Pneumatics and V5 Motors

At CES the vex representative said that the new motors are 3x stronger. Why is the rule that you can only have 6 motors with pneumatics? Pneumatics take up 2 spots of the new and old motors even though the new one is 3 times stronger than the old motors. It does not make sense for teams to use them because you will get more value from the motors and almost every task on a robot can be done with a motor. This discourages teams from exploring Pneumatics. I think this is bad because you can learn a lot of things from building a robot with Pneumatics. Pneumatics usage has also been dwindling over the past few years. My team last year built a robot with a Pneumatic Mobile goal lift and claw, we found that pneumatics are complex and hard to work with and that they were dragging down our robot’s performance. The change I suggest is that the rule is changed to 7 motors and 1 pneumatic system or 6 motors and a pneumatic system with 3 tanks of air.

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<R19> Pneumatic devices may only be charged to a maximum of 100 psi. Teams may only use a
maximum of two (2) legal VEX pneumatic air reservoirs on a Robot.
The intent of this rule is to limit teams to the air pressure stored in two reservoir tanks, as well as
the normal working air pressure contained in their pneumatic cylinders and tubing on the robot.
Teams may not use other elements (e.g. surgical tubing) for the purposes of storing or generating
air pressure. Teams who use cylinders and additional pneumatic tubing for no purpose other than
additional storage are in violation of the spirit of this rule and will fail inspection.

The only place I see pneumatics is when you need something with simpler motion and is lighter

For tasks that require linear motion, it would make sense to use pneumatics instead using motors.

Okay, but motors can already be converted to linear motion. In fact, there are already very few teams that use pneumatics for any purpose. Now, the opportunity cost just increased by a factor of 2.5x. I expected the limit on tanks to increase to at least 4 from 2 to help, but it seems that pneumatics will be a rarity going forward.

or the removal of the rule that limits robots to only having two pneumatic reservoirs per robot.

Yep, some change is needed to keep pneumatics viable. Though, it seems that VEX is trying to phase them out. I’m not passing a value judgement on that decision, but that is my analysis based on the trend.

@Aponthis Do you think that if the rule was changed to 7 motors and a pneumatic system with 2 tanks would make it worth it?

I’m far from the ultimate authority on this, to be clear. However, I do think it would be worth considering if that was the case. I have a great aversion to pneumatics, but the cost of only one V5 motor for potentially multiple functions could add a lot of possibilities. The answer to this question could go all season without being fully resolved, but that’s an improvement to the resolution when comparing to 6 motors and pneumatics - most serious competitors would reject the pneumatics instantly.

@Aponthis I like the concept of pneumatics but they take a lot of work, unlike motors. I would like to see if there is a place where we could ask Vex so they can change it before they finalize the manual. Do you have any Idea where?

Someone will probably read this, but I doubt they will change it. Seems to me like they are trying to phase out pneumatics. This seems very intentional, and not necessarily bad.

I actually think Pneumatics is a viable option for sure with the 393 set up and even with the v5 system. I’m making a video series to explain my thoughts on the game design strategy right now, but having pistons to drop down a ball collector/cap flipper and also to control and flip already controlled caps would be viable. Also pto’s might make their way back right now for v5 builders. I’m curious what teams will come up with this year, but the limited motor use for v5 is a true trade off vs. the better motor performance.

Having a heavy robot will be good for center parking since it will be harder for the other team to push. Pneumatic reservoirs add a lot of weight so if you use pneumatics and have a four motor drive you could have a really powerful robot. The other two motors would be used for a lift and an arm. The claw would be pneumatic and the ball thrower would either be integrated into the drive train and use it’s motors, or use pneumatics.

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