At a past competition our robot was able to consistently shoot 20 out of 24 line drive balls into the high goal on the practice field and at home. When we got onto the game field we could barely reach the net. After a lot of confusion and troubleshooting we determined the squishiness or compress-ability of the balls was the culprit. The practice field had firm balls and the game field had very mushy balls. We did not have a variable speed at the time and had to guess which speed setting to use.
We now have a variable speed ability and we recently built our squishometer 1.0 to determine ball squishiness when we are at a new field. This way we can get a target starting speed and adjust from there. It is a very technical device and is measured in units of squishiness (S). It’s a force sensor that we zero and then read how many Newtons it requires to squeeze a ball about a half inch. So far they have ranged from 40 to 80 squishiness. We are running tests now to determine how big of an impact this has.
I though someone might find it useful or have some insight in case we are reinventing the wheel.
Reducing compression could make it so that you don’t have to worry about ball density at all. I don’t have much experience with dual flywheels, if that’s what you have, but If it is a single flywheel, reducing compression should be as simple as adjusting the backplate.
We have a similar squishometer only ours is much more primitive using 2 parallel rods and a 2x4 with holes drilled in it to go on the rods. then we measure how far the ball lets a physics book placed on top of the 2x4 compress it. then write the distance on the ball.
So far this has not improved anything.
Further tests need to be done before prototypes out of vex parts can be made.
What base unit are you using? (inch, centimeter) That could be your problem there. If you don’t use a small enough base unit, then you’re getting results that don’t provide enough information. Thats why these guys have created their own unit (S) I would recommend using mm/physic book because then you can see if the results are large enough to affect a flywheel.