Pneumatics Penalty Removed

Yeah, you’re limited to 2 pneumatics, and you can use all 8 motors on top of that.

You can have 8 motors, 2 air reservoirs and unlimited pistons.

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Looks like pneumatics is becoming a lost art.

@Andrew-GOATS is right - limited to 2 air reservoirs (or sometimes people call it cylinder). Unlimited pistons.

This is so that all teams will have about the same amount of air for the actuations.

If it is unlimited number of reservoirs, it will be almost similar to unlimited motors.


VRC will almost always have a competitive advantage to teams with more money. If you can’t afford more parts you’ll be disadvantaged. the hardware is bulky but it’s worth the power. It’s just how the story goes. By that logic v5 should be banned because it gives the poorer teams with cortex a disadvantage it’s just how the world rolls. :man_shrugging:


Kind of. We have old Cortex pneumatics, I think.

It does appear that way. Give me a week or two I’ll be throwing something together.


That’s what I thought, but I wasn’t sure.

for sure, and the cost of pneumatics isn’t my biggest issue with the change. It’s the fact that pneumatics is now mandatory if you want to get full power out of your robot, and I would prefer a balanced tradeoff instead (I think 1 motor would have been a good tradeoff. )

the increased affordability would simply be a beneficial side effect of giving teams more of a balanced decision.


Now i am just so glad that my seniors decided to conduct a module on pneumatics to the juniors during Dec last year :stuck_out_tongue:


Its easy don’t worry. But you will need to practice how to manage air leakages

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i agree here, your robot will be less powerful without it, but we just have to move on. The best way to refute a broken system is to exploit it

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From doing FRC a number of years with pneumatics the VEX system is very limited. Unless there are some new pistons and bigger, lighter tanks in the pipeline, they are more hassle than they are worth.

The air supply is limited and finite, it’s easy to blow through your air and at the end of the match be out of air and stuck. Lets take the example of using a piston to open/close your claw that lets you snag rings. As you get to the end, the piston opens/closes slower and at a point it won’t move and you are done. It’s almost impossible to blow through a full battery charge with 8 motors in 3 minutes.

Engineering is harder, the pistons are full direction motion, unless you are putting stops in to stop movement you get the full throw.

Lastly, air leaks are killers. You must cut the tubing exactly square and seat it fully in the connector.

While many of you subscribe to the “as much powers to,your robot as possible” school of design, i think the added weight and limited functionality vs the cost and aggravating additional work isn’t worth the trade.

I think the recent posts about presenting the system will be good, I look forward to those tutorials and more importantly the testing to seee what the full capabilities are.


pneumatics are less useful for a frequent and power intensive task than they are for infrequent actuations. I expect we might start seeing 2 speed transmissions on drives, and lots of pneumatically powered functions like goal lifts this season. I am excited about the newly viable opportunities, I just think it should come at a reasonable tradeoff.


2 speed drives are not very useful


I can think of a few good uses for them this season. whether it’s worth the complexity is another matter.


A two speed transmission with pneumatics on a drive, I have seen to be both heavy, clunky, and have efficiency loss. NOT worth it especially with V5.

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Here is some information I put together several years ago to supplement the VEX information, and I look forward to seeing some of the tutorial work being done. pneumatics information.pdf - Google Drive

As other have said, the small pneumatic cylinders available for VRC teams are a bit limited in use, good for making small actuators and such. Don’t plan on air cylinders lifting your arm and such, unless you’re in VEX-U where there are no limits on pneumatics. You’ll get 6-12 pounds of force from an air cylinder, depending on the pressure you use. Back before V5 and the “pneumatics penalty” a common use on many of our teams was to lock “flip-out” assemblies in place to maintain starting size (second most common was quick-acting claws).


pnumatic mogo grabber maybe? would have to band in order to try not to lose all the air

Case in point, back in Toss Up for VEX U in 2014 we made a 28 tank fully pneumatic 6-bar lift. It was a pain to both move around and inflate via our bike pump but we did it.

During Worlds we brought it back down to 20 tanks due to weight concerns.


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