What's the biggest piston you've ever seen used successfully in FRC?

Asking for a friend

Raid Zero (4253) used giant pneumatic cylinders for their hang during stronghold 2016

Team Chaos - FRC team 74 used some big pistons for their climb in 2016. Look just inside the frame on the arm.

Well, my team (1410) tried to use a piston to climb last year. https://i.imgur.com/IwyU2gGh.jpg It only worked on a test chasse without most of our stuff on it. 0/10 would not recommend.

1522 used a ~4’ stroke cylinder in 2011. It’s tough to see in this picture but it’s all I can find from back then. The cylinder runs from the bottom of the robot up to the top of that mast. It worked well but there was a lot of pretty rigid framework around it and almost no defense was played on it while it was extended (I don’t think it was legal to defend in the scoring area that year). ZnkVPjF_d

Team Chaos - FRC team 74 used some big pistons for their climb in 2016. Look just inside the frame on the arm.

Yea those worked really well. Managed to never break one in the season but we were lifting straight up that year so we never really had any torque on them. I think we had 5-6 precharged tanks on that bot, three on the bottom of the arm and a few in the wheel wells. Overall would do it again. If you want more pics I can get them soon, that robot is still fully assembled.

We have a cylinder from many years ago (2004/5 I think) that I believe was custom made. Its like 6" in diameter and over 2 feet tall. It was for climbing. Absolute Unit.

Think my first team, 3677, used a 2’ throw cylinder to deploy our mini bot in 2011.

Team 4573 in 2016 had large piston attached to a hook to scale the tower in stronghold

Seven or eight years ago we didn’t need Bimba cycinders but wanted to get maximum value out of their voucher, so we just got two of the biggest cylinder they made available at the time. We still have them, unused. They have something like a 30" extension. They make a great conversation piece.

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2079 in 2007 used either a 24 or 30 inch I believe.

980 in 2004.


You can see it on the underside of their arm (IIRC that cylinder was most of the arm structure). They used it for climbing, so one extension and one retraction per match. @David_Brinza might know more about the details (or have a better picture–whenever CD-Media finishes there’s a couple more I think).

423 in 2015 used 2x ~30" stroke, 1.5" diam cylinder* for our elevator. They worked very consistently and gave the team arguably its best season. The major downside was how slow they were. If we had known a bit more about pneumatics at the time, we certainly could have sped them up (separate solenoids for each cylinder, move an air tank right next to the piston, remove excess tubing, etc) and been even better.

In 2014 we also used a ~30" stroke, 2" diam cylinder to pull back our elevator. Despite the rest of the robot not working well, the elevator pull-back and latch mechanism never failed.

*It’s a cylinder not a piston #IACNAP @IndySam

2x2.5" bore/5" stroke pneumatic catapult in 2014. Never doing that again.