Minimal Viable Robot - Turning Point

At my upcoming regional event I want to have two robots for future roboteers to be able to drive on the practice field. So what I want to build is the “Minimal Viable Robot” or MVR.

  1. Buildable in < 90 mins ( I need to build two this coming Sunday)
  2. Toggle Low Flags
  3. Flip Caps
  4. Climb the platforms

What I’ve come up with so far is a medium size frame using the larger 5" wheels. (I have a huge stack of these on the “Tumbler Robots*” that I presently use for demos.) On the front is a 45 degree wedge canted to the right (think snow plow). It flips caps up and over to the right. On the rear is a 18" high post with a “Fist” extending to the front with a section of 5 x 5 plate that can be driven into the flags to toggle them.

Any improvements?

What would your MVR be?

Thanks! Foster

(* The Tumble Bot is a square frame with four big 5" wheels and t motor drive. It gets it’s name because it can drive up the wall and flip over and keep driving. The 0.5 PIC and the Cortex are just thin enough to fit under the robot when it’s upside down. It’s huge fun with the younger roboteers which makes it great for demos)


I would stick a couple of tall rails on top of your tumble bots to be able to hit the low flags. It seems like they should be able to climb platforms as they sit, from what I understand.
If you want to get fancy, you could have a high torque arm deploy from each side of the robot (top and bottom) independently to toggle the low flags.
Alternatively, you could just use the servos and set positions for the raising arm: fully raised upside down, fully raised right side up, and parallel with the robot. This would allow for the “driving up the walls” your robots seem to be capable of.

At a camp I went to, they just had clawbots that could do that stuff. Passerbys (this was at a fair) could drive the clawbots around the field. It was pretty popular with the kids.

I would agree, but omnis would work as well, making turning easier. The issue with that being you lose the “tumble” part of the bot. as for the cap flipper, I might do a motorized intake type spinner, just with two sides. Like a piece of bendy stick or something to flip and thwack the caps.

Thats a neat idea! Our girls do some STEM events at times and a small, simple, robust robot that could interact with the game elements would be something neat to have available. We could make something simple, cheap, and robust for them to drive that we wouldn’t have to worry about to maintain. This would be fun for the future roboteers, as you say.