My team has a really effective claw design that we’re almost done building and I was wondering if there were any tips you guys could give us.
without having a picture of your claw, I don’t know if you are doing this or not, so I’ll just comment on what I’ve seen many teams do. Try to put in a potentiometer or encoder on the claw. If the motors are run against each other (or in the case of just one motor geared to actuate both sides, run against itself) when the claw is being closed continuously, you will either burn out or ruin your motors. Using sensors can keep the claw tightly closed while keeping your motors safe. It also makes programming a good bit more effective.
A few basic claw building guidelines:
Support both the top and the bottom of your pivot points.
Gear the two sides together so the claw stays “in sinc”.
Put grippy things on the claw to reduce the force required to hold objects when the claw is closed, or have a bottom on your claw that the objects sit on when it is closed.
Only use one motor. You only need one for a claw. Motors spin quickly, so even if you gear your arm 1:2 for torque you will still be opening and closing quickly. Use that extra motor to make your arm very fast, as you will likely have a limited capacity in your claw.
Make the claw extremely light, so the arm can move quickly (limited capacity).
Make sure your claw is rigid so it doesn’t deform during a match if another robot snags on it, leaving you dead in the water (circular goal-scoring wise).
What works really nice for claws are pneumatics. if you have two pneumatic tanks powering the claw, you wont need motors to power it. Pneumatics are also very nice for putting pressure on the game pieces.
If you are using pneumatics, allocate one reservoir per cylinder to make sure you don’t run out of air. Using just one cylinder and gearing the two sides of the claw together works fine.