pic: Daisy's front

Our 2014 bot (almost completed) 's front side. That cage deploys out to the 20" maximum space. (This helps us with catching- the precision needed to catch is almost none)

I’d love to see video of your robot catching. I think catching is going to be one of the most important abilities and it seems as if a lot of folks aren’t giving it much thought.

How does your robot catch? Is it all reliant upon the driver positioning the machine appropriately? Does only one side open? How wide is the opening?

I see that you went for a similar design to us regarding catching. How well is it working without a fabric or net material covering the panels?

All sides open up. (Like they are in this video: http://youtu.be/xKflbL5oSqg ) When opened fully (protruding 20" in each direction past frame perimeter), It’s a 68" (28" square bot + 20 one side + 20 other side) square that the ball just needs to have the center hit inside. If the ball is in, it centers itself either automatically, or by having the sides fold in and keep it in place. (It wouldn’t be a very good thing to have the bot zipping down the field all open, anyways)
It is by driver positioning (no vision recognition of the ball), but shouldn’t require that much precision.

We will get some video and find out just how easy it is to catch as soon as we lay a few more wires- which should be soon.

The ball cannot pass through those walls. (Except the roller… which we will see how well that plays out. It should be a tight enough fit that it won’t go through- or would require extreme precision to do so.) We plan on covering them in signboard or plexiglas for purposes of signage.

Very cool to see at least some teams going with this design! I’m sure our team was one of many teams to think of this concept but end up going in another direction because of how we wanted to design the “harvester” and launcher.

I know that I would love to have an alliance partner in elims that could effectively catch a throw (even if they could then just “pass” the ball on the ground to a partner)… I’m sure consistent catchers will do well in elims, even if not in quals. Obviously a team that alao combines consistent catching with ball acquisition and launching will be great!

Great design! But I can’t seem to figure out how the sides open. Is it passive once the spool unwinds? Do the sides just fall down? Or are the sides actually controlled?

There is a spool of super string/spectra line on the top of the front wall powered by a PG71. This allows us to pull the entire cage in and is our only form of control. The cage is sprung at the bottom (Those white thingies have springs in them) so there is always tension on the line and we can cleanly deploy without having to jiggle around. We can adjust the tension if needed. It’s much more elegant than anything else we’ve come up with.

I like how it winds up and deploys with string around the edges, very cool.

We on 95 also think that catching will be important, not only for scoring those 10 catch points, but also so that the in-bounder can simply chuck the ball into the robot instead of having to feed it in some way. No safe zones make human loading a tricky proposition once defense is involved.

Sweet! I like the boxy design! So, what are some highlights of your bot? By what I’m hearing, is it able to catch/toss efficiently? Where does your bot catch from? Is this the final bot, or is it just a prototype/practice bot?

My team is going with a similar design however, our hinges are made of 3d printed plastic. They hold really well and those double as hard stops so the walls do not go outside the 20". We do not yet have a way to push the walls out once the guide line is opened. If anyone has any ideas they would greatly appreciated.

Have them sprung out with enough force. Use the vulcan constant force springs from the KOP?

The exact thing we are using is actually a spring bracket that automatically closes doors…
Simalar to this.