Launch Prototypes


Spring–loaded launch system


Objectives:

Use a black DC gear motor with spindle that stretched the spring that could then be released to launch the ball into the target.
Pros:
  • Uses a single motor.
  • Can control the strength and the height of the ball is released by controlling the length of spring being pulled.
  • Can easily control the angle at which the ball is launched.
Cons:
  • The system took too much space to work.
  • Load time is very long per ball.

Single–wheel launch system


Objectives:

Using a single wheel that presses the ball against a solid surface that could launch the ball into a target.
Pros:
  • Uses a single motor.
  • Takes little place on the robot.
Cons:
  • Difficulty controlling the angle at which the balls are launched.
  • Launching was not consistent.

Double–wheel launch system


Objectives:

Using two wheels that sandwich the ball betwen the wheels, the ball could be into a target.
Pros:
  • Quickly reloads.
  • Easily control the angle the balls are launched.
  • Launching was consistent.
Cons:
  • Uses two motors.
  • Balls need to enter the wheels at specific angle.
  • Takes significant place on the robot.

Drive Prototypes


Mecanum wheels drive system


Objectives:

Using 8” mecanum wheels to quickly and easily maneuver around the playing field.
Pros:
  • The chassis can drive in all directions.
Cons:
  • Uses four identical motors therefore limiting the number of available motors for the rest of the robot.

Omni wheels drive system


Objectives:

Using 8” omni wheels to quickly and easily maneuver around the playing field.
Pros:
  • The chassis can drive in all directions.
Cons:
  • Uses four identical motors therefore limiting the number of available motors for the rest of the robot.
  • Could not go up step.

Tank drive system


Objectives:

Using a v-belt and pulley system to create a drive system that can quickly and easily maneuver around the playing field.
Pros:
  • Can easily go up the stairs.
  • Requires fewer motors.
Cons:
  • Was slow in comparison to mecanum.
  • Cannot move left to right.

Storage Prototype


Storage System


Objectives:

To create a hopper that can store approximately 70 tennis balls at one time, and for these tennis balls to easily exit in a single file fashion to be directed to the launcher.
Pros:
  • Can easily hold 70 tennis balls.
Cons:
  • Balls tend to get stuck when leaving the hopper.
  • Because the Hopper is made of corrugated fiberboard, and occupies much of the robot, it makes it difficult to see as the robot is moving.

Pickup Prototypes


Wooden rotating pickup system


Objectives:

Using a wooden rotary blade system, tennis balls will be pulled into the robot.
Pros:
  • Tennis balls can be quickly pulled into the robot.
Cons:
  • Tennis Balls sometimes cause the blades to jam.
  • Would require another system to lift the balls up to the storage system.

Conveyor belt pickup system


Objectives:

Using an abrasive conveyor belt and 3" pipes, the conveyor belt system will pull tennis balls into the robot and bring them right up to the hopper.
Pros:
  • Tennis balls can quickly be brought into the robot and bring them directly to the hopper.
Cons:
  • The belt system has to be close to the ground to pull in the tennis balls; however, if too low, it comes in contact with the playing field’s 3” step therefore preventing the robot from climbing the stair.

Sorting Prototype


Sorting System


Objectives:

Tennis balls will travel on a vex tank belt system and approach two vex light sensors; one with a red filter on it that uses a photocell that detects light. As the balls pass through the sensors, it will determine the ball colour to decide if it is blue, yellow, or red.
Pros:
  • Balls can be sorted by colour automatically.
Cons:
  • Because of the colour variation of the balls, and the different light conditions, the sensors often give wrong readings.