Has anyone got a flywheel bot yet?

I was arguing with my team mates about the practicality of a flywheel, so I thought the forum might give some good opinions.

In my opinion, a flywheel launcher is totally possible, the intake is the hard part. The robot will need to pick up stars rapidly, and when the stars are been fed to the fly they must be in the same orientation every time(or else the flywheels will rip the stars apart, I assume),
So, I don’t think the added weight and complexity is worth it for the little or if any at all advantage the flywheels provides.
Still though, if anyone have a working flywheel prototype, I would be very impressed.

A flywheel might end up working but I will bet a lot to say that it will not be efficient and effective enough. To me there is no point of making it if it won’t be able to do well in the long run.

My friend wants to make one just to get a design award… :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t know if it would be considered great for the design award, because judges look for good functionality in special designs

I can say with certainty that there will never be an effective flywheel bot in Starstruck. You CAN quote me on that.

Take ALBA’s side roller design, gear it up, and you have the beginnings of a flywheel XD

Could you show us a picture or link to the side roller idea?

(I mostly meant this as a joke but if you can make it happen I will be impressed)

Ok, I’m certainly not doing this for a design, but I want to voice my design for this. For the intake, do something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odqF6qcuUpo but better. For example, you can do the prongs like they have, and put lexan guards around it to force the star into the correct orientation. The correct orientation should be one point sticking straight down, one up, one left, one right, forwards and backwards. So basically a star balancing on one prong, but suspended by an intake. Now it gets fed into a double double (yes, double double) flywheel. 2 flywheels for the “left” prong and 2 for the “right” prong according to the orientation scenario I just described. Its so incredibly inefficient but I kinda want to see it done :wink:

Actually… it does work!!
We tried a side-roller about 1mth ago… and it was great!

Our B team is working on a flywheel (despite my advice to the contrary) as a side project. It “works” in that stars go through it, but a dumper would give a greater horizontal velocity. They also haven’t yet considered an intake, so I don’t know how far they’ll go.

It’s possible, though. The intake is the hard part. If you document it and you can score with it, you’ll probably end up with some sort of judged award, although I’m not sure at what cost.

I agree. It is possible, but almost certainly will not be competitive past the regional level.

You mean the side roller as a sped up “launch” mechanism? I agree that these side rollers appear to be a pretty effective intake mechanism, I think it would take a lot of work to make them viable as “launchers”.

As a launch mechanism… but there are still a lot of work that we will need to put in to refine it.

Well, something you should probably focus on is the amount of stars you can carry.

All launching mechanisms will have their success depend on the number of stars you can pick up.

That number will range between 3-5. Because this number represents a low percentage of scoring objects on the field, your intake needs to feed the launcher at a rate faster than or equal to the time you need to launch the objects.

Generally, the more complex your intake, the longer it takes to feed the launcher. So even if you make a working flywheel, you run into the loading issue.

Still, it’s early in the season, and all ideas should be tested.

I don’t think this would work, but here is how I think you would try to do it. Essentially the challenge in moving a star is to transfer energy to it and release it. Flywheels build up kinetic energy and attempt to transfer that energy upon contact, while catapults store potential energy and convert it to kinetic at the point of release. Arms just try to generate kinetic energy on the fly by converting as much electrical energy as possible. So like, the general principle of transferring energy is what you’re aiming to accomplish, and you need some degree of consistency to this.

First, stars aren’t balls, so they can’t be “rolled” through a shooter like a single axle shooter did for balls last year. If this is going to work, they need to be “tossed”, through a double axle shooter, that doesn’t rely on the game piece rotating to deliver energy. Secondly, these stars are a lot bigger than balls, so the axles and shooter wheels will either need to be much wider or the orientation of the stars will need to be very closely controlled. I’d go for wider wheels (which still may need tight control!), like two axles with a whole foot of 4" traction wheels on them. A lot of weight, but at least in terms of flywheel performance weight helps with storing energy.

If you start to sketch out how this would look, the mechanism just gets too big. It’s really hard for anything else to fit on your robot with a design this big. There’s also CG challenges with so much weight up high. These are probably your biggest problems.

Flywheels are great for tossing a series of relatively light objects a repeatable distance in quick succession. To me they just don’t seem like the right tool for the game. But I could be wrong! All of us could be, I guess. You can always prototype it if you have the time.

Flywheels aren’t really useful besides launching small circular objects. In my personal opinion a large expanding scoop is more effective. I understand you probably want to make far shots, but quantity overrules quality.

Along with this, flywheels need to be loaded with an intake. Since the stars are large and not proportional in relation to the NBN balls, they would be harder and more difficult to manage.

This is not to say its entirely impossible. With good play strategy and enormously high power flywheels, one would be able to horde all the stars and send them over in the last 30 seconds.

Let’s look at this logically. What are the possible advantages of a flywheel over a dumper (or, for the sake of similarity, a catapult)?


  1. It looks cool.


  1. It’s complicated for these objects.
  2. Proper intaking is very difficult, if not impossible.
  3. The objects are super heavy compared to NBN balls (I think about 16 times their weight). Even though stars don’t have to launch that far, it would require a lot of motors.
  4. It’s very bulky, and might not fit in 18" and still hold more than one object.

The moral of this story is, don’t do it. It has to be effective to win any awards (even the design award).

EDIT: I literally sat at my computer for like five minutes and I still couldn’t come up with anymore pros for the flywheel. Sorry.

Far zone points if you can make it work XD

Yes, I was mostly comparing it to a catapult, or even a dumper like 333x that can reach the far zone anyway.

To honest, unless you are do skills or programming, in this years game, far zone doesn’t give you that much benefit. As long fewer stars are in your zone, you are winning, assuming your robot can deliver stars over faster than your opponent.
Piling stars under the fence however, can greatly reduce the effectness of the flippers.