Aerial Assist Robot


Robot at Palmetto Regional competition


In the 2014 FRC game, Aerial Assist, we built an exceptional robot for competition. The main things we wanted for this robot to excel in competition were…

  • Highly mobile
  • Shoot a ball heigh enough and distant enough
  • Easily able to pick-up balls
  • Work with other team’s robots

Throughout this article we will break down each part of the robot. This includes the pneumatic system, catapult, ball lifter, control system, and drive train.


 

Pneumatic System

Things to come…


 

Catapult

Our 2014 Aerial Assist robot uses a pneumatic powered catapult to throw the a 2′ diameter ball. The robot can shoot the ball up to 15′ away and ~8′ high. The operator of the robot has one button for controlling the catapult. The operator simply holds down the button to to make the catapult launch and releases the button for the catapult to reset itself.


 

Ball Lifter

Before we can shoot a ball from the robot we must be able to load a ball onto the robot. To do this we made a a lifter that comes down on the ball, and starts two wheels spinning. These wheels suck the ball into the catapult for shooting.


 

Drive Train

  • Meccunum wheels
  • powered by 4 cim motors

 

Control System & Software

The control system is the heart and brain of the entire robot. The parts of the control system that are physically on the robot are listed here:

  • cRIO (The computer that everything on board connects some way or another)
  • Four Talons (The motor controllers that control the drive train CIM motors)
  • Double Solenoids (Control the pneumatic cylinders)
  • Relay (Electromagnetic switch for turning the air compressor on and off)

Safety Pressure Sensor (Senses when the total onboard air in the storage tanks is greater than 120 psi)

Robot Features

Chassis

  • low profile design
  • will not tip over
  • stable at high speed
  • easy to load ball
  • aluminum frame
  • light weight so we can add more structural braces (gussetts)
  • welded
  • durable

Launch Mechanism (catapult)

  • scores in 10 point scores by passing ball over truss to Alliance partner
  • powered by Pneumatics
  • repeatable over long use
  • uses leverage to create the perfect combination of speed and power
  • adjustable stop to change trajectory of ball

Autonomous

  • uses distance sensors to find location to shoot from
  • Has the potential to shoot two balls
  • start with one loaded on robot
  • drives to sweet spot and fires

Bumpers

  • reversible
  • easy to remove/replace
  • maximum coverage/protection