After developing the first prototype drivetrain, we decided we also wanted to be able to shoot the ball into the high goal of the tower. After designing the shooter in CAD, parts were soon fabricated and assembled. This was the first part for the robot that I ever designed using CAD and was quite pleased with the quality. Upon the first test of the design, the results were unsatisfactory due to lack of inertia within the wheels. To compensate, we added steel gears to the same axel of each wheel and significantly increased the distance the ball traveled. After further testing, we decided to have a pneumatic puncher, pop the ball through the shooter wheels. This pre-accelerates the ball, and causes it to fly even further without having to modify the current shooter. At this point in the season, we have successfully built two more functional shooters that will be added to the practice and competition robot. The final pieces are coming together as the punching system and shooter actuator are under way.
By Luke Mechler