Robot "extension"

Can we use cylinders not connected to a pneumatic circuit to allow a part of a robot to extend?

We would like a prompt response due to the build season time crunch!


Gas Springs are allowed. All other pneumatic cylinder need to be attached to a regulator, which needs to be attached to the 120psi storage.


Could you elaborate in a little more detail please? I would look up Section 8 in the rule book regrading this.

That would depend on whether or not you wanted the part to retract…

But as noted, a closed-loop COTS gas shock is legal (R43) and not a pneumatic device (R82 blue box). Note that simply “closing the loop” in a normal pneumatic cylinder doesn’t make it legal to use as a gas shock.

Otherwise, if you want to use a pneumatic cylinder, you’ll need to* make it part of the pneumatic system in some way. This may include only plumbing the “extend” side, but they do need air to function.

*I don’t know if anybody’s asked about having a properly rated pneumatic cylinder with a spring extend/return used outside the pneumatic system. That could be really interesting… I also wouldn’t see the point, see also “gas shock”.

This is a good question to ask. I don’t see why it would be a problem from a safety perspective.

Another approach might be to build a linear slide or design your system to use a rotating arm. In 2012, I saw teams that moved forward, then reversed direction causing their arm to move forward and lock in place.


If all you’re looking for is a linear slide mechanism and are not up to making one, you may want to consider a drawer slide mechanism. These are also a lot more robust when faced with side loads, particularly in what would normally be the vertical dimension.

Edit: example.