Picking Up Cubes

Since the new game came out our team has been trying to figure out how to make our bot capable of picking up and launching both stars and cubes into the far zone. We had a fork lift design for the stars so now we’re focusing on the cubes. Anybody got an idea in picking up both these objects.

Guess what:

You’ve already thought of it. There’s no reason why you wouldn’t use your forklift to pick up cubes as well.

LOL, yeah, thats what we are doing.

A variant of this that I had come up would be a specialized star-only conveyor intake that could then be expanded using pneumatic pistons to pick up cubes (1 actuation per “shift”; shouldn’t take too much air IMO). I haven’t prototyped it yet, but I think conveyor intakes might be faster than forklifts, and so for rapid intaking at multiple angles conveyor might be the way to go.

I am planning on having 2 side rollers except both of them are rubber band intakes. then I am going to put 1 motor on each and make it so that both of them can pivot left and right independently of each other. Then I will mount them a little less than 12" apart so that you can pick up a cube and when you try to pick up a star it will force both of the rollers out and once the star is through you put rubber bands on both rollers to bring them back in.

Our team will be adding some extra metal to our “fork-lift” for extra surface area when holding stars or cubes. We will also add 2 side rollers for the cubes, it can also be chained together for the use of only one motor which might come in handy.

From my point of view there are pros and cons to both your idea and forklifts


-Simple yet effective

-Not very versatile
-Cannot really handle multiple game objects at once
-If not built properly, game objects may fall off
-Some may require pneumatics, which could be used for other functions

Conveyor Intake:

-Potentially more efficient, possibility to carry multiple game objects
-More likely to impress the judges

-More complicated
-More room for error
-Some may require pneumatics, which could be used for other functions
-Would likely take a lot of tweaking

just to clarify, by conveyor, do you mean this?

If so, it might work with the cubes, but I don’t think it will be able to transport stars very well.

Something similar to that video @Nathaniel , yes, but with specialized hooks. I was taking a look at the geometry and I hypothesized that if you had angled conveyors (parallel to the sides of the drive train, and rotated ~45 degrees like a doorknob, if that makes any sense), you could pick up the cubes very quickly with minimal need for alignment. Then, a simple pneumatic expander would allow the conveyor to slide apart and still be able to grab the cube (since it’s pretty squishy).

The advantages for this design is essentially constant intaking - no need to bring the forklift back down before grabbing the next object - and also the ability to stack stars on top of each other, which is essential to my catapult design. With a controlled yet fast movement, the stars will be stacked neatly, and then a few shakes and a release will hopefully tangle them all up with the opponent’s hanging bar - GG.

You brought up some important disadvantages @Mightykiko , and yes this design will likely take a while to build compared to the ridiculously simple forklift. But given that for the most part robot designs don’t have a lot of complexity this year, I think the tradeoff might be worth it. (And impressing the judges doesn’t hurt either :P)

The amazing thing is that in the grand scheme of things, the advantages and disadvantages won’t really matter too much. What will matter is how the mechanisms are integrated, how they are built, and how it is used on the playing field. This sort of strategic element wasn’t really present in Nothing But Net, which overall lacked strategic depth. In NBN, the game revolved around the robot, as strategic options were overall limited with a lack of rewarding counter play. Sure, you could bump into others and mess up their aim, but there was no way to take back points. Starstruck, however, is the complete opposite. This time, strategy can possibly be just as important as the robot, and having the strongest robot doesn’t necessarily guarantee victory, it will just make defeat highly unlikely.

My teams are trying to put together something that can flip it over. Kind of like a spatula in a way. I think that it if the flipper goes low enough, it will be able to flip due to the quickness of the pneumatic flipper.

Something like this…?


Both the blue alliance robots were using pneumatic flippers.
The top blue is 8059A (with a bigger flipper) and the bottom blue is 8165 (with a shorter flipper).