Pneumatics- Value, Assembly

Hi everyone,
We are a team with about $1500 right now and we are wondering if it is a worthy investment to buy one or two pneumatics sets for our team. What do you guys think regarding pneumatics, with our current allowance for purchases, is it worth it to invest in them?
More importantly, we are trying to make a catapult, and while we draw up designs to show our club why we need pneumatics, I was wondering if someone could show a picture of how exactly they attach the piston(s) to make a front launching six bar catapult and how many pistons/canisters you used to make it.
Thanks in advance.

We are using 2 single acting pistons with two tanks for our catapult. If you plan to have elastic assistance to add more power, then I would suggest double acting pistons. No pictures sorry.

As long as you aren’t going to be short on metal, motors, or any other necessity, then I would invest in pneumatics. Maybe you could look for sponsorships to cut costs. :slight_smile:

Pneumatics are an awesome investment. They open up a new world of possibilities and complexity. Get It!!

It really depends on what you already have if Pneumatics are worth it. We prioritized aluminum over pneumatics when considering what to buy first. The advantages for being able to speed up your drive and lift will be much greater than than of Pneumatics. The same goes for having extra batteries.

But if you have all of that (or are comfortable with what you’ve got), by all means get some Pneumatics. Catapults are a huge advantage this year.

I find it interesting how more and more teams are using pneumatics; when I started in Clean Sweep (and even in Round Up), pneumatics were a rarity. It seems that after Gateway, they became almost a requisite component of a good VEX robot.

Pneumatics are great because they are well-suited for holding something in place. It is bad form to put current through a motor to hold a position under load for an extended duration (e.g. keeping an arm at a certain height). There is a reason that construction equipment uses hydraulics for that sort of application. I highly recommend teams experiment with and use pneumatics. They are also pretty hard to break, if you treat them right. Thus, your investment will last.

That said: there are other things to consider with that money. If you have good programmers, make sure they have the sensors they need to write good autonomous code. A gyro and encoders should be on nearly every robot. An LCD screen is great, too. Omni wheels are a must, and Mecanum wheels are cool. Aluminum is useful for building lightweight arms (and about the same price as pneumatics)–in fact, aluminum helps counter for the weight of pneumatic devices.

tl;dr: Pneumatics are really great, but make sure that there isn’t anything else you need more. :slight_smile:

//Andrew