pic: XBot #488 2008 Robot

Our 2008 robot. Only things missing are our paneling, bumpers and other little odds and ends.

6WD (4 - 4" Omnis and 2 - IFI Traction 1")
2 CIM Drive 3-speed via dewalt transmissions
~6’ inclinator powered via dual CIM+Toughbox, and polycarb winch drum.
Pneumatically powered fork for handling the ball
Estimates say we are still going to come in under weight! (hey there is a first time for everything right?)

I like the spool you made for your pneumatics. Was that an off-the-shelf-item or did you make it? It will definitely help prevent things from tangling when the elevator is raised.

Nice work.

Where do you mount your battery? We toyed with the idea of having our lift tilted back similar to yours but found that an opposite mounted battery was an effective counterbalance. I really like the simple, effective solutions in your design. Hopefully i’ll get to see it in person at nationals.

The spool we made in house. We were hesitant to put anything active on the fork since the path between the cable pulleys and the elevator is very very small but one of the other mentors came up with this light weight alternative to the traditional retail spring-coiled pneumatic reel. And it weighs almost nothing :wink:

The battery is in the back under the winch. You can see the location here:
The CG of the machine is incredibly low. Even with the ball all the way at the top it is very difficult for us to tip over.

The whole superstructure detaches by removing 4 pins and disconnecting the wires so we can work on the chassis separate from our actuators.


The spool is probably one of the coolest features of our robot. We hadn’t intended to use pneumatics at all – but testing late last week revealed that our first manipulator design wasn’t going to cut it. So, quickly, we brainstormed and designed the manipulator shown here and decided to actuate it with a single piston. We didn’t want to have any loose wiring or tubing near our pulleys and lift cables, so one of our mentors – a senior researcher at Microsoft Research – devised this mechanism in about 30 minutes. It works great and we’re really happy with it. It’s too bad it will get hidden behind our protective side panels.

Tilting the lift back also helps mitigate some of the uneven loading on the bearing surfaces caused by the cantilevered load of the manipulator and ball. Our center of gravity is very low and very close to the center of the robot and we might’ve been able to get away with a completely vertical lift; but we’re very happy with what we have. Bringing the ball back above the robot was one of highest design priorities and as result, we’re able to travel around the track at full speed while carry a ball at full height.

Stop by our pit in Atlanta and take a look. We’re still here working on the last few details, but we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. Hopefully, the season will just get better and better.

Saw you guys today, nice job with getting the ball off the top an back up. (Team 1258 with the fully pneumatics arm was us).

Oh my god, why are your omniwheels so small (I’m guessing 3 inches there??? maybe 3.5" at most?)

You all were the only other folks we saw hurdle, so good job on that. I was a little bit scared with how fast and uncontrolled some of the machines were, so we decided to come back to the lab and test more on our slightly more flimsy overpass.

They’re 4" diameter, custom-built wheels to complement the 4" IFI traction wheels.

Oh, okay, nice. The electronics board and spool look pretty too. (Well, everything does, of course.)

Very nice robot. I like the slanted elevator, that’s an interesting design and it looks very strong. Do you have a picture of the far side of the pneumatics reel? I’d be curious to see how it’s attached such that the reel can spin without twisting the tube leading out of it.

I assume the stomp rocket in the background will be one of those “little odds and ends” soon to be attached – it’s the backup system for ball launching in case the elevator’s too slow, right? :wink:

Looks great! See you in Portland and Seattle!


I don’t have a picture of the spool handy, but I’ll take or find one today. We’ve got a brass tee fitting set up so that one part is coaxial with the spool and that allows the tubing feeding air into it to rotate. It’s neat.

The stomp rocket actually belongs to the building, not the team. It’s a nice distraction sometimes and we don’t even need to go outside to play.

You too! I am looking forward to seeing your launcher.