Best usage of pneumatics?

We are planning to use pneumatics to power mechanisms beyond the 8 motor limit.
What are the advantages/disadvantages of pneumatics compared to regular motors, and should we use pneumatics for the Ring intake, the 4 bar lift, or the clamp?

definitely the clamp, pneumatics are good for anything you need force for, but don’t need much movement, some teams are using pneumatics to push gears to change what a motor is powering (if you are needing more motors), but the most common by far is as a clamp.


A four bar lift unless executed really, really well, is a bad decision. Like mentioned above you would use pneumatics where you don’t need much motion, and using pneumatics would not allow you to have precise control of your lift, seeing as pneumatics are on or off.


pneumatics deliver a decent amount of power in a linear fashion over a short distance, and can only actuate a limited number of times without running out of air pressure.

This means they are best suited for mechanisms that don’t need to have a large range of motion and that are relatively infrequent (though you can get quite a few actuations per cylinder).

that means they are a poor choice for things like large lifts, and nearly impossible to use to power something like a conveyor or a drive.

there’s still a whole lot they can be effectively used for this year though. all the applications I’ve seen so far are:

  • goal clamps and latches
  • small 4 bars or forklifts for holding goals (not big ones for lifting goals though)
  • shifter for a gear transmission.
  • tilter for tilting goals back to score rings on them
  • release mechanisms for plunger-type intakes
  • claws

and probably many other things I’m forgetting about.

you can’t do everything with them though because of the air limit, so it really depends on your design. Clamps are probably the most common and effective use of pneumatics, but there’s enough air that you could power both a clamp and some other mechanism, perhaps a rear goal holder of some sort.


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