During my RI3D with 448, 21, 1437, and a few other people, we experimented with different configurations before settling on the one seen in our reveal. A lot of our process will be in the documentary, but I wanted to open up some broader technical discussion to the whole community.
The biggest challenge by far of our RI3D and (I think) more generally of this game is stack height. The rollers, even with 2 motors and high compression, weren’t able to push more than 6-7 cubes up the magazine. In order to get more torque, the friction of the cubes against the magazine would need to be lower (lexan would help), the angle of the magazine would need to be lowered which raises COM concerns with a tall stack, or some sort of roller or pusher or something would need to assist the rollers by pushing cubes up the magazine a few cubes up the stack. It may be possible to use the tilter motor, maybe with clever gearing or a basic differential, to spin a wheel or move an arm that would help, or it may be more efficient to use a 1 motor side roller like this:
and dedicate the other motor to a stack assist of some sort. There are probably a lot of ways to make a “stack assister” and one of the purposes of this thread is to brainstorm how to create one.
The other aspect of stacking higher is expanding the magazine. Our RI3D, and some other notable reveals as well:
use a single, unfolding, static stage that allows for stacks of 6-7 cubes. But what if a passive elevator design or something similar was used instead? Something like this:
Not only would this allow for taller stacks, but it would be more compact when the robot wasn’t carrying around a stack, and it wouldn’t require a deploy. It seems like this type of design is unequivocally better. But this particular design is concerning because steel sliders are so heavy and bulky. Is there a way to make a more compact custom elevator? Maybe with lexan? Is there another way to do the magazine that doesn’t require linear motion? I’m not sure. And that’s the other thing I want this thread to be about.
This community has collectively become talented and experienced enough I feel like we’re already on the brink of figuring out this game. A robot capable of 10-12 stacks at side roller speed would probably be extremely competitive, even by late season. Brainstorm away!