This robot, named The Red Raptor on account of its talon-like hanging arms, featured a number of exceptional design choices. These are primarily:
- The arm and wrist based articulation
- The talon-like hanging arms
- The tread-based drive train
- The disk cam based shooter.
Unlike most other teams in 2013, we opted not to build a high range disk shooter but rather to create an arm and wrist assembly that would allow articulation up to the scoring slot. The arm folds down backwards allowing disks to be deposited directly into the wrist-mounted shooter’s hopper and then articulates upwards to fire them straight ahead. Each joint is articulated by a high-strength motor’s output heavily geared down. This system allows us to fire from extremely close to the goal, causing us to essentially never miss, yet still easily receive disks from the feed slot. The superstructure necessary for the arm also allowed us to quite easily block opponents’ shots on account of its large height and girth.
The talon-like hanging arms on The Red Raptor worked by the simple principles of momentum. Ramming the pyramid caused the talons to wedge up over the bar before dropping down into a hanging slot. Since this slot’s height and position was calibrated for the robot’s center of mass this allowed us to hang just above the ground. The extremely rapid and intuitive action for hanging, ramming the pyramid, worked to our driver’s advantage by allowing hanging to be delayed to the very end of the match.
The Red Raptor used high adhesive treads to allow movement. Each side was powered as a whole by a dual CIM Vex Pro gearbox. Since the treads had a dropped center, turning was simply a matter of driving one tread forwards and the other in reverse. This allowed us to turn about a single center point quite rapidly. The tread design also resulted in extremely high traction and, since we drove it with very high strength motors, extreme pushing power.
The Red Raptor’s shooter, which was mounted on the wrist along with its hopper consisted of a single wheel turning disks against a straight wall. This imparted spin and momentum to them, allowing them to fly forward the short distance into the slot. In order to feed disks to this shooting assembly we mounted a Cam that spun about rapidly, pushing the disks forth from the hopper and into the shooter. Since the hopper was designed so that the disks stacked as soon as one was pushed out the next fell into place to be pushed.