Is there any way to use a VEX Ultrasonic Range Finder to aim a flywheel/ puncher? Or maybe a light sensor to detect the flags? EDR not V5
If you're unable to aim it you could try ramming your robot on a straight surface which you know the orientation of, for example the field sides or the platforms, and then adjust as needed. You could also adjust your bot so that it could hit the flags from starting tile and run it off of the placement of the bot.
Yes, ultrasonic sensors could be used, though best used with encoders and a gyroscope most likely. You could use them to determine the distance from the walls, and that can allow you to calculate how far you are from the flags and if you're aimed in the right direction. But if anything gets between you and the wall it can be really problematic.
You would have to do the math to determine the varibles of your shooter and how they correlate to shot trajectory. What settings/variables do you have....Flywheel speed? Angle?
You would have to create a math function that correlates the distance you are from your target (as read by the ultrasonic rangefinder) and the speed, and angle your shot needs to be to hit the target. It's some fairly complicated stuff, but it would be very cool. I don't know how to do it, but it is possible I am sure.
You would still need to use something like the vision sensor to help you actually align with the flags. The rangefinder only tells you distance.