Pnuematic Climbing Mechanism

Now I wouldn’t consider this an actual robot showcase but rather a mechanism showcase but my team 6032 worked on building a climbing mechanism that we intended to climb to HAB 2 and would have needed two extra cylinders for it to operate like it needed to on our main robot, this was not put on the main robot so here is our prototype demonstration that we’ll use during outreach events. Feel free to modify or do the same. I do not have CAD drawings or drawings in general because this was a simple throw together project and also took a couple changes to the designs.


Looks good!

Make sure you test it with bumpers though. If you tilt to too high of an angle you could get stuck with no driven wheels on the ground, just the back bumper and the wheels on the pneumatic extension.

Yes, it would be a great idea but we won’t be putting it on the robot due to complications with the structural elements this is only a prototype to mess around with

I am concerned about the longevity of those pneumatic cylinders, the rods are going to be in some danger…

They are in the best solution we can get them in

There isn’t any way we can change it other than add another mechanism which could take more time than needed

Has anyone found a long 1 inch bore piston that 24 inch longer or more?

Bimba has up to 50" stroke 1.065" bore pistons (and other bores up to 3"). You can get 24 inchers for about 120 bucks a pop, which really isn’t bad. You can get ultra custom stroke lengths (down to .001" increments) and all variety of configurations for relatively inexpensive prices. Take a look at the configurator on this page:

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Why don’t we see fully pneumatic climbs in FRC competition especially since the mechanism for a fully pneumatic climb seems simpler than just using an elevator system or chain and spocket? (note: our team robot (7230) is a tench bot that is 120 lbs max.)

A lot if teams avoid using pneumatics for climbing since a large cylinder can be very heavy. Lifting that much weight requires a large bore, and a lot of air, which takes awhile to fill up, making it slow. And typically, since it requires a lot of air, you have to be very careful of how much air you are using throughout the match so you dont risk running out for your climb. Pneumatic compressors in general arent the most efficient, and tax your battery, so if you could integrate the climb into another function (easier to do in the past), that’s probably a better solution.


Because a powerful motor or two will do it better.


2013 was the year where pneumatic climbing mechanisms could make sense. The lowest bar that robots climbed onto was well under the maximum robot height, did not move like the Generator Switch this year and the robot only had to get off the carpet. Thus a short stroke cylinder with only a few inches of travel could be used, requiring little air to accomplish the climb.

1 Like @Concorde1234 this was the company we received our cylinders from, if you really wanted to look at the ones we were using (double action) this was the manual I had to go through to see what our cylinder could do, but rather than using one-two 1 inch bore 24 inch cylinders, set it up in stages, the bigger the bore the more powerful the piston is according to lb/ft. all in all it is easy to do a pneumatic climbing mechanism but for what you’re looking for you will want a motorized climbing mechanism on a motor that can handle a lot of torque.

One of the Arizona teams had a pneumatic climber in 2013, that would spend the whole match climbing to the top of the Pyramid.

Our team had a pneumatic climber that would just hang from the bottom.

That’s the last time we ever tried to move significant weight with pneumatics…