Last year we actually did start building a 17.5" linear slide based on your pictures, and although we decided against using it (we couldn’t get a fast enough hang with the weight of our robot, and the robot was’t exactly the best for hanging, anyway) we did give you credit in our Engineering Notebook.
Sure he could have. With a double-extending linear lift system using 17.5" slides you’d be able to get around 10" more reach. He was able to get ~42" of reach (if I’m remembering correctly), but with 17.5" slides you could get ~52".
I’m assuming there is all this talk of 17.5" slides because of the 30" goals in gateway, correct? Do you guys think the longer slides (if implemented correctly) would be the best way to extend some sort of grasping mechanism to the 30" height?
Titan’s lift used HS chain, so it could (in theory) be continued out to more than 2 lift sections. However, the downside is that more sections add more weight, which makes the slides less “slide-y”
If the bottom of your intake starts on the floor, then the double linear slides extending by 30" (each one by 15") will give you enough height to reach the top of the goals with the bottom of the intake. You could even go higher, as the 3" overlap when they are fully extended like I just described could be reduced to as little as 2" (I’d leave them at 2.5") while still leaving some kind of support/anti-wobbliness.
As long as you don’t do something weird with your lift, it should reach the high goals with plenty of room left over.
As for new 17.5" linear slides, they would only help if you wanted to mount slides diagonally, because you can only extend one slide in one direction by 18" minus the amount of overlap you leave for the slides. Longer slides would not help with most competition robots (the ones with horizontal or vertical slides) because of the 18" size restriction.
I’m assuming you mount the slides in the most efficient way. If you mount them inefficiently, the solution would be to fix how you mount them, not get longer slides.