_out_tongue: )

My objection wasn’t safety related it was related to not wanting my robot sprayed with water because someone else couldn’t be hassled to prevent their system from leaking.

I love how we are limited to certain parts and mechanisms due to “safety”, yet half of the games wield robots who can majorly harm people and objects. Two examples are from 2008 and 2010. Some robots in 2008 could shoot the track ball so high and far at such high speeds, if one shot out of the field it would damage something, or severely injure someone if they get hit. Same with 2010. Some robots in there could fire soccer balls off so hard that it could be serious injury to anyone, and could be life or death if it hit someone in the head (Maybe a little exaggeration…).

I’m guessing this is a greater risk than a team jamming their arm into your electronics board, right?

With all of the water game hints, you’ve got to be ready for it some day!

I can shield that from an arm. Short of waterproofing my entire electronics system there are few things I can do to prevent water from getting into my CRIO.