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Rack N Roll Manipulator Idea
 

Rack N Roll Manipulator Idea

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    Rack N Roll Manipulator Idea Rack N Roll Manipulator Idea Presentation Transcript

    • Brad Mello
      FIRST “Rack N’ Roll” Manipulator Design
    • Challenge
      The challenge of the 2007-2008 FIRST Robotics Competition game “Rack N’ Roll” was to score inflated inner tubes on posts sticking out from a rack in the middle of the field.
    • Problem
      Tubes could only be placed on the rack at a certain angle, or else they would fall off.
      The flat plate on the front of each post prevented tubes from falling off once placed, but made it harder to place them as well.
    • Solutions
      Design ideas included pneumatic grippers, mechanical grippers, mainly focusing on an opening and closing motion
      I produced an idea that used tracks of wheels above and below to “suck” in the tube.
    • My Idea
      The other design ideas focused around gripping the inner tube, which would usually be picked up from the floor.
      Tubes would be picked up horizontally, and needed to be placed vertically on the rack.
      The top and bottom tracks of wheels of my design would be able to be controlled independently.
      This would allow for the tubes to be rotated inside the gripper by running the top track and bottom track opposite each other, making picking up horizontally and placing vertically simple.
    • Prototyping
      The next step in our design process was to prototype ideas using basic materials.
      We used VEX materials to make a functioning prototype of my idea.
    • Pros
      Once inside the gripper, the tubes could be rotated as planned.
      Intake of tubes was smooth.
      Tubes did not change angle as they exited the gripper .
    • Cons
      Little contact surface area between tube and gripper.
      If jostled, the tube would fall and hang vertically from the gripper.
      VEX motors couldn’t demonstrate rotation of tubes well .
    • Next Step
      Prototype revisions were made
      Using alternative materials to contact tube
      Non-slip padding was attempted, but the padding would walk off of the rollers and we encountered many problems
    • Next Step (continued)
      Polyurethane Polycord® proved to have a high coefficient of friction on the inner tube.
      This thin belting would be able to run parallel with the tube, effectively keeping hold of the tube inside the gripper
      I made a prototype using this material along with a PVC plastic skeleton frame.
    • Power
      Car window motors were chosen to power polycord belts.
      Tubes could be precisely angled inside this new gripper
      Not easily moved
      Polycord proved to be best material to contact tube
    • Final Prototype
      This design was chosen by the team to be implemented into our final robot design.
    • Evolution
      A welded aluminum version of my design came next
      Lightweight
      Robust
      We had full control of a tube that was in our possession, and could perfectly adjust angle to place on the rack.
    • Controls
      Joystick control of gripper
      Up and Down on joystick picked up and shot out tubes
      Left and Right on joystick rotated the tube inside the gripper
    • Positioning of the Tube
      The prime position for rotation of the tube was in the direct center of the gripper
      Problem: Difficult for driver to determine exactly where tube sat in gripper during game play.
    • Solution
      A VEX bump sensor was added to very back of the gripper
      Program was written to override operator controls for a fraction of a second when bump sensor was touched (when tube was fully sucked in)
      The tube was backed out approximately two inches during this time to position it back in the center of the gripper