pic: M'Aiken Magic - 2018

It has been 10 years since FRC Team 1102 qualified to compete at the World Championship.

This year…


You might be asking… well does it work? Well here’s some footage of V1.

V2 is happily bagged and ready for Gainesville!

Holy Cow, Dude

So what made you guys decide on using a vacuum cleaner type intake mechanism?

One of the most interesting robots I have seen haha

Simplicity, it meets the “touch it - own it” design criteria, and we disturb the pyramid cubes less that most wheeled intakes…so they stay in the safe box.

We have a wheeled intake still in development/testing, everything is very modular so if the wheeled intake actually started performing better than the vacuum system we could easily switch.

Oh man, you guys suck!

Something about this robot seems very familiar.

The 8 wheel mecanum has been pretty neat. We don’t demonstrate it’s capabilities in the videos I had very well, but it’s going to be great for us in doing the cubes quickly in the platform zone.

I’m pretty excited for doing a strafing drive by in autonomous of the switch :slight_smile:

We did a lot of prototyping with vacuum stuff this year, glad to see someone went with it.

I’d highly recommend a strip of rubber or other compliant material around the surface of your bowl. This drastically improves grip as it makes it harder for the material to slide around on the suction cup, without making release any slower or harder. It’s really quick to test, just tape a bit of surgical tubing on and see if you like it.

The other thing that really helps is if you have some degree of compliance between the vacuum mount and the cup. Ultimately our prototype didn’t look promising enough in part because it was not good at dealing with cubes that weren’t centered and squared up with the robot, but were against a wall so you couldn’t push into them much. If you have some degree of mechanical compliance in the cup mounting, it can bend slightly one way or another to improve that grip range.


But actually, our entire team stopped what they were doing to look at this. This is crazy! Congratulations

I wanted to see a team use a vacuum intake for a while now. I feel like the idea’s just been collecting dust.

Thanks, it’s pretty neat. I was super skeptical of the idea for a long while, but it seems we have something that works.

We tested all of our suction cups with lip rings of rubber and weather stripping. We couldn’t find anything that gave that much performance increase, I don’t really know why. In fact, most of the time the rubber ring made things perform worse. We tried around 8 different “cups” to arrive at the bowl you see in the photo/video. Maybe we just didn’t get it right. We will have to try some more.

Also, the cloth on official first cubes is actually kind of loose, which makes it come into the bowl a bit creating a much tighter inverted?/concave? seal. We had to build a special valve for releasing the cubes because our vacuum pressure was low enough it took a long time for atmosthere inside the cup to return to normal by just shutting vacuum off.

The cup is definitely compliantly mounted. It is on a rubber 90 degree elbow piece that allows the cup to bend left, right, up or down about an inch or two. The line up speed is much faster this way. We tried solid mounting, and it sucked…in a bad way.

We’ve got a longer video, with autonomous modes and our climber coming soon. We’re hoping Kirby is one of our best robots yet.