Catapult compression

While testing multiple types of launchers, my team has found that almost every type of launcher is effected by the ball’s compression, but catapults. Just wondering, what have your teams found? Is it possible to make a puncher or flywheel compensate for ball compression, or has anybody come across a situation where the catapult can’t compensate for ball compression.

For flywheels, I believe that it is impossible because any contact with the ball to flywheel will result in some form of compression. As for plunger type launchers I think it’s feasible using a basket where the ball will rest that moves back and forth along with the plunger itself.

This is true, but my dual flywheel has no problems with ball density. It takes a lot of tuning and your launch angle has to be right. Any issues with compression can be eliminated by tuning the angle.

Our club has some single flywheels, two punchers, and a double flywheel. With all the designs we noticed compression is a big deal, but if you tune and adjust it enough, it no longer matters. It seems to be that if you compress the ball just barely on either type of flywheel it launches both hard and soft balls the same as long as it is just a slight compression. On punchers? its all about where you contact the ball. If you can get contact it the proper place, density seems to no longer effect it.

I have built many catapults this year and I will tell you that they are awesome :wink: . To answer your question on how it works with compression, the last competition I was at had very bad balls, when shooting full court the single flywheel dropped short by 3’, but the catapult on my robot hit the goal just about every time when it was lined up. But, my friend on 9541 (chess knights) who had a different type of catapult (the kind that they revealed) had a great inconsistency when at a competition with many bad balls. Why is this? My catapult lifts the ball more than it hits the ball, it has a curved shape that helps the ball gain air, this helped so that when a soft ball was launched it would still lift the ball the same. The 9541 catapult hits the ball more than it hits it. Hitting the ball does have its advantages, but, some disadvantages.

Do you use a cam?

Yes we do.