Best flag flipper

As of right now I’m trying to decide on the best flag flipper/toggler design. There are 4 main mechanisms I know of as of right now-puncher, flywheel, double catapult, and soccer kicker rotational thingy. The dual catapult seems prevalent right now with the ability to hit 2 flags at once, but has limited range. In my personal opinion I also thing angle changing punchers will be very viable. What are your guys’s opinions on this topic and what do you guys see as designs/alliances winning/dominating at worlds. Thanks

“All the intellectuals are switching to double catapult, so that’s what i’m going to go with”

The more important part in my opinion is how the rest of your robot is designed. I truly believe all shooters will be viable and used by states/worlds. The difference will be, does the rest of your bot synchronize with the specific strategy that fits your launching mechanism?


I would say it depends on a whole bunch of features about your robot. Are you cortex or V5? The motor requirements (specifically numbers different mechanisms) are different for each shooter, so the different number of motors should influence your decision.

Do you want a specialized flag bot or more of a generalist? Each of the different mechanisms have different space requirements and required motors. For example, a puncher may only require 3 393 motors or 2 V5 motors (for shooting and angling) and may allow you to allocate more motors to other mechanisms. However, a flywheel is a very tried and true mechanism that you could likely easily implement in your design, but will likely require more motors and time to make efficient. A catapult will require the most space, but will be able to shoot two balls potentially doubling your scoring speed.

I would research each of the different mechanisms to see what suits your need best

So the “soccer kicker rotational thingy” or Striker as I call it has very similar pros and cons as a Puncher, but is typically stronger and a little bit more consistent in my experience, it does however take up more space. Flywheels can compete with double catapults with fire rate, but it takes a serious amount of tuning to get to that point, so I don’t recommend if you’re a younger less experienced team. Double catapults work fairly well, but aren’t as versatile as a well built puncher (with angle adjuster) or flywheel due to the fact that you aren’t able to control how many balls you can shoot at a time. So if you have two balls and want to hit one flag, you use both balls. This can leave you vulnerable in certain situations.

catapults are really good. and their range isn’t limited at all, mine can go massive distances. I am on the catapult side, but really all launchers would be viable for a competitive robot, just depends on how fast you can turn the flags.

The striker is very difficult to do correctly. @ZackJo has done an amazing job implementing it.

2BCs are really easy to build. I would suggest that, but you essentially have to design around them. Flywheels can be pretty space efficient, but it’s really hard to perfect them.

In my opinion, specialists will win, because they are designed to do only one thing, and will be really good st that one thing.

although the variety is awesome as of now, I will be seriously impressed if there is any notable variety in the final worlds match. I think that by the end of the season, a dr4b with flywheel will be the primary design.

Our catapult can shoot either two balls or one ball. The intake always loads the ball into the first or topmost spot on the catapult so we can hit the top or middle flag (whichever we choose) even if we only pick up one ball.

Personally I beleive that a catapult is the way to go but the intake that loads two balls with the capability of using one ball as well is quite tricky. (Assuming you are using V5 parts) Another thing is if building a catapult I would recomend using the 36:1 (100 RPM) torque motor. This is to make sure the catapult will be able to handle many rubber bands.

Yes, but you won’t be able to hold two balls at once and shoot single shots. Every time you shoot you have to reload and this wastes more time than you save by hitting two flags at once. Now you can still do single shots, but it’s not nearly as efficient as a well built Flywheel, puncher, or striker. Most people don’t think that having a strong single shot capability is important, but it can be vital for securing and maintaining your lead.

Double catapults can easily control how many balls they shoot. It’s as simple as not loading a second ball, and then shooting from a slightly different place as you would have with two balls. A good driver can easily do this, especially if they’ve driven a puncher or flywheel in the past. It makes catapults that much more versatile, because you now have 3 separate shooting positions rather than one.

my catapult can reload extremely quickly after a single shot. I had have a ball held in my intake, and a ball held in my catapult. I can then launch the ball in my catapult, and then load the ball from my intake directly into my catapult again. takes around one second, and I can do it while aiming for the next flag. a well build double catapult can be more versatile then one would think.

Catapults are not MUCH more versatile or more at all. It is exactly the same practically but flywheels can shoot from almost anywhere on the field. Double balls have their merits and flywheels share the same, but for flywheels to share the same it requires far more tuning. Which I think is worth it in the long run.

true, true, but my catapult can shoot from many places. and in my practice, getting to a firing position was never a problem.

So you might be able to do that, but implementing that in competition is tricky considering the high pressure, for my Striker the second ball sits right next to the firing position and loads in right after I shoot my first ball. This makes it very easy on my driver, keeping his full attention on shooting and not worrying about completely loading the next shot. This may seem like a little thing, but it really helps when pressure is high and his focus is on finding targets and lining up quickly. The goal should be to make the robot as easy to drive as possible for your driver and give yourself as much room for error as possible. Double catapults are not easy to drive and have very little room for error when aiming at flags.

I completely agree with that. We have a similar setup where we can load two balls and after shooting the first the second takes its place. When building the most efficient robot you want to leave as little room for driver error as possible. Personally I think we have an excellent driver but why waste his skills doing mundane tasks like focusing on where the balls are placed when he could be practicing moving shots and new angles?

I mostly focus on intaking, not aiming, because my robot has something unique… a flagpost passive aligner. there are two y shaped pieces on either side of our descorer/ram than help me align with the poles (I fire from really close range) this way all I have to do is drive at the flagposts, and I get automatically aligned with the correct firing position.

Does this work when using a single ball to hit either the top or middle flag?