This picture–which was just before shipping–shows Team Force's robot, Scorpius.
Please, bear with me during my description. I co-webmastered the website, helped with fundraising, decorated the robot, and trained as our starting human player. I had nothing to do with the design or construction of the robot save being on the brainstorming commitee that decided what we wanted to do at the beginning of the year. If anyone is interested in a specific part or ability, post below and I'll see if I can get one of our design team to answer your question. Thanks.
Scorpius is an extremely efficient ball gatherer and deliverer. Its innovative corral arm–shown here extended–uses a 2" PVC pipe to act as a "one way roller". When the robot drives into a small ball, the PVC pipe does not spin and friction forces it to lift, thereby allowing the ball entrance.
However, the balls cannot come out so easily. Since balls within the corral will spin the opposite way of a ball outside the corral, we want the PVC to spin one way so the balls inside cannot force their way out. To do this, we used a one way bearing that, as one might guess from its name, only allows motion in one direction.
The inside of the ball corral is covered in spinny PVC pipes that decrease friction between the balls and stationary parts of the robot.
One of the coolest things about our robot is the ball ejection mechanism. A complex web of PVC and aluminum clearly visible here, the ball ejection mechanism is activated when the PVC roller arm is raised. However, due to some technical wizardry that I cannot pronounce (something to do with a disconnected cam shaft, or something like that), there is a slight disconnection between the PVC roller arm raising and the ball ejector working. This means that our PVC roller arm is free to bounce around on balls all it wants without actually making the ejection mechanism kick in. The motor for raising the corral arm also drives the ball ejection mechanism. Its actually quite cool to watch.
At the bottom of each end of the corral arms, underneath the PVC roller pipe, are two aluminum protrusions that allow us to drag the mobile goal with us. We can push it using the back of our robot.
The plastic lifter arm that you see on the back of the robot is made out of packing foam sandwiched between two HDPE plates. It can uncap a mobile goal and knock the release ball off of its trigger. It is also filled with blinky lights.
Our robot also has directional reversal capabilities–meaning that when the controller flips a switch, the robot can reverse its direction without the driver having to move his joystick or reorient his bearings. Since our robot, in effect, is double sided, this is an invaluable asset.
Our robot can move at about 12 fps. We can internally store up to four small balls and plow x amount at the same time. We were, objectively speaking, the most efficient ball herder at Manchvegas. During a practice round with Hyper 69, we scored over 200 points. Joe J and I filled up the stationary goal with balls brought by Scorpius to both of our corrals, Hyper capped the stationary goal and proceeded to hang, and I filled up the mobile goal.
We were extremely successful when paired up with a robot that could manipulate the 2x multiplier, since our robots' efficiency and our human players accuracy usually guaranteed our team at least 80-100 points if our alliance partner could cap the goal.
Our robot cost about $1135 to build. It was a product of student labor–students directed the brainstorming and had the final say on the final direction of the robot, and it was designed entirely by three students–from the Design and Chassis subteam–using AutoCad Inventor.
We were seeded ninth in the qualifying round at Manchvegas and were bumped up to seventh after the first two picks were made from within the top 8.
As a second year team, we are very proud of our robot, which was simple, efficient, (relatively) cheap, and successful at Manchvegas.
p.s. I'll try to upload/link to some pictures of Scorpius in action at the Manchester Regional.