Rotating pneumatic actuators

What are these used for? I never knew they even made pneumatics like this. What would these be useful for? They probably don’t have a lot of torque…

when you run out of motors they make great substitutions

They have decent torque. pretty useful if you’ve already invested in pneumatics on your bot and you want to some rotating movement ie a joint. I believe there was a tean At FLR using it to rotate their claw.

Our team considered using one for our rotating hook style manipulator, but switched to a globe motor when we relized it would need about 120 degrees of motion to fold back into a 38x28 box

FIRST barely scratches the surface of what you can do with pneumatics. The only rotary actuator we are allowed to use is the one from Bimba (we used it last year for our ball trigger.)

Wait until you become mechanical engineers and start building custom machinery, you will fall in love with the power and simplicity of pneumatics (you will really like pneumatic motors)

True, I work for a major plastic injection molding supplier. We build robots, tooling, custom systems, granulators, dryers and use many different types of pnuematic components depending on what needs to be done. We use cylinders like grippers, rodless linear cylinders, actuators, and guided cylinders.

SMC is our main supplier and here’s a link to the page on thier U.S. website where they list the different types of pnuematic actuators you can get, . With the countless types and different designs FIRST doesn’t even scratch the surface of what’s available.

I have the complete SMC binder (catalog) here at home and it’s 5" thick although that covers everything from cylinders to valves to tubing. It’s thicker than my MSC book!

Bimba and Parker are two other major suppliers of pnuematic cylinders.

As a Parker manufacturing engineer I can tell you there are lots more to pneumatics than what FIRST allows.

Truthfully, I wish they would allow teams to use the full range of pneumatic equipment out there, But sadly they dont.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to use:
1> Rotory Cylindars
2> Pneumatic motors
3> Cylindars with encoders (feedback cylindars)
4> Electronic pressure controllers
5> Pressure switches (besides the one thats in the kit)
6> Venturi devices
7> Custom (multitube?) tubing
8> Hard tubing
9> Large oriface valves (for quick actuation / dump)
10> Pancake cylindars

And that’s just off the top of my head.

If there is one area of robot building that FIRST stifles, it’s using pneumatics. That being said, I kinda understand why, as there are less people proficient with pneumatics as there are with mechanical / electrical know how.

FIRST often leaves many students i encounter beleiving that the plain non-rebuildable cylinder is all that exists in the world of pnematics.