pic: 696 Circuit Breakers - Wings Deployed

Here’s a video of the deploy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GImkSm8A0r4

And here’s a video of the lift:


Once the robot is disabled, how long do the ramps stay up? I’m concerned with the ramps falling below the 12" mark before they are counted due to the loss of air pressure. However, i’m sure you have found a way to counter the effects of gravity.

if you use the double-action solenoids, your cylinders still have pressure after the robot is turned off. Assuming there aren’t leaks, it should stay up for long enough.

How long does it take to get to full height?

The platforms stay up just fine. The time to lift depends on a lot of things. For one robot it could be as little as 3 seconds. For two simultaneously (which I imagine will rarely happen), it could be as much as about 7 seconds. There are 4 accumulators and a compressor onboard.

It looks heavy how much does it weigh? I like the arm and the gripper

What happened to the pickup wheel?

Looks good. What’s the spacing like between the outboard pistons and the chassis…and how tall of a vertical step is it to get onto the platforms? Steps that small ought to be no trouble for most robots to climb.

the robot weighs about 118 lbs.

the wheel was actually one of the designs that we considered, but in real life it just didn’t work out as well as we hoped it would in our heads.

Hey all,
Fantastic machine! Can’t get platforms any lower to the ground than that! Tell me… how do you deploy them - what is the mechanism that you lower them by? It looks very under control but I can;t decipher how you do it.

I noticed that this year you didn’t use Colson wheels like previous years. Any reason why?

I’m glad you ask. The platforms end up about 1.5" off the ground, in the lowered position. The philosophy here is that getting up a ramp may be a bit sketchy, and not all robots will be able to. So, we tried to make it easy. With the couple extra pounds we have to spare, we are looking into adding small leader ramps for the small percentage of robots that can’t get over a 1.5" step.

I take it you’ve seen the YouTube video of the deploy? It is quite ingenious how they are deployed actually. The wings are held in by small aircraft cables, placed on hooks near the arm joint. There are springs that push the wings outward to give them the initial “kick” to start the fall. When the arm is raised all the way back over itself, it pushes the cables off the hooks, the springs push the wings past vertical, and they fall right to the ground. And it appears that air resistance slows them a little. When the cables release from their hooks, surgical tubing is used to retract the cables and take up all the slack, so we don’t have dangling cables anywhere. There is a pot and a software lockout on the arm so it cannot go to the point of wing deploy until it is told to do so.

We never had a problem with colson wheels last year. But, we looked at the situation like this. We needed something light and narrow. We had a CNC available to use. We would have had to machine out and machine hubs for the colsons. So, why not just machine our own wheels? I’m glad we did. They are <0.5 lbs ea with tread.

And here’s a quite comical video taken before we fixed the software.

so you’re saying that once past the vertical the wings fall by gravity? how does the outboard cylinder handle the impact?

The cylinder rod does not hit the ground if that is what you are asking.

At least an alliance partner that accidentally hits one of the cylinders cannot say “I didn’t see it!”.

Very slick design, I think you’ll do well with it.


Minus all the lifting mechanisms how much does each platform weigh and what are they made of?