I will try to get more photos and video in drive practice tomorrow, but my favorite features the students developed over the season revolve around how slick the handoff operation is. We (I) love 118’s 2011 robot and thought this would be an even better game to commit to a handoff operation.
For the carriage, the whole assembly weighs, I think, around 4 pounds. The plate is some old FR4/10 Garolite cut to fit in between two spacers that sit on the intake that give us a 3/4" by 10 inch gap in which the plate wedges itself under the cube when the intake clocks up. As it clocks up, the finger engages and pulls the cube down onto the plate and into the face of the carriage. While in transit, the cube has 6 points of contact plus the carriage plate and face. After numerous embarrassing instances with gear manipulation last year, “touch it, own it” was priority #4 after driving, driving, and driving.
To score on the scale, the finger has a neat trick that is hard to see unless you’re up close. It’s actually part of an arm. When the finger retracts, it rotates the arm around an elbow and delivers a sharp kick to the bottom half of the cube. It usually allows us to deposit the cube in a 13" tall configuration. While advantageous, it’s incidental to the design and therefore inconsistent.
Some bonus content we were able to pull off includes the following description: The carriage has a hard stop that puts it above its total available travel, allowing the plate to sit at 20". This height was chosen because we wanted the intake to be able to score in the exchange and the switch without the elevator, and the elevator able to score in the scale and the switch without the intake. We’re able to take cubes directly out of the portal without them touching the ground. Not necessarily sure of the tactical necessity of it, but it was something that got baked into the overall design without any compromises and is a neat thing to talk to judges about. A side effect of the carriage getting stopped higher than its potential minimum is that it gave us enough space to tuck in a camera about 5-6 inches under the carriage plate. The camera gives us any visual data we could want, from seeing a cube in front of the robot, secured in the intake, the intake cocked up and locked on the handoff, and when raised, how we can position the cube on the scale plate.