pic: Team 1629's robot DONE !

Meshach 4.0 Picks up, herds and hurdles…

Yikes thats a lot of stored energy! What happens at endgame if it is cocked? Using a latch?

Is it really bad for your robot if you launch without a ball?

I’m not saying that will happen a lot in competition, I’m just wondering.

We do have a latch on the robot and dry firing as we call it does not seem to cause damage to the robot, although we will be checking bolts between match just to make sure. We also have alot of stickers and such that will go on the robot to warn others to be careful when around it.

Nice duct tape patch on the trackball. Is it because, perhaps, the ball doesn’t like the end of your diamond-plate grabber? That might need a little padding.

Looks like a good design.

Will your team be attending the Pittsburgh Regional again?

Nice robot guys very well made and i love it.

I’m not trying to be negative in any way toward your robot. Your picture just raises a concern that I have after looking at lots of finished robots.

I would hate to take a direct hit from your lower grippers/feet going maximum speed. All I can think of is major damage.

Do you think that you will be closely scrutinized as indicated in the rules?

Unfortunately not…

The Pittsburgh and Annapolis competitions are on the same weekend this year (D’oh) and since we are a MD team, we feel that we should at least compete in one MD competition.

We’ll be going to Cleveland the following week.


We understand your concern… We also don’t want to hit the wall, or another robot at full speed. The likelyhood for significant damage to our own robot is also high… The legs are deployed for ball pickup only, and good news is that if robot-robot contact happened it would be in the designated bumper zone of the other robot.

Whenever FIRST decided that we needed to pick up a ball that was wider than the robot, I’m hoping that they realized that many teams would adopt a fork-lift style approach.

Perhaps that’s the real reason that they made bumpers manditory.
Not looking to circumvent any rules.

Thanks for the reply Phil!

I’m more at ease knowing that the possible contact will only be in the bumper zone.

Good luck at competitions.

Actually, the springs only provide part of the launch energy. Once ready to fire, the retract cylinders are momentarily charged in the other direction to provide a spring assist. This way the “stored” spring energy is kept to a minimum.

The Latch mechanism is the rod of a another 1 1/2" cylinder. It uses a double acting solenoid which defaults to the “latched” position. Once power/control is lost, any residual pressure in the launch cylinder is lost, and the scoop is held in position (virtually impossible to release). It requires full pressure and active control to release the latch.

We will also have a “dead-man-switch” on the console which requires two-handed operation to actually release the latch (just like dropping the ramps last year).

These are links to videos of the robot in action for anyone who is interested.


It looks like you all were having a lot of fun driving that robot around. Definitely a fun bot to watch.