pic: VP ratchet actuated

Replace the pawl (mill/waterjet out of 1/4" sheet) and add a plate to mount the piston. Currently relies on the ratchet slice’s spring to reengage the ratchet, so the piston just crudely pushes. Not sure how to make that more reliably, or if it even has to be.

I like it! I’m not sure it will have enough force to release the ratchet under load, but it would be useful to keep the ratchet disengaged for some applications. For instance, in 2016 our climber didn’t have a ratchet so that we could reel-out the hanger, and reset if the drivers missed the hanging bar. But that meant we had to design a finicky little latch to hold the robot once hung. Something like this would have been cleaner.

Having not looked at the product CAD at all yet and only seeing the product video - they showed it using a string to disengage the ratchet. Is there enough clearance to just mount a small amount of stronger string & pull it with a small pneumatic actuator? Would it re-engage once the string is released? Pretty neat idea, I could see multiple applications including replacing disc brakes depending on the loads.

Actually, if you just put a bolt through the string hole instead you might be able to just build a simple linkage right off of the pawl and connect it directly to the end of a cylinder, instead of having to completely replace the pawl.

Also true. I need to dig into the CAD and check it out. Such a cool product!