The piston continuously pumps the suction cup to maintain suction for as long as possible. We can maintain the suction for about 4-5 minutes after the match ends, though we are working on a method to keep the robot from crashing down just in case.
We did think about using a cam but went for the cylinder for simplicity. We may or may not switch to a motor, but the air consumption isn’t a huge worry for us.
The climber arm is on a single stage lift with a constant force spring and some clever rope routing that keeps the arm from falling until it reaches its max height. A ratchet prevents the lift from backdriving. The rope is what keeps the climber arm in place and prevents the robot from tipping forwards.
We are thinking about adding forks and lifting at least one robot with us, though we are currently focusing on fixing up other areas of the bot.