Starting Configuration with Pneumatic

Quick question about a ruling I cannot find in the rules:
Can a robot’s starting configuration use pneumatics that are in their extended position and pressurized?

Yes, as long as it is still within the starting configuration size and perimeter rules. Typically pneumatics that are double acting will end up in a pressurized state in one direction or the other,

So a team can pressurize their robot with an off-board compressor in cueing and manually activate the pneumatics when placing it on the field?

Pressurize yes, manually activate I’m going to guess no.

Pneumatic pistons will move to their “natural” state when the entire system is pressurized. Just make sure that these pistons naturally start where you want them to and you should be good.

I don’t see a rules issue with manually activating them on the field, but I’d at least do it in queue before you start to place something on the field. I’ve done this fairly often with shifting transmissions so they don’t have to shift at the start of the match.

Is there a reason you think you need to wait until you’re on the field to get your cylinders in the proper configuration?

Keep in mind that you can only use “one and only one compressor” per R85 - if you have one on your robot, then you need to charge the pneumatics with that compressor and not an off-board one.

As long as I have been on 4283 we have never used pneumatics, so I am just trying to take extra precautions to not get in trouble with a judge.

You can manually actuate the solenoids on the field. Done it a million times. As long as you’re safe about it and ultimately you begin the match in your legal starting config then you’re good. Most solenoids have a button on top that you can press with a pen or similar to manually actuate.

EDIT: Single Solenoids will have a “default” position. Power is required to actuate the solenoid and when power is removed a spring inside the solenoid switches back to default. Double Solenoids require power to switch either direction. With these you can manually actuate to set your starting position before the match.

You can charge the tanks pre-match as long as you don’t bypass all the safety features specified, like the pressure relief valve and pressure switch. We typically have a disconnect on the compressor wiring (mini-anderson or SAE plug) and fill the tanks with a spare battery through a fused harness.

Are you bypassing the RoboRio? Or the 120amp Main Breaker? Why not just use a ‘test’ battery in the cue line or better yet, in the pit, to pressurize before the match then swap out your test battery for a flight battery"?

This is illegal. The compressor needs to operate under RoboRIO control at all times. It’s fine to use one battery to charge the pneumatics and then put in a second battery while in the queue for use during the match… but you can’t just bypass all of the safety requirements in the manual to charge the system.

Obligatory note that you won’t get in trouble with the judges, but the referees and inspectors may have a few things to say to you. See above two posts–two LRIs are commenting on someone doing things apparently in the wrong way.

We like to get the robot set up before going into the queuing line…this includes operational check, charging pneumatics (using the onboard compressor etc), and making sure all the parts are where they are supposed to be for the match start configuration. If there is a game piece that needs to be loaded, we make sure that it can be loaded (and unloaded at the end of them match) without having to activate any robot controls, such as pneumatic solenoid valves.

This year will be fun, I think we’ll have to load a cube by opening the device that holds it, against force provided by pneumatic pressure. This should take about 15 lbs of pulling force, the way I figure it.